Before I begin… I had an awesome blog written for this. It was long and hilarious and had a really good intro. This was yesterday. Somehow from yesterday to today it has vanished into thin air. SAD. So ya’ll will have to make-do with a second draft from memory… or just re-written actually since I kind of write as I think. Who knows, maybe this one will turn out better than yesterday’s.
I heard about this Telepan dinner through Serina, she had just visited the restaurant and heard about the Mangalitsa dinner. SO armed with green eyeshadow [it was St. Pattys Day afterall] We had reservations at 7 and I was meeting Z there after work [both of us coming from different locations] Weaving through traffic with a road raged taxi driver is a little freaky… but it got me to the other side a lot faster than I expected.
It was really nice outside that day, sunny and pretty warm – I got there with a few minutes to spare. Woooo!!! This picture was taken after the dinner :]
But it all started with this:
SURPRISE!!! Z surprised me with a cute cupcake!!! Yep, a delicious super cute St Pattys Magnolia cupcake. It was a tasty amuse to our meal ;D I feel bad, I’d been cheating on them since their popularity boom back in 2003 or so from Sex and the City… with Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Buttercup Bake Shop. All which are delicious, but now that I’ve come back to Magnolia I realized that they’re not as sweet as the others – really fresh and fluffy :] I like I like. And I got a cute green [ring] edition to add to my St Pattys Day outfit.
MMMMMM so many dishes showcasing the beautiful hairy Mangalitsa. SO, for all of you who don’t know what a Mangalitsa pig is – MAN-GA-LEEEEET-ZA – it’s this fat hairy ugly [well actually kind of cute in the ugly sort of way] pig. It’s hair is curly and resembles a sheep – tee hee…
Photo Source: Village Voice
Cute right? So this big was originally bred to be a lard pig. Basically, a pig to fatten up just for their lardo. But since people don’t use piggie fat as much anymore, it’s considered more “rare”. It’s got really little lean meat so it makes it super juicy, tender and fatty. SO delicious….. :D There, now go get some Mangalitsa in your belly NOW!
Breads/Rolls – 7 grains, semolina anddddd something else… heheheheThey were cold and okay…. not very fluffy hahaha – I asked the bread guy for THREE for us and he freaked out.. but what’s wrong with THREE for EACH of us?!?!!.. but it we split the three for both of us. Wait that makes sense right? NOTHING wrong with eating a lot of bread tho… I’ve done it over and over and over again…. remember Maze?
After trying numerous tastes of different bottles of wine we finally settled on this one, a safe bet. We tried everything from Italian to Australian to Spanish.. sigh* They all tasted sort of bleh and icky to me… especially their reccomendations [oops, I’m wine picky] but this was good :] Yum, but better WITH food.
bacon infused bourbon sour [with real egg white]
Really smoky flavor and really strong. Didn’t taste the bacon but just the smoke to it. Tasted better with the amuses.. a bit too strong for me on it’s own :] Altho I had half leftover after I ate all of my amuses, so down the hatch it went anyways. Gulp :D
donut with lardo, insider & out; fried tete; split pea soup with hock; crispy bittys
My eyes were alll about staring at that cute little glimmering donut.
donut with lardo, inside and out
They even spelled it the right way [New England girl at heart, Dunkin Donuts lover, doughnuts will be forever spelled D-O-N-U-T-S :D] Yes, you heard me right a muthafugging LARDO DONUT!!!… Lardo INSIDE, fried IN lardo with a thin gorgeous layer of lardo on top. HEAVENLY. I’ve had Mangalitsa lardo before [Z and I bought some at Eataly awhile back] and it’s hardcore stuff. This was amazing.
I’m sorry. But. This was the worst head I’ve ever had [that’s what HE said, snicker] okay but seriously. I LOVE pig’s head. Tender, juicy, melt in your mouth. This had a sort of off-taste and it was really dry. You don’t need to fry tete, it’s beautiful on it’s own. I think the frying and breading sort of covers it up as well…. I will always go to Chef Bobby for my piggie head [speaking of which I had it Sunday at brunch!!!]
split pea soup with hock
I have a confession, I’ve never ordered split pea soup before. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever really had it. [Same with tomato soup, altho concept wise I’m more of a tomato soup fan] This was salty, dense… and well… wasn’t my thang. It was too thick, I tend to like clear soups unless it’s my beloved New England Clam Chowdahhh… but I liked the salty hock bits, so bacon like, so I ate those, had a few licks of the soup [so not sippable] and called it a day.
