The weekly Friday Pig Roast at the sadly defunct Norman's was always my favorite weekend activity, so when I heard that Bin 8945 would be holding a Caja China Pig Roast on Sundays I secured the first available res I could get hold of. When my regular partner in porkiness bailed on me, I enlisted the help of a man whom I knew would not only embrace the mission at hand but see it through with finesse. Sauce, your fans salute you.
The Pig Roast at Bin consists of a 4 course tasting menu with a set price of $45. They offer a wine pairing for an additional $25, but we opted to share a bottle of Pinot Blanco instead. This wine was crisp with just the right amount of fruit and proved the perfect counterfoil to the rich courses that lay ahead of us.
We started with an amuse of watermelon gazpacho with chive and cucumber, a light and refreshing opener. The next course was an interpretation of a shrimp po' boy, consisting of duck fat fries topped with sauteed shrimp and a remoulade. The fries were the star of this dish, fabulously crisp and rich in comparison to the bright shrimp and the tangy sauce.
Next up was the Puerco Frito, fried porky bits paired with heirloom tomato, guacamole and a crumble of hardboiled egg. I thought the egg was superfluous as it added neither flavor nor much texture to the dish. The pork was deliciously crispy and the accompanying basil oil gave it just the right hint of herbaceousness. We both commented that if we had a massive pile of the pork with a stack of tortillas we'd be in heaven.
The best course of the evening was the roasted pork on potato puree with truffles and fig. The pork was meltingly tender, perfectly sauced and garnished with a satisfying chicharron crisp. I could have eaten plate upon plate of this, but tried to maintain my not-entirely-ladylike dignity. It was difficult to contain myself, but I think I managed to hold it together sufficiently. Nearly.
The last course was a choice of either a creme fraiche panna cotta topped with summer berries or a cheese selection. We opted for one of each to mix and match, and enjoyed a glass of Austrian riesling and a glass of rose to match each of our choices. Both the dessert and the cheeses were superb and I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite.
Towards the end of our meal, our server surprised us with an order of the house special "corn dog", which is actually a piece of pork belly wrapped in caul fat, panko crusted, fried in duck fat and presented on a stick. This was paired with a smoky beer that I cannot adequately describe. To me, it tasted like a fizzy glass of liquid smoke, not quite to my liking but perhaps Sauce can elaborate further. Another surprise came in the form of 2 cupcakes as another gift from the chef, one each in chocolate and vanilla topped with vanilla frosting. A very nice touch despite my repeated failure to blow out the candle.
All in all, I was extremely satisfied with both the meal and the company, and thoroughly enjoyed my evening. Run, don't walk to Bin's Pig Roast, and be sure to take the Sauce along with you. You won't be disappointed.
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