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Eat, Then Hibernate

Five gut-busting dishes to see you through the last days of winter.


Choucroute Garni
The Alsatian sausage-and-pork fest takes particularly refined form Mondays at DB Bistro Moderne (55 W. 44th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-391-1616; right), where chef Olivier Muller disassembles a baby pig for its appropriate parts (the pressed, breaded, and deep-fried morsels from its head, to the feet, which he uses to stuff the shoulder meat). Choucroute means sauerkraut, which Muller cooks with Riesling and juniper berries, and which also plays the starring role in Tom Valenti’s “duck confit” choucroute at West Branch (2178 Broadway, at 77th St.; 212-777-6764).

On Sundays and Mondays starting March 1 at Café Boulud (20 E. 76th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-772-2600; right), the “pot on fire” pays homage to Paul Bocuse with a bowl of consommé inhabited by hunks of rabbit sausage, poached short rib, bone marrow, and vegetables. The small-plate version at the Bar Room at the Modern (9 W. 53rd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-333-1220) consists of a single, succulent mustard-crusted short rib, adrift in a root-vegetable-dappled broth.

The quintessential winter dish, as ubiquitous here perhaps as in southwestern France, where the slow-cooked bean stew got its start. Debates as to what exactly should go into the rustic earthenware pot rage on. Goose? Pork? Lamb? Bacon? All of the above? Savoy (70 Prince St., at Crosby St.; 212-219-8570) hedges its bets by serving two variations during its cassoulet fest, running through March 15. Also recommended is the version at Jarnac (328 W. 12th St.; 212-924-3413; right)—a harmonic convergence of pork cheeks, duck confit, sausage, and white northern beans.

Belgium’s great gift to the bulging beef-stew category, carbonnade à la flamande, ingeniously uses beer as a braising liquid. At Resto (111 E. 29th St., nr. Park Ave. S.; right), boneless short ribs are marinated in Grimbergen Dubbel Brown Ale, cooked in veal stock with Stumptown coffee beans, and served over sauce-sponging frites. A textbook version also appears at Café des Bruxelles (118 Greenwich Ave., at 13th St.; 212-206-1830), where, the menu tantalizes, “pomme frites are served during the course of the meal.”

Bollito Misto and Lesso Misto
Trencherman specialties of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, these mixed-meat boils traditionally come with invigorating condiments and a side of the nourishing cooking broth. The one-pot version at Insieme (777 Seventh Ave., at 51st St.; 212-582-1310; right) consists of veal tongue, beef cheek, chicken thigh, and cotecchino sausage, and has a following so fervent its fans grow despondent during the dish’s summer hiatus. A nap-inducing bollito misto can also be found weekends only at Del Posto (85 Tenth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-497-8090).


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