Salamis in different stages of curing ring the ceiling of the dungeon-dim front dining room. The charcuterie list features more than 30 choices, from blood sausage to wild boar pâté. The cute young things next to you are digging into a whole pig’s head with the zeal of miners sifting for gold.
Should you need another nudge to eat meat here, consider this: Nathan Anda, the chef who raised the bar for butcher shops with the Red Apron brand, is also a partner in Partisan. Four menus are a lot to absorb. Let me propose that you start with a cocktail, maybe the mezcal-driven Holiday in the Sun, while you wait for a board of sausages, arranged on the menu under helpful profiles as if they were wines. Look for Thai basil-cured bresaola under “Bright,” bacon liverwurst under “Earthy” and a red spread of pork belly and Calabrian chilies beneath “Spicy Hot” — hell on earth, and that’s a plug. With the plank of protein comes a rack of terrific tigelles (think English muffins, only thinner and brushed with lard). Go easy on the bread, though, because you’ll want to save space for small plates of sliced bavette (outside skirt steak) with minty eggplant caponata, and whiskey-kissed lamb ribs garnished with rings of fried shallots.
No one-trick pony, executive chef Ed Witt treats vegetables, pasta, fish and fowl with the same care he expends on beef and pork. Bring on the mushroom and jicama salad, the bucatini darkened with squid ink — and enlightened with sea urchin — and the fried chicken zipped up with lemon zest and toasted coriander and fennel seeds! There’s liquid gold on the wine list, which lets diners try dear wines by the half-glass. Partisan is plenty good — a cure for what ails you.