It’s become increasingly difficult to define The Tasting Kitchen under chef Casey Lane’s watch. What started out as a California influenced Italian restaurant (or was it an Italian influenced California restaurant?) still has both of those hallmarks, but now you’ll also find French influenced fare like guinea fowl and rabbit dishes, probably thanks to GM Francois Renaud. Evolution has served The Tasting Kitchen well. So has Lane’s continued commitment to pork, which manifested itself with a winning starter of Gnocco Fritto.
In Lane’s hands, Gnocco Fritto ($24) consisted of pillowy, deep-fried dough pockets, which resembled savory beignets, minus the powdered sugar, and not greasy in the least. The specialty of Emilia-Romagna comes with a rotating selection of salumi, which during my visit consisted of silky fat-rimmed prosciutto and lonza, glistening slices of cured pork loin. If you’re really going for it, the play is to add burrata, which is creamy, pepper-dusted and finished with olive oil. Tear open a gnocco, cram the core with burrata and salumi, eat and repeat.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.