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Ravenous Pig Part 2

l
LargeLife Oct 14, 2008 06:25 AM

My wife and I were up in the Orlando area (again) and made our second visit to the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. Our economy might suck and badly but on a Thursday night this place was packed out and that's great to see!

Our second visit was the same as our first - spectacular! We had lunch there the first time and it was great. We went for dinner this time around with the same great results. We enjoyed the Shrimp & Grits as our appetizer. It employed thick, tasty grits, large pieces of shrimp and the grits were infused with oil pressed from chorizo - extremely tasty. On top of the grits was a sweet, zesty sausage which really made this dish a treasure and one which could have been a great meal (in a larger portion).

My wife enjoyed their snapper dish which was covered in a spicy and onion salsa of sorts and it was sinfully delicious. I decided on the grilled duck breast with carmelized baby brussel sprouts. It's been years since I've ordered duck and this was a bit of reach as I was deciding between the Steak & Frietz. But our knowledgeable server gently pushed me towards the duck after a brief conversation and it turned out to be a great choice. The breast was seared on the outside, incredibly tender on the inside and the carmelized baby brussel sprouts brought an unexpected sweetness to the dish. It was nothing short of outstanding.

Of course we finished off the dish with their famous Pig Tails which are like warm churros with a warmed dark chocolate dipping sauce - another sinfully delicious creation. We also ordered another dessert which wasn't particularly great and was deleted from my mind after such a great second experience.

I liken Ravenous Pig to Michael's Genuine here in Miami. Both have great chefs and interesting menus and with wonderful results. The difference here is service. The service at TRP is warm, friendly and sincere while the folks at Michael's make you feel lucky just to have a chance at getting a seat. The only drawback at TRP is that it's loud and that's due to poor acoustics.

EMac

  1. d
    digyourself Apr 19, 2009 07:58 AM

    My girlfriend and I had an amazing meal at the Ravenous Pig last night.

    Started off sharing an bowl of amazing asparagus soup. The rich but mellow flavor of the soup itself was enhanced by a dollop of lemon creme fraiche in the center. A small bit of pickled ramp added an amazing little kick to the whole dish.

    The charcuterie and cheese plate was great. The 2 cheeses were perfect as were the duck sausage, sopresatta and pork and potato turine. The real star of the plate happened to be the amazing house made pickles at the center of the plate. The acidity worked perfectly to cut all of the fat happening on that plate. Such a simple thing yet done so well and with such consideration for the rest of the dish.

    My girlfriend had the perfectly cooked porcini marinated flat iron steak and frites. A great version of a classic dish.

    My dish, however, was quite amazing. Listed on the menu as Veal Parmesan, it was a bowl of firm house made cavatelli pasta and greens in an amazingly tasty parmesan broth. On top of the pasta sat 2 beautifully fried veal sweetbreads topped with a tomato jam. While quite a departure from your traditional Veal Parm, all of the components on this dish came together to conjure everything great about it. The tomato jam, parmesan broth and fried sweetbreads worked so beautifully together.

    We finished off with a perfect little chocolate caramel tart served with malt ice cream. The desert was quite good and I had a few bites more than I thought I could have after that amazing meal.

    I wholeheartedly recommend this place to anyone searching for an elegant meal made with the best ingredients by a clearly thoughtful Chef and their staff. All of that food, 2 excellent local microbrews and a glass of port with desert all came in at just under $100. Well worth it. I've payed much more for far less.

    3 Replies
    1. re: digyourself
      l
      LargeLife Apr 19, 2009 06:06 PM

      Glad you liked it! I travel alot on business and have the opportunity to eat at many wonderful restaurants and TRP is one of the most enjoyable places I've been to in the past couple of years. The food is fantastic, the servers are young but knowledable and it's a neat part of Orlando.

      EMac

      1. re: digyourself
        m
        mikek Apr 20, 2009 11:14 AM

        I enjoyed a lunch meal here last week while in town for the Widespread Panic shows. My roommate and I split a few things. We sat at the tables by the bar and enjoyed great conversation with Larry their bartender about their beer program, microbrews making hteir way to Florida and how they get access to such amazing specialty/limited edition kegs. I had a pint of brown ale that was made in the Brooklyn Brewery beermaster's series and it was AWESOME.

        On to the food. We started with the deviled eggs, which were delicious, and the pretzel, which was a good hangover food but did not love. The mustard was excellent, though the (I believe) tallegio cheese fondue fell a bit flat for this purpose.

        We next had the lobster tacos, lightly fried lobster, homemade tortillas, cilantro/guac crema and pickled jalapenos - outstanding dish. Lightly friend and though simple, every flavor enhanced all of the others. The batter was light and the homemade tortillas made a world of difference.

        We also split the smoked bbq pork sandwich. This one was the winner. A heap of slow smoked pork, in a delicious homemade mustard based bbq sauce with fried onion on top. This one was a special but should be a staple.

        We finished off with the pigs tails for dessert, which were perfect for the daytime, not too rich and the espresso in the chocolate sauce really came through in a great way.

        Great restaurant, great service, great food - one of the most enjoyable meals I have had in a while. Now if we could only get one in Miami...

        1. re: mikek
          Icantread Apr 20, 2009 12:21 PM

          hear, hear!

          This restaurant is GREAT! simple menus, not so simple food. Everything I had there last visit (New Years) was phenomenal, after hearing about it so frequently on Chow. Nice cocktails, great food, great selection. It's been put into our regular Orlando rotation.

          side note: we really did not enjoy the tails AT ALL - the only downside to an otherwise great experience.

      2. f
        FloridaE46 Oct 14, 2008 06:36 AM

        My first time to TRP was last Wednesday, I have to say I was blown away. My date and I started off with the infamous gruyere biscuits, then I found out she's allergic to eggs, followed by the Florida Pompano (me) and the Steak & Frietz (her). WOW.
        When I visit Manhattan I usually frequent The Spotted Pig which is the place TRP was inspired by and I have to say that TRP is spot on (no pun intended).

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