Man, we feel old. It's officially been 20 years since the release of "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" and it's been almost a decade since Ol’ Dirty Bastard went to that great big studio in the sky. As such, jm Curley is properly memorializing Ol' Dirty — in the form of a taste bud-exploding “Dirt Dog,” complete with flecks of 24K gold teef leaf and malt liquor mustard. Somewhere, an angel with gold teeth is smiling.
jm Curley’s kitchen mastermind Samuel Monsour, expert at tapping both your inner class act (caviar service, anyone?) and no-shame junk food aficionado, just so happens to be an eternal Wu fan. When it came time to update Sammy’s 7 — a specials board of seven plates with rotating themes — the stars aligned.
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“I think somebody said it as a joke to me because they knew how much I love them,” Monsour says when we meet him in jm Curley’s basement kitchen (he shows us a personal playlist aptly dubbed, "Now That’s What I Call Wu-Tang" before we head back upstairs.) “They were probably kidding, but it planted something in my brain.”
Challenge accepted. Over the past few weeks, Monsour scoured his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Wu and stressed over incorporating a quote from all nine members into the seven items.
“The first thing I did was write down every single quote I could think of that might be pertinent,” he says. “I was thinking about doing something around a honey-dipped blunt, because RZA smoked honey-dipped blunts at the Wu mansion and transformed into Bobby Digital, you know? But, there was a lot of stuff like that that didn’t make the cut.”
What did make the cut is a selection of items that would make even the most die-hard Wu-Tang devotee blush with pleasure, and the most snobbish and starving food geek drool.
“I’ve always cooked listening to Wu-Tang, because when I was 13 and a dishwasher in my dad’s restaurant, the guys always listened to them in the kitchen,” he explains. “Since then it’s been a weird, comforting thing to listen to them when I cook. It brings me back to my roots and my early adolescence and all that.”
“I’m just so excited that it came through and doesn’t suck,” he adds, laughing. “If I had tried to do this and it had sucked, instead of paying homage, I would have just been an a--hole.”
Peep the menu:
36 oz. of Death Burger ($36)
“I got mouths to feed, unnecessary beef is more cows to breed.” — GZA
→ C.R.E.A.M cheese, roasted shitakes, red curry ketchup, pickled scallions and tons of fries
“Morning Star Reggie makin’ go good with the GRITS” — Masta Killa
“Poppin’ SHRIMP with it, whatever pimp did it” — Raekwon ($12)
→ Beer-battered shrimp and grits with Holy Trinity remoulade
“Chicken & Broccoli Wallies lookin’ stinky with his man straight from Raleigh-Durham” — Ghostface Killa ($15)
→Chicken and broccoli stir-fry risotto with fried egg
Dirt Dog [RIP] ($8)
→ with government cheese sauce, malt liquor mustard, Staten Island chili, 24K gold leaf and “Ooh baby I like it RAW” onions
“N—as is foul, and it’s DUCK season!” — Method Man ($9)
→ Crispy duck spring rolls with sweet and sour dipping sauce
“Caramel Pecan Sundae Praline” — RZA ($7)
→ Pecan pound cake, caramel, banana brulée, vanilla ice cream, pralines
“I sang a song from Sing Sing, sippin’ on ginseng” — U-God (free!)
→ Ginseng popcorn
The Wu Tang menu is available until Aug. 17 at jm Curley, 21 Temple Place, Boston.jmcurleyboston.com