the whole hog - pig dinner at DBGB for wellfedfred, the whining diner, some friendly Visigoths

We're on a lot of email lists, and sometimes I actually read what appears in the Inbox. This time, we opened an email from DBGB, Daniel Boulud's downtown restaurant, which I've blogged about before, and learned that the restaurant was having a "limited number" of "whole hog dinners," (one table, one piglet, per night) for a "limited time," further described as serving from one to eight jolly diners. I called this to the attention of Himself, and he said, "I'm in, would you like to join me?" I suggested that we line up six other people to join us, which dampened his enthusiasm, but not for long. Game plan: reserve one of the "limited number" of dates, then see who could come. Otherwise six more people would have seven or eight different plans and preferences  each, that way lies madness. The plan worked, a suitable group of hungry Visigoths committed, we booked our piglet, and our dinner took place last night.

There was an option to add all the beer you could drink, that is, all the beer the entire table could drink from a stated selection while there was food on the table. We didn't add the option: four of us enjoyed a nice Alsatian riesling, and the other four chose beer. That worked.

The dinner began with head cheese,   an unfortunate choice of nomenclature. On the other hand, if it had been described as, say, "Terrine de porc," which is what it looked and tasted like, well, then, everyone would have had some, and there would have been less for us.

 After the fromage de tĂȘte was finished, the whole roast pig was introduced.
 The pig was taken away and carved. It had been stuffed with chunks of pork, bacon and apples. 
the pig, elegantly carved to show off its beautiful stuffing
the pig, after we'd been at it for some time

 There were also bowls of sauerkraut (braised in beer, mild and savory), roasted brussels sprouts, and roasted fingerling potatoes, all lovely, and a gratin of endives with ham, which last I frankly felt was a little thin. And one die-hard at the table insisted on French fries, which were not part of the set menu, but if ever there was a time for self-indulgence....

And here is the only side dish I felt like memorializing. Not onions. Not calamari. If you don't know what it is, well, let's just say that long before the creation of the potato chip, this was a beloved snack.

 Yes, there was a Baked Alaska, yes, it was brought to the table and flambĂ©ed, turning us all into goggle-eyed ten-year-olds, and most unusually, it was actually delicious. My experience has been that after everyone says "Ooooh," the dessert itself is either soggy or rock-hard. Not this one. We all enjoyed it.

These days, everyone offers cookies with the coffee, and I needn't have wondered about how the kitchen would stay true
 to the piggy theme.

Shortly before we headed to the restaurant, one of the lady
Visigoths called and asked what to wear.
 "Something washable and comfortable," I told her.


  1. If I lived near you AND if I was married to someone more social, I would so enjoy pigging out with you. ;)

  2. Hi, tiffany rose, there was very little socializing. we just ate. Oink, oink.

  3. There's a place here called OInk, they bring a cooked hog up from the farm, slap it in the window, and open shop, when it's all gone they close up and don't come back for another week - it is the best thing ever.

    Although the eyes on your chap look a tad gruesome!

  4. Southern Belle Ph.D.March 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    HI Wellfedfred, Thanks so very much for sharing your adventuresome spirit with us. I love it but could not have eaten something that was "looking" back at me! Was the unnamed snack Pork Rinds? They could have thrown in Chitlins or Cracklin to really have topped off the pork meal. Not that I have ever eaten either other than when eating sausage.

    What were the responses from your other guests?

  5. Hi, Tabitha, Oink sounds terrific! These dinners were for one table per night, and sold out almost immediately, so you can see there's a demand for the pig.

  6. Hi, Southern Belle, yes, we usually see factory-produced rinds in plastic bags in gas stations. Biigg difference when cooked up fresh to order.

    The pictures in the post are from my iPhone (except for the beer which refused to show up so I cheated), Mr. Pig was not exactly facing me when I was seated.


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