I hated sharing as a child. In fact, on more than one occasion I caused physical harm to my darling sister in the hopes that through her teary eyes she’d neglect to notice my indulging in her portion of whatever instant dessert mom had whipped up. It’s in stark contrast, then, that I’m such an avid lover of the shareable plate trend that has swept the city’s one-mouth-only dishes to the ditch. Everyone’s hopping on the proverbial bandwagon faster than the early adopters even took to House of Cards. And the latest on this kindergarten-esque quake is Weslodge.
Follow the yellow painted doors on Sundays and Mondays and you’ll find yourself dining on a Noah’s Arc of animalia – hen, lamb, duck, beef, pork. The aptly named Cutting Board is a consortium of carefully-cooked carnivorous carcasses: delightfully salty, crispy hen (akin to fancy chicken fingers) are cooked sous vide before being breaded and deep-fried; succulent, sweet and sour pulled pork has a tangy sauce made of Sprite, soy, and vinegar; and 32-day dry aged ribeye is nearly fork-tender. At times, however, the Cutting Board loses its footing: coffee-glazed lamb ribs have a welcome pistachio dust but an uninvited aftertaste; and the duck sausage is too similar to your standard breakfast links to be desired.
The accoutrements, such as the Cuban slaw (jicama, red onion, apple) and buttermilk jalapeno biscuits, are thoughtful sides, while the baked pasta should be a dish on its own – I’d gladly siphon down gallons of the creamy, cheesy, herby shells.
For his part, Chef Kanida Chey has done a commendable job bringing Weslodge to the shareable sphere. His platter is varied in technique, and unlike some of its counterparts the Cutting Board succeeds in bringing the whole farm to the table at one seating. At 29 bucks a head (minimum two/order) it’s not the cheapest item off the menu, but I’d venture to say a two-person Cutting Board would easily feed three or four with a couple extra sides tossed down next to your barrel-aged Negronis.
What’ll be interesting is seeing how the Cutting Board evolves, as Chef Chey hinted at the possibility of tartars and house-cured meats as the seasons change. But for now, the Cutting Board at least makes it past the chopping block – a fair roll of the dice in spite of some dicey fare.