Because You Can Get a Nice Plate of American Hackleback Sturgeon Roe at 3 A.M.

Mas (farmhouse), 1:40 a.m.Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Corbis

No. 52
Most people are asleep at three in the morning. And if they aren’t, they’re probably not thinking about gougères. Still, if anyone ever had that particular craving at that particular hour, they’d be relieved to know how easily it could be satisfied at Mas (farmhouse), the snug, stylish restaurant where they serve the delicate Gruyère-laced choux-pastry puffballs daily until 4 a.m. The owners of Mas, you see, have rightly determined that what separates New York from the average late-night cheesesteak-slinging metropolis is its restaurateurs’ willingness to satisfy the pre-dawn yearnings of the city’s insomniac gourmands. Chef Galen Zamarra’s after-hours menu is a luxurious read, and it’s hard to repress the urge to indulge. Determined to ascertain the difference between the roe of the American hackleback sturgeon and that of the paddlefish, we ordered both one recent frigid Friday night and dutifully washed them down with pink champagne, before moving on to dainty wheels of rainbow trout stuffed with watercress, and a terrine of local beets layered, of course, with local goat cheese. If we had our wits about us, we might have considered the hour too late to tuck into a plate of butternut-squash risotto topped with beef short ribs and another of braised pork belly with an escargot-and-bean stew. When last call came at 3:45—the most demure, almost apologetic last call imaginable—we virtuously limited ourselves to just three cheeses and only one dessert, then lumbered into the night, a tad full perhaps but happy in the knowledge that in this food-mad city, sophistication never sleeps. Next: Because In Spite of Everything…

Because You Can Get a Nice Plate of American Hack […]