Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Black Pig

Tuesday's review was less than flattering, so I want to switch gears and share my experiences with a new favorite-- The Black Pig in Ohio City. The newly opened restaurant is from Chef Michael Nowak (formally of Bar Cento and Market Garden Brewery), and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. I've enjoyed two wonderful dinners, and a recent brunch at this spot, so it's time to stop keeping this place a secret from you.
"R" and I went in a couple of months ago for dinner, and enjoyed pork three ways that night. The pork belly appetizer was cooked to perfection, and had a crispy crust to it but yet melted in my mouth like butter. Pork belly should never really need a knife. We also had the cassoulet (which had several different pork products, and the chef had been preparing it for two days before it landed on the specials menu), and the pork tenderloin special that evening. The cassoulet was my favorite, by far. It was packed with flavor, and perfect comfort food for an unusually chilly night. The pork tenderloin was seasoned and cooked well, but not memorable.

My second dinner there was with some good friends, and I ordered the Simple Salad with greens, radish, and a lemon and tarragon vinaigrette. Nothing special here, but a nice light salad to start the meal. For my entree, I had the Pan Seared Scallops that were served with kale and a small portion of risotto that night. For the price, I was surprised to receive five large scallops. That's almost unheard of, and they had a perfect sear and translucent center to them. Another great meal!

Then, "R" and I ended up there for Sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago. The brunch menu is not posted online, and when we arrived we weren't thrilled with the descriptions. There didn't appear to be many "breakfast" options. But we decided to just order three of the small plates to share, and a side of Toast with truffle butter ($4).
Solid toast, but so not worth the price tag.

We tried the Herb Omelette with Fromager d'Affonis and dressed greens ($7). Look at that huge piece of cheese!
The Braised Pork Belly and Egg with potato, fall hash, and hollandaise ($9).
And the Free Range Toad in a Hole with egg, brioche, raclette, and black truffle ($6).
I seriously couldn't pick a favorite dish of these three. I would order any of them again. The menu may have not excited us when we first saw it, but thankfully we were very wrong.

So, after three memorable meals at The Black Pig, I can confidently say that it is quickly becoming my go-to spot for a nice meal in Ohio City. They also have a large bar area that is great for stopping in and having just drinks. Wine on tap (the cool new craze), and a solid list of beer, wine, and cocktails. I almost hate to share this with you, because we've easily been able to make last-minute reservations or just walk in, but do yourself a favor and get your butt there!

Some nay-sayers have voiced that they feel a restaurant named "The Black Pig" doesn't have enough pork on the menu. Well, it's used in at least one dish on almost every section of the menu, there are always nightly dinner specials, and I personally have had pork four ways already. We can agree to disagree. Also, you can't mistake the smell of pork wafting from the kitchen as you dine. The smells become almost overwhelming at times.

Welcome to the neighborhood, The Black Pig! A great addition, in my opinion. I look forward to many more memorable meals there.

The Black Pig
1865 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113


All Lacquered Up said...

That omelette looks amazing. I must get there for brunch, soon!

Anonymous said...

I am all about this! I went to the Emerging Chefs Midnight Brunch and loved everything, especially the pork belly.

I'm coming back for the scallops though after your recommendation!