And then for the best dish of the night.. which is funny since it was the simplest
What is crispy bittys you say? Looks like rice krispies cereal from afar, no? Why it’s fried piggie skin!!! Yep!!! A bowl of pure heavenly salty crunchies…. think smashed FRESHLY made pork rinds… yep… IN LOVE
crispy bittys aka piggie skin cereal ♥ swoonI could eat a bowl of this everyday. Who woulda thunk that the BEST dish at a Mangalitsa pig dinner would be this… simple and sweet. But then again, why wouldn’t it? Fried skin is amazing!!!!
bratwurst, blood pudding & kielbasa
I think I liked this one most out of the three, Z liked the kielbasa the best… but the overall spices and texture was good.
As you guys may have noticed by now, I can eat almost anything. Even with goat cheese, I dislike the stuff but I eat it. Lamb, not a fan but I’ll still try it and have enjoyed some of it. Yep, two biggest enemies. But I love blood, adore blood sausages… I freaking eat/drink blood soup and eat cubes of blood and grilled blood cakes… but this was seriously disgusting. I don’t remember the last time I spit something out…
I would say this was my favorite sausage of the night but the sausage texture itself was off – the flavors were banging though. It was a bit on the dry side… come on man, fatty piggie needs fatty sausages :D
scrapple, canadian bacon, sunnyside egg & maple
This was another one of the favorites of the night. I love breakfast, I love perfectly fried eggs and I love sweet and salty foods. Perfectly balanced. Oh I also love maple syrup… hahaha.. the canadian bacon was kind of flimsy but thumbs up to the scrapple [which is the cut off discarded scraps and trimmings of a piggie… add some flour and cornmeal and then congealed, sliced and panfried] This was all atop a fluffy pancake soaked in pig juices and maple syrup NOM!
strozzapreti, greens & robiola
Strangely enough this wasn’t that great. The best part of the dish was, well, the pasta, NOT the pig. Which is sad because the meal was supposed to showcase the pig. The pig was a little dry and almost gamey tasting [which I kind of expected but didn’t since it was the special Mangalitsa]
pork belly confit
monkfish, red wine, & white beans
This was amazing. The frisee and the tangy red wine vinaigrette balanced perfectly with the super fatty piece of pork belly underneath the monkfish. Monkfish itself is delicious…. it was cooked amazing and paired beautiful with FATTINESS <3 I’m a HUGE fan of pork belly and eat it at home [mommy makes it SO good…] at least once or twice a week – I know it’s SO bad for my cholesterol probably… good thing I’m super ADD/active
roasted potato, sunchokes, scallions & roasted skin sauce
The pig was soooo tender it reminded me and Z of a veal… the sauce was a bit salty [but I always think things are too salty, I’m getting used to it..] but the meat was delicious. What the freak is roasted skin sauce? I don’t care, it’s delicious.
my one gripe, aside from saltiness… the potatoes were WAY overcooked *shame*
apple pie crescents
cinnamon caramel, bacon ice cream & bacon bits
This was delicious. I wanted more apple in my crusts but it was a great way to end the meal. The ice cream was bacon-y and heavenly. Memories of Baconfest 2010 and excitement for the 2011 coming up in April got my heart a flutter while I had this. Perfection.
And of course ending the night with some complimentary, but delicious, macaroons :D Always have room for dessert… ALWAYS!!!
All in all it was a good meal. I just wish that the pig was more of the main focus.. I think they weren’t trying to go super hardcore [like my Foie dinner at Primehouse] with the piggie… but come on… it’s all about the pig man.. especially having gone to so many main animal focused events/dinners this was a little disappointing. [s]wine Dinner at Resto was amazing. And I will never forget Baconfest 2010 and that pig’s head and piggie tails from Craigie.
We ended the night celebrating with … people who were still functional and semi-sober for St. Pattys day :]