Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Massive Pork Feast

Friends and I were treated to a wonderful meal this past Sunday.  Thanks to our friend chef Chris Turner we got a decadent meal prepared specifically for our group by himself and owner/ chef Rob Levitt.  The tone of the evening was set when we started with a bottle of 2002 Mandois Blanc de Blanc Premeir Cru that I brought that paired perfectly with some of the more exceptional pork cracklin' I've ever had (there were two wonderful sauces, a beer mustard and harissa).  We then went on to a smattering of charcuterie, from a sinful chicken liver pate to a wonderfully rustic cicioli.  All, of course, made in house. This is especially fun for me, because it's always good to get another perspective on curing meat and talk techniques.

Chris realy loves using his tagines and so he prepared two for us. Steak and Kidney Tagine with spring vegetables, potatoes, mustard greens, and silverbeet greens and a Vegetable Tagine with eggplant, spring vegetables, spinach, silver beet greens, and preserved lemon.  This was all paired with Citrus couscous and House-made rustic Moroccan seseame bread.

Next we had a whole grilled Walleye stuffed with almonds, medjool dates, rice, greens, and ginger that was wrapped in House-made bacon, and caul fat.  This was a stunning sight and they did an excellent job with both preparation and presentation.  They brought out the whole fish and then divided it in to appropriate tasting portions for us.  The smokey pork balanced very well with the firm flesh of the walleye, of course I've always been a big advocate of swine and seafood.

The highlight was the last course.  A whole roasted pig's head with onion and garlic puree in the eye sockets. Crispy pork brain fritters served over the eye sockets and house-made corn bread.  Holy fucking shit, this was one of the more impressive dining experiences I've had in a restaurant.  So many different textures and flavors and everything was so...porky.  The tongue and the spinal meat were some of te highlights, although I was a huge fan of the brain fritters.  This animal was certainly not killed in vain.  I could go on forever about this, but I'll just finish this by saying you should go to Mado if you ever have the opportunity.

Oh yeah and there was dessert, which was good, but after a whole roasted pig's head how can one focus on sweet.  I walked out in a state of delirium.  Some of the other wine highlights included a bottle of Pyramid Valley Cabernet Franc that I brought back from New Zealand and then a wonderful 1995 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf that Rob brought.  However, the winner was also from Rob's cellar and was a bottle of 2001 Remelluri Rioja.