March 9th marked the 18th anniversary of the passing of The Notorious B.I.G. When I heard that Venetian eatery, All'onda, in NYC was doing a tribute dinner as part of its guest chef series with dishes inspired by my favorite rapper's life and lyrics, you know I had to go. Biggie is definitely one of the rappers who name-checked food like "cheese, eggs and Welch's grape" well before everyone and their mama became a "foodie," so it was pretty cool to see his lyrics re-imagined on the plate. Of everything, you can imagine that eating the escargot was the most adventurous. For those at home SMH-ing right now, put it this way, if a mushroom and an oyster had a kid, it would be escargot.
Thanks to Chefs Chris Jaeckle and Dale Talde at All'onda and Kate and Kendra of The Door for being my dinner dates. Black Thought from The Roots also stopped by. Peep the full menu with descriptions and select IG pics below.
Spiced Tomato Soup
Inspiration: “V8 juice drinkin’, Slimfast blendin’”
Track: “Fuck Me (Interlude)
Cracked Crab or Lobster -black pepper jerk crab, lobster toast
Inspiration: “Country house, tennis courts, and horseback riding’/ deciding’ cracked crab or lobster”
Track: “I Love The Dough” (feat. Jay Z)
Butter Poached Escargot -salsa verde, parsley root puree
Inspiration: “Escargot/My car go 160 swiftly/Wreck it buy a new one/Your crew run run run/Your crew run run”
Curried Oxtail Patties -pickled scotch bonnet and ginger relish
Inspiration: Biggie was of Jamaican descent. He allegedly liked his patties from the chain Golden Krust.
Steak a La Fiorentina -zabaglione, red wine grape veal jus
Inspiration: “T-bone steak, egg cheese, and Welch’s grape”
Track: “Big Poppa”
G.O.A.T. milk cheesecake- strawberry jam, cola caramel
Inspiration: G.O.A.T. or “Greatest of All Time.” Biggie’s regular hangout was Junior’s in Brooklyn, where he is reported to have ordered strawberry cheesecake and Coke.