Ludo Pops Up in the Triangle
The N&O announced that Ludo Lefebvre was operating a "pop up" restaurant at Gravy in Raleigh for 4 nights. Ludo's work came to broader notice when he was on Top Chef Masters a few years ago.
We're heading out of town this weekend or we'd head over to Raleigh to check this out. His style of cooking is right up my alley based on the menu at the above link.
Who' among us is going to go? I look forward to following the experience here.
This was a great event - excellent food. Wasn't able to try everything on the menu, but here's my rundown on what I had:
Fried Pig's Ear - very good. similar flavor to pork rinds and served with an awesome chili lime mayo for dipping. First time having fried ear, have only had braised before - still think it's an underrated part of the hog. Pairs perfectly with an IPA.
Blood pudding - Reminded me of a pate. Served with blackberries, blueberries, green apples and purple chips. Needed the berries and apples for texture. Very rich, low iron-y flavor (which I liked) with a deep, earthy taste. First time having blood pudding and I wouldn't hesitate to order again.
Head cheese - If you like souse, you'd have loved this b/c it was more pork - less vinegar. Served cold. Would love this on a sandwich.
Pork belly - need I say more? served with cole slaw, potatoes, smoked eel and mustard ice cream. Pork belly and mustard ice cream are a match made in heaven. This was simply ridiculous.
Bacon/vanilla creme brulee - not bad but not really my thing. Most others loved it. Ran out of the other dessert so I went with this one. Too much smoke IMO. Would have preferred it with a sweeter bacon. Definitely original though.
Ludo was out and about all night with the film crew. Super nice guy who was genuine and made time for all the guests.
I wasn't that impressed but still enjoyed myself. My brother and I split everything on the menu, and we liked the head cheese, pork belly, and poached egg the best. I liked the bacon creme brulee, but my brother didn't.
I think Chef Ludo spent the week before the event cooking with barbecue masters and trying to figure out how to incorporate those flavors into his food. I think he succeeded, but to me the problem is that those flavors are bold and coarse (I don't mean this as an insult at all), thus inherently contradictory to the subtle flavors that often characterize French cuisine. Not sure if anybody else that went felt this way.
Regardless, we had a great time and got to meet Chef Ludo, who seems like a genuinely cool person that loves people and food.