Fine dining chefs going (somewhat) more casual has been trending for awhile. For example, The French Laundry legend Thomas Keller has opened a string of Bouchon bistros and Bouchon Bakeries. In San Francisco, one of his disciples, Benu chef-owner Corey Lee, added Monsieur Benjamin, an industrial chic French brasserie in Hayes Valley, in 2014, complete with a fashionable fox logo, and if you’re lucky, a knockout pork special.
During a recent dinner at Monsieur Benjamin, my server recited several verbal specials. He said the kitchen had been working their way through a special pig, and asked if we might be interested in a pork duo. Yes! The plate he delivered later in the meal featured slices of roasted pork leg and a meaty slab of sautéed belly plated on an array of market beans – cranberry, wax, haricot vert and black – tossed with crumbles of house-made garlic sausage. Better yet, the plate can with a pitcher of rich, sticky pork jus. Basically, this was a deconstructed cassoulet, only suitable for summer instead of a blustery winter night.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.