Porkis in extremis
Got out today and had a much, much better ride this afternoon. Then again, after yesterday’s debacle that wasn’t too hard to do now that I think about it. Did a fairly pacy (for me at least) 26 miles at just above 14 mph. This was a pretty solid calorie burn off, and it was definitely needed b/c tonight was my official birthday dinner at Ravenous Pig.
I will warn you from the outset, Ravenous Pig is easily my favorite restaurant in Orlando, so take my ravings with the grain of salt (smoked sea salt in this case) that every fan boys’ raving deserves. Let me see though if I can accurately convey the extreme tastiness that is the Rav Pig experience.
Ravenous Pig bills itself as a “Gastropub” (a moniker made famous by The Spotted Pig in New York). Gastropubs present an upgraded and adventurous take on traditional pub fare, often by upping the ante with organic or locally sourced ingredients. Ravenous Pig takes this approach in all facets of their service, right down the bar menu.
Started the evening off at the bar with a “Ravenous Pig Old Fashioned,” which has bacon fused bourbon, maple syrup and bitters. Yes, you read that correctly, bacon fused bourbon. And not just any bacon, but their house made smoked bacon. See proof below:
The bacon adds a salty, smoking flavor to the drink, and offsets the bourbon well. Not something that I’d have more than one of, but a nice start to the evening while we waiting for our table.
Next up is a basket of House-made Gruyere Biscuits, with smoked sea salt butter. These biscuits are flaky, packed with cheese, and quite frankly, one of the best things you will ever eat – like eating love distilled into biscuit form. Bow to this photo, you are probably not worthy to gaze directly at it.
For starters, I went with a Duck PotPie. In retrospect this may not have been the smartest choice given my pork fat cocktail and biscuit with 6 pounds of cheese and the entree that I knew I was going to order, but one does not think rationally at the Pig. And I regret not a bite. The Duck PotPie has acrispy philo (Phyllo? does it matter)-type crust topping a mixture of duck confit and root vegetables. It is every bit as rich and delicious and artery clogging as it sounds.
After a glass of water and an angioplasty (ok, maybe that didn’t happen), they brought out my entree, which I thought was going to be a pork porterhouse, but turned out to be an entire Thanksgiving turkey (ok, that’s not true either, but I am quite sure families have feasted well on Thanksgiving on birds smaller than this):
Unfortunately that’s a little hard to see, but it’s a cutting board with a Berkshire Pork Porterhouse, easily 2 inches thick and seared to perfection, a serving of caramelized onion and maitake mushroom bread pudding, and a “garlic confit.” Fabulous.
Not content with merely ruining my good calorie work on the bike earlier today, we decided to split a dessert just to make sure that the corpse of my exercise bounty was well and truly bludgeoned. Hey, at least we split one. Unfortunately they had run out of our first choice, a lemon sabayon tart, but our substitute of apple fritters with a 4 ounce cinnamon milkshake was more than enough of a consolation. Don’t ya think?
I could write about how good The Pig is all night, but unfortunately I think I may be suffering the onset of a pork coma. Needless to say, you need to go here. And soon. It is actually possible to go here and eat a light, healthy meal. I just don’t recommend it – go whole hog (bad enough pun for ya?).