Based on a Chowhound recommendation, my girlfriend and I went to The Ravenous Pig last night, an amazing new "gastropub" that has only been open for about a week. She treated me because she is the best girlfriend ever! Anyway, they are located on Orange Avenue right off Orlando (aka 17-92 or Mills Avenue). It's a beautiful room with a brick wall and warm decor, friendly and helpful waitstaff, and an inspired menu. We loved it, and we definitely intend to go back. This place is a foodie/Chowhound paradise!
The menus change seasonally (and often daily), but you can get an idea of their offerings from the menu on their website, http://www.theravenouspig.com/ . They started us out with these amazing fresh-baked gruyere biscuits that were wonderfully crispy and soft and cheesy, and melted in our mouths. After that, we went with an appetizer of lamb mezze off their separate pub menu, perfectly-seasoned Greek-style lamb meatballs and tender ribs, with cool tzaziki sauce and tomato relish. If the lamb mezze came in a larger portion, I could happily have made a meal just out of these.
Our server sold us on an enthusiastic description of the ribeye for two, which must have been a special that night, because I overheard other servers pitching it as well. We like meat, so we went for it and were happy we did. A GIGANTIC piece of ribeye came out, cut into nice thin slices, perfectly medium-rare, juicy and tender and deep rich pink just how we love it. I can't tell you how many so-called steakhouses can't just cook a piece of meat rare or medium-rare, but The Ravenous Pig put them to shame. The peppery, crispy crust on the outside was great too, and our meals came with fingerling potatoes, a tasty bitter green (possibly endive? I should have made a note of it), a delicious tomato tart with caramelized onions, and bechamel sauce for dipping. The steak, being in the Top Two steaks I've ever eaten in my lifetime (the other being from Del Frisco's), didn't even need the bechamel sauce, but it was nice with the potatoes and greens.
Neither of us were feeling well so we didn't linger for dessert, but the desserts listed on the menu look pretty damn good too. This is a great place, and I can't recommend it highly enough. They have a huge selection of wines and several interesting microbrewed beers on tap -- we don't drink anymore, but I know good beer when I see it! It would be great as a place to bring a date or a family, or even to have a few beers with the guys while enjoying some gourmet (but still manly) food. I can only imagine how awesome their burger is, but you probably can't go wrong with anything.
Starting next Saturday, October 20th, The Ravenous Pig will be doing whole suckling pig roasts behind the restaurant every Saturday from noon to 4 PM, and that should be an amazing experience once the weather starts getting cooler. Check it out soon!
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