after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Fall Fits Cochon like a Pigskin Glove

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a says: October 2011, Dinner, Party of 3. My mother was in town, so we wanted a nice dinner out but nothing too expensive. This likely meant byob and unfussy food. v and I have hit most of these places in Old City several times and wanted to show my Mom something new. I narrowed it down to two finalists, Chloe and Cochon, and after some debate, we decided on Cochon since they recently switched to a fall menu. (I realize Cochon is not located in Old City but it was close enough for our purposes, and more importantly, it never disappoints.) Readers of adsz are already familiar with our (a, v, t, g, and kp) amorous relationship with Cochon’s brunch but we felt their dinner service deserved some love, also.

Holy flying pigs did they deliver. We arrived to find the place almost empty, not a complete surprise on a weekday but undeserved considering the Cochon experience. There are always a few menu additions so we waited to hear those before making a final decision – v and I were leaning toward pork (duh) and my mother, toward escargots and gnocchi. The specials for the night only confirmed our initial inklings of pork and snail-filled bliss. Among the important information provided by our waitress was this lovely nugget: for $30, a patron could have 3 courses and a complimentary beer. OH. MY. GOD. Each course’s options were limited to a few dishes, but get this, escargots were a first course option and PORK BELLY (t’s “Pork Caps”) was a second course option, even though it wasn’t on the menu. After dinner, I sent t the picture below and this tidbit: “Yeah, that’s right, the PORK BELLY dish is in full effect @ Cochon… and it was amazing.” (update: It looks like the $30 prix fixe menu is only for October, their anniversary month, so get on over!)

My mother ordered the fried oysters and the vegetarian gnocchi, an off-menu option, which comes with roasted vegetables. I went with the $30 prix fixe and chose the escargot, PORK BELLY, and poor boy dessert (and Great Lakes Burning River pale ale). v only ordered an entree, slow-cooked suckling pig, since we knew a lot of food was on its way. Cochon is never one to be fussy with plating but everything looked lovely when it came to the table and the flavors soared from there.

"PORK BELLY"

All protein was cooked perfectly, with the PORK BELLY soft and tender less the crispy, crunchy skin. The sleeper dish of the night was definitely my mom’s gnocchi which had the perfect pillow-y consistency paired with harmonious flavors. v has had her share of homemade gnocchi and has even made some herself – none have compared to the consistency of these light, fluffy, tender gnocchi. The fried oysters with fennel were somehow light (for the night) and refreshing, and the escargots were solid.  A slight edge for escargot flavor might go to Bibou but the surrounding pancetta, garlic-butter sauce at Cochon made us ask for extra bread to sop-up every last bit.

One knock on the meal from v, the lentils under her pork were “overpoweringly” salty and did not compare to the tour de force that are Bibou lentils. We ended with the poor boy dessert which was some mix of bacon ice cream, shortbread, and caramel gooeyness served warm in a ramekin. This was better than I expected as I don’t think of Cochon as a dessert place, and put a smile on each of our faces. v thinks this dessert was reminiscent, but not as delectable as the caramel budino at Barbuzzo.

I went with a Graf Hardegg “Vom Schloss” Riesling 2008 which I thought could hold-up to pork while matching well with the appetizer options. We’ve had this in the past and it has always served us well with its medium body, off-dry crispness. The apple and citrus flavors cut through the richness of the pork and escargots. The Great Lakes pale ale was a nice treat to start dinner and clear the palate. Oink.

t says:  Loving the Pork Caps.

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

27 October 2011 at 12:08am

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