When you get an invite for a celebration of pork, you’re intrigued … or at least I was. (Vegetarians probably wouldn’t be.) I am a big fan of bacon, belly, loin and chops, but as an entire concept? My curiosity got the best of me and I checked yes for Smithfield Chefs Table at Pistola LA, a restaurant that usually serves up fancy Italian fare and killer steaks. (The location also just happened to be in the old digs of one of my favorite French spots – AOC).
So who is Smithfield? Good question – Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest pork processor. Ah yes, the pork connection is made. Their Chefs Table series showcases their premium pork, DURoC, in foodie cities across the country. After hitting up Nashville and Miami, they took the concept to Los Angeles and put the pork preparation in the hands of Pistola’s Chef Vic Casanova.
It’s unusual to see Westsiders leave the neighborhood on a Monday night, but my crew decided to take a risk and cross the 405 into West Hollywood. Upon arriving at Pistola, we were greeted with a dark, elegant ambiance, Prosecco, a 20s-inspired band and an array of tasting stations at our disposal. Now let’s get down to it, shall we?
For starters, the PDT Old Fashioned signature cocktial showcased bacon-infused bourbon. After a sip and establishing our home base, we started to dive in to the food.
The Casarecci was a real crowