I recently went to the new restaurant, Bar Corvo, on Washington Avenue in Brooklyn. It got fantastic reviews even before it opened – and it is 200 feet from my apartment. Sweet. I went with my lifelong friend, pediatric dietitian Barbara Robinson. (Readers of my blog might remember when we traveled on the BQE back from Rhode Island to New York.)
Everything was perfect at Bar Corvo. We had the Lentil Soup, Warm Farro Salad (with roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, goat cheese, red onion, hazelnuts, and warm sherry vinaigrette), Focaccia, and Trebiano D’Abruzzo wine. It didn’t seem like much food for two people, but we couldn’t finish it all. I can still conjure up the aromas and flavors. A lasting experience is all I ask from a restaurant.
Barbara and I were both surprised by the relatively large number of unusual foods on the menu. Besides lentils and farro, there were dandelion greens, fava bean puree, oxtail ragu’, octopus confit, and roast Amish chickens (wearing little bonnets singing, ’tis the gift to be simple) to pleasure the palates of the foodies on the Brooklyn culinary scene.
Barbara: “What exactly is an oxtail?”
Mary: “I guess it’s the tail of an ox.”
That’s a pretty lame conversation for two veteran dietitians, and so I Goggled oxtails; here’s the poop: ox tails are actually tails – bony and muscular – from cows (there are no oxen left around here.) Oxtails are among the offals, the internal parts of an animal – the heart, liver, tongue, tripe, brain, kidneys, etc. – that are edible, but not commonly eaten in America today. They are traditionally braised gently and slowly to made an intensely-flavored gelatinous stew. The stew is served in Roman trattorias (like Bar Corvo) and in Jamaican and African restaurants. A few doors down at The Islands, a Caribbean restaurant, the oxtail stew is a very popular dish. In fact, New York City seems to be crazy about oxtails. There are 402 comments at Yelp, New York, Oxtail Soup! I guess it’s only a matter of time before I try them. I’ll be sure to report back.
Your thoughts: Have you eaten oxtails? Would you?