Vermonters: go eat there.
OK, that's the most important part of the review. Prohibition Pig recently opened in the space The Alchemist used to occupy before Tropical Storm Irene. They've hit the ground running; my wife and I ate there the second week they were open and it's STILL difficult to get a table. They specialize in smoked meats, and living just down the street I can testify that I am about 10% hungrier all the time if the wind from that smoker is blowing right.
We started with an appetizer of fried pimiento cheese with red pepper jelly. The crumb coating was a bit messy and they could have done with maybe another 30 seconds in the fryer; still, we scarfed them down quickly. The combination of rich cheese, crunchy breading, and the sweet jelly was a welcome, unexpected contrast. For a main course, I got the beef brisket sandwich with fried onions. Just . . . fantastic. I grew up in north Louisiana and the only brisket I ever had that beat this one came from an old Texan at a family reunion. My wife got the Carolina-style pulled pork with a vinegary sauce and a great, slow-building heat. She's diabetic and can't eat starchy side orders. She was pleasantly surprised to find a real choice of vegetable options. Blackened green beans and roasted brussel sprouts, both simple but well-prepared.
I'm an amateur mixologist with a bit of bartending experience. To some extent I'm GLAD they're charging prices appropriate to high-end craft cocktails, because otherwise I could be in real danger living so close. :) My wife had a sidecar (Armagnac, lemon, and Cointreau) that was the best she'd ever tasted. I had a complex cocktail called a Pinfall Marks (rye, Chartreuse, Cynar, grapefruit, lemon, and Angostura) that showed great attention to detail and subtlety. The restaurant carries a huge variety of beer as well.
Prohibition Pig seems well thought out start to finish. Good design of the physical space and menus, house-made pickles, enticing meat smoking outside, a good downtown location--they've got everything going for them. Highly recommended.
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