In the world of food writing, it’s often best to reserve judgment until you absolutely don’t have a choice. That’s the reason my 2010 Best of Food GPS list didn’t appear until January 2, 2011. My hope was that the year’s final meals would also yield dividends, and that certainly turned out to be the case. Along the same lines, when my friend Adam asked which dish would be this week’s pick for Dose of Vitamin P, on Saturday afternoon, it was uncertain. After all, my stomach (and mind) still had to contend with three-and-a-half days of possible pork consumption. That said, on Saturday night, there was little doubt that I would eventually write about the pork three ways that appeared before me at The Tasting Kitchen in Venice.
Chef Casey Lane and his crew have become known for whole-animal butchery, seasonal ingredients and an ever-evolving menu. During my latest trip to the bar, moments before I departed for a dinner party, General Manager Saul Germaine surprised me with a plate of pork. He said they just got in a pig the day before, broke it down and started to serve it. Despite the untold culinary treasures that awaited at the nearby party, it was impossible to resist his porcine gift. The Porkstravaganza involved a single pork rib, rosy slices of pork loin and a coarse pork sausage called cotechino, crafted from shoulder meat. The hog meat was all incredibly juicy, sopping with pork jus, served with tiny salt roasted potatoes, firm apple chunks and vinegar-licked cabbage. Germaine paired the pork with a glass of 2008 Listan Blanco, an aromatic, golden-hued wine from the Canary Islands, culled from vines grown amidst 80 mph winds. Unfortunately, due to the nature of The Tasting Kitchen’s menu, there’s no guarantee that this dish is still on the menu, or will ever appear again.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.