Friday, March 11, 2011

Oliveto Whole Hog 2011 ****

Highlights were the terrine of pork trotters with spiced fruit compote, the proscuitti and the alla reuben preparation. Last night they were preparing the reuben with shoulder instead of tongue. We also enjoyed the polenta with ragu of pork heart and the chocolate caramel tart.

The presentation of the zampone was fitting for the occasion, cross sections of the leg cut into large rounds of cotecchino wrapped in skin and then one entire trotter -- toes and all on the plate. I liked the flavor of the cotecchino though others were overwhelmed by the fat of the dish and preferred the other items. Same with the gnocco fritto, which highlighted the excellent lardo and guanciale, but was overshadowed by other excellent dishes.

Everything was excellent to very good. This was my first time back since the chef change and it feels like the kitchen hasn't missed a beat. Looking forward to returning for the regular menu.

Crisp terrine of pork trotters with spiced fruit - excellent

Corned pork tongue "alla Reuben" - excellent

Tasting of prosciutti*: Olli Ossabaw, La Quercia acorn-fed Berkshire - excellent

Gnocco fritto: small pillows of fried dough with lardo, guanciale, and pancetta - good

Red Flint polenta with rag├╣ of pork heart - good

Pancetta-fried potatoes - ok

Zampone - trotter stuffed with cotechino - ok

Prosciutto Wrapped Sea Bass - ok

Chocolate Caramel tart w/ candied bacon - excellent

Puff Pastry w/ blood orange and raspberry - good

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