The Pig Dinner at Manresa
Last night and tonight mark the end of a short tradition at Manresa in Los Gatos: the annual Pig Dinner. Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Fox put together an evening of dining on pig last year and again this year.
CASSOULET EN GELEE
butterbean, truffle, pig foie, neck confit
Served in a Martini glass with the confit hiding the pig foie below. Tasty, but a bit big for an amuse.
from laughingstock farm pigs
Four kinds of delicious cured pork salumi.
SALSICCIA DI GRASSO
suckling pig brioche, cherry jam
A delicious piece of buttery toasted brioche with cherry jam and some porky pate.
pickled ramps, tongue dashi
A most aromatic and delicious broth with some cured pork jowl and a carmelized ramp.
various cuts and coatings, pork fat mayo
Self explanatory. My favorite was the "bacon tempura" though the hush puppy, the deep fried shredded pork, and the warm liquid center pork surprise croquette weren't bad, either.
MATZOH BALL SOUP
trotter agnolotti in its consomme
Extremely flavorful and delicious "trotter agnolotti" but a Matzoh Ball is a Matzoh Ball. Inspiration flagged a bit here.
DUO OF SHIRES
yorkshire pudding, Shropshire, chitterlings and dandelion
Clever, those Los Gatans. Yorkshire pudding with blue shropshire cheese, and some delicious pork intestines that had the texture of bread.
burrata, pork fat fries, pepper sauce
Arrgh! Burrata is taking over the world. Good thing. Praise be. Pork fat fries were pretty good, too. Glad they weren't served with the Pork Mayo (see above)
porcini duxelle, madeira, wild asparagus
A pork scallopini rolled around the aspargus to make "Scallopini Spring Rolls" The porcini were aromatic and flavorful, and you can buy your own wild asparagus at Far West Fungi in the Ferry Building
SLOW HAM AND EGG
anson grits, collards, blue bottle red eye gravy
Just what it says, and delicious. For those of you that don't know, 'red eye gravy' is pan drippings and coffee. "Blue Bottle Red Eye Gravy"???
BACON CREAM-FILLED DOUGHNUTS
maple ice cream
Just what it says. The maple ice cream had real bacon bits in it.
flavors of mole, blood pudding
Flavors of mole meant a bit of hot peppers with the chocolate. Not my favorite, but a nice creative end to a superb meal.
Good luck Jeremy! We'll miss you!
re: Navin R Johnson
re: Paul H
You are correct, there will be no meat at Ubuntu
It makes some sense for the chef's long term goals. Working at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant is an excellent way to hone specific skills. When you can't "fall back" on pork and chicken stock, you must develop an in depth understanding of fruits and vegetables.
I went last night and it was definitely an interesting experience! Not everything was my cup of tea but I was glad to have gone. My favorites: the guanciale, deep-fried shredded pork, liquid center square, duo of shires, and bacon cream donuts. Some misses (for me): the sausages (weren't very special), agnolotti (had much better ones at Perbacco a few days earlier), morcilla (despite multiple tries, I'm just not a fan of blood), and the scallopini (the meat was dry, though everything else on the plate was delicious).
We also had the standard wine pairing, which at $85/person seemed to be overpriced for what we had. Were glad not to have gone for the premium pairing at $150/pp. Dinner itself was $125/pp.
Had the dinner on Tuesday. The ham and egg was amazing, or at least, the egg and grits with red eye gravy were amazing. Also loved the desserts, particularly the chocolate mousse with its contrasts of sweet, salt, and spicy. Some of the other dishes didn't quite do it for me, e.g. the fritto misto was heavy and uninspiring, the matzo ball was bland. Overall, an interesting experience.