Today is Wednesday and this is what happened Tuesday night. It's been a long time since I've blogged so promptly.
What happened was: dinner at the Breslin! The great big gastropub at the Ace Hotel run by the folks behind the Spotted Pig. I met Carol there to celebrate my birthday (just when we all thought that thing was behind us.) The bar portion of the restaurant draws quite the just-off-work crowd on an early Tuesday evening.
Plenty of evidences of the restaurants ancestry as well as what the Breslin intends to serve you.
Looking up at the antiqued ceilings I thought "There's no way Emily (my sister) would eat here" (because she likes her restaurants to be clean)
The Breslin menu is a daunting thing, basically it's a list of snout to tail delicacies you would probably never order if they weren't the only options you had. I knew this headed in and was prepared to step out of my comfort zone but I saw several parties consulting the menu with faces long and worrisome. They must sell so many of its lamb burgers every night as it's the closest thing they have to what the unprepared were expecting.
That said, we started the meal with the grilled asparagus (what was it they were grilled in? I forget, but they had a taste to them . . . a tasty taste beyond that of your standard asparagus) and a beef and stilton pie. Terrific, both of them.
And here's our entree: The (deep-fried) stuffed pig's foot with creme fraiche and spring vegetables.
Let me try to explain . . . the take a section of pig's foot about as long as your arm, take out the bone and the meat, then they grind up the meat with additonal pork meat (shoulder, I believe) and spices then stuff it back into the skin (and fat) of the pig's foot . . . essentially creating a sausage where the pig's foot is the casing. Then they braise it, bread it, and deep fry it and let it rest for a bit ("because it's been through a lot" --I quote our extremely capable waiter). Then it is served on its grand platter to your dropped jaw. The thing is huge! It's listed on the menu as "Stuffed Pig's Foot for Two" but seriously, could definitely feed four.
We could only handle about half of it and then I realized it looked a bit like Totoro or an owl (thanks to its little piggy toes) if you stood it up on its stump.
Not normal, but I found myself thinking it was an awfully cute little guy. He's in my fridge right now, probably he'd freak out my coworkers if I brought him in for lunch but our waiter (so capable) said it's real good with eggs at breakfast. So there we go.
And yes, I noticed that in that paragraph I stopped referring to the foot as an "it" and gave it a gender. I have also been heard to refer to him as "my Pig Buddy."
Dinner completed, stomachs so satisfied we slipped out through the Ace Hotel lobby, probably the most hoppin' spot I've visited in Manhattan in a while and then exited through the gift shop which, in the well-planned and well-executed curating of the Ace's hipness, is an Opening Ceremony.