1 growler East End Brewing
"Big Hop", plus various bottles left over from the holiday seasonCorkage Fee
: $3/personBYO Buzz
: Really cool space, good vibe, and great food. Not for the vegetarian at heart.Atmosphere
: Cozy-farmhouse. Loved the wood and metal feel (and the hidden little pigs everywhere). Open kitchen and coat rack made of what looked like something you might see in an actual slaughterhouse. (hence, the name of this blog was born...)
couldn't be happier the great Lawrenceville expansion keeps moving closer to the East End!Service
: Service was good, we definitely needed a few items on the menu described and our server was very helpful and well educated on the unusual menu.
We had a special treat on this adventure! the husbands joined for the first time ever in BYOBurgh history. Maybe it was the lure of a new spot, specializing in meat?
Salumi-lardo , mortadello , pate Campagnola , ciccioli ,chicken rillettes , cornichon, mustard, red onion
We started with the Salumi appetizer (not to be confused with salami) This was one we needed a little help deciphering the listed cured meats on the chalkboard menu, and even after it came out, we weren't entirely sure what we were eating. But it was good! There was a bologna with pistachios in it, pickled beets and red onions, grainy mustard, whipped pig lard "butter" (which tasted surprisingly light), a classy spam that was made up of "pig parts" (thankfully tasteless since L was a little afraid to try the "parts") oh yeah, and rabbit liver. At least this is what we believe we ate. It was all interesting pretty tasty.
Butternut Squash Soup – Venison chorizo , kale , goat cheese , crispy shallots
Still one of our favorites from the night - a creamy, velvet-y butternut squash soup. perfect thickness for a cold rainy day, huge glob of creamy, rich goat cheese to mix in at your own preference and pieces of kale with just a slight crunch was a great match. It also had a spicy venison chorizo that added a kick to the smooth flavor of the soup. L absolutely loved it and may consider calling it the best butternut squash soup in the "burgh'. Actually has inspired A to attempt to make a butternut squash soup this weekend.... she'll report back if it goes well....
One really neat thing on the soup was the presentation, the goat cheese and kale fixings came in the bowl and our server poured the hot soup from a cool little kettle thing right on top!
A went with the chicken - really good taste, rustic style, with a weird vegetable that tasted a little like mushrooms, but better (in my opinion) Also on a bed of black olive polenta - where i totally lucked out and didn't have to share since no one else at the table liked black olives. And hidden in there were a few cheese curds. all-around, great stuff.
Pork Rib Roast –apple mostarda , salsify, carrot , bacon, maple
L's hubby went with the pork rib roast and when ask to comment on the taste he said that "it tasted like pig". Thanks goodness his wife , with a much more sophisticated palate had a taste. My opinion is that it tasted like ham. Just kidding :) My bite was a very dense and fatty piece of meat slathered in the salsified carrot, bacon and maple. Again, another great flavor combination.
Braised Duck– spaetzle , melted cabbage , mustard, apple
Both L and A's husband went with the duck leg/breast. The duck was fabulous. The duck had a crispy skin that provided a crunch while the duck seemed to melt in you mouth. All who had a taste enjoyed!
Pennsylvania Farmstead Cheeses
chocolate souffle cake with pistachio butter
with one at the table who doesn't like your typical dessert, the cheese plate was a no brainer option, and of course, there's no resisting a chocolate cake either. The cheese plate included 3 types - a soft brie-like cheese (least fav), a harder cheese, and a blue cheese-ish cheese (fav). along with a honeyglaze soaked prunes and almonds.
The cake was superlight and fluffy, with a molten chocolate center. the pistachios butter with sea salt and olive oil was interesting, in color and taste, a little thick and added a lot of rich savory flavor to the dish. another nice taste combo: salty and sweet.
A long time favorite of the groups - our local neighborhood brewery (East End Brewing)'s Big Hop. Perfect mix of crispness and hops. Growler from last year's Steel City Big Pour
, annual event attended by the gang.
SOOOOO to recap we ate numerous animals this night : pig, in almost every form, rabbit, deer, chicken, duck. Needless to say we got our protein in for the day :)