It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I wanted to share this spectacular dinner I was treated to over at Peck’s Arcade last week.
While drinking some shandy’s and eating tacos over at the Suarez Family Brewing event at Superior Merchandise Co. last Sunday, we got talking to Chef Nick Ruscitto about the pig’s head we’ve seen at Peck’s in the past and when he might have another one available. It’s not something that’s on the menu, but they’ll occasionally have one that they’ll split in half and serve family style to two parties of 4-6 people. We were in luck, and they had one available that we ended up reserving for later on that week.
The meal began with a lightly fried hamachi collar tempura, along with a round of cocktails and wine for the table. I started with one of my favorite cocktails, a Malo Sueño with sotol, aperol, pineapple, carrot-habanero jam that gets spicier as you reach the peppers that have settled to the bottom of the glass.
Sous Chef Matthew Sciubba presented us our meal, which saw the head served Bo Ssäm style, very similar to how the pork shoulder at David Chang’s Ssäm Bar is served. This meant a slew of accoutrements that barely fit our table, including oysters, ginger scallion sauce, ssam sauce, BBQ sauce, bibb lettuce, pickled veggies, and seasoned rice. The meat was perfectly tender, covered with a blisteringly crunchy skin that cracked as you broke through and made your way through the fat to the cheek meat. When I asked Nick how many this would comfortably feed, he responded four, but I think six would have been perfect for a pig head this size, as there comes to a point when you can only eat so much of something this rich, fatty, and decadent before it comes time to move on.
Afterwards, we adjourned upstairs to The Tavern Bar for another round of cocktails where I asked Guy (who sadly was working his last week) for something to help to cut through the the fattiness of dinner. He whipped up what would be my first Division Bell, a bright, citrusy but smokey mezcal cocktail that was a perfect way to end my meal, and one I’ll likely adopt for my repertoire of cocktails at home.
On another note, before finding out about the pig’s head, I had already had planned a reservation at Peck’s later that week to treat a friend who was visiting from Japan. I won’t go into as much detail about that meal, but both experiences solidify Peck’s ranking as my favorite restaurant in the area by a huge margin.