LAGO's Monthly "Nose to Tail" Dinners: Dig the Pig!
Taking a whole pig as an example: from a fried pig's tail to roasted whole head, with dishes of grilled heart, fried sweetbreads (thymus glands), to liver, trotters and other offal, along with the prime cuts of ribs and chops. As someone once said, "We use everything but the pig's squeal." LAGO has been having a series of whole-animal dinners on that last monthly Thursday, with five course 'nose-to-tail' prix-fixed dinners. On the 27th, he tells me, he will be using a Durazo Farm milk-fed suckling pig. ("Praise the lard," was his humorous expression, adding, "I love all things pork, kind of swine and wine or 'Dig the Pig.'" Funny, charming guy who is a Michelin-star chef from his former restaurant in Veneto.) He told me that the suckling pig he uses was humanely raised and sourced locally. In addition, his menu, which offers his Northern Italian interpretations of seasonal dishes, features fresh produce from the Santa Monica Farmer's market down the street. He offered me a copy of the March 27 menu and I pass it along to those Huffington readers who are hungry and curious enough to join me. The Antipasto will be a marinated and roasted pork tenderloin, with a baby frisee salad and horseradish sauce. The Primo course is a taste of Spiced Ground Pork, a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt, all atop a bowl of rigatoni. The Piatto di Mezzo is a soup of pork shoulder, broccolini, roasted shallots atop wild rice. The SECONDO (main) course is Porchetta, slices of the slow-cooked pig, sprinkled with fennel pollen, with baby carrots and pink lady apples. The Dolce (sweet) course is organic vanilla gelato, with organic Pudwill Farm's strawberries.
In February I attended a dinner on that particular night and we dined on wild boar from Texas. It was a feral wild boar which was trapped in the wild and processed exclusively under the Durham Ranch label. I found the meat to be nutty, sweet and earthy... high in protein and low in fat. Starting at 7 p.m., the room was abuzz with excitement. I sat at the communal table in the center of the room, 14 happy people who obviously had been to one of these dinners before. The five-course menu costs $49 (not including tax and gratuity) and you can do a free-flowing house wine addition for just $18. (There's also a premium wine pairing for $28, but I passed on that.) Chef has just emailed me that his April 30th dinner with feature 'Nose to Tail' Lamb, and in May he will change course with Halibut. Like I said, my last-of-the-month Thursdays are now taken to the foreseeable future. Reservations for the special dinners are required, at 310-451-3525.
See full article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jay-weston/lagos-monthly-nose-to-tai_b_4950278.html