It’s almost sacrilege that I haven’t paid my respects to the bloody mary at Ditch Plains and Landmarc (they’re sister restaurants). It’s a triumph. First, it’s served in a pint glass. When I order a bloody, I’m looking for a nice meaty drink to sink my teeth into over time, to savor the crunch celery and the pickled vegetables and the spice. I can only drink one, and I’d like it to be in this pint glass, so we can bond.
Two, it’s deliciously spicy. I don’t know what they put in it, but the seasoning is plentiful and excellent. There is lots of black pepper. It goes nicely with the healthy serving of pickled veggies that I get with my Ditch Plains bloody. It’s like V-8 juice. I feel good about myself, but maybe that’s the bloody talking.
Third, it goes spectacularly well with moules frites, and I staunchly stand behind the moules frites offered at Ditch Plains and Landmarc. Sure, you could order the Ditch Dog and choke on the fact that you just ate a mac’n’cheese covered hot dog (ok, it’s so good, and you only choke if you eat two), but you would miss the beauty of the mussels. They offer different sauces, and I never order the classic white wine and shallots. Oh no. I go for the curry or the dijonnaise. The curry when I’m feeling exotic, and the dijonnaise when I’m feeling not-exotic. The mussels are always large and luscious, piled wonderfully high in the cast-iron Staub, steaming when I lift the heavy lid. I like to pluck half of the mussels from their shells, dropping them into the fragrant sauce and letting them get even juicier while I play speedracer with the ultra crispy French fries. Oh man. The mix of mayo+ketchup with a salty, crispy French fry is in my top five favorite bites ever. I conclude that after exhaustive testing, mostly at the bar at Ditch Plains on a lazy Sunday afternoon, with someone else’s NY Times and that sweet Southern bartender.
DITCH PLAINS, Bedford and Downing Sts, West Village. Visit ditchplains.com for more info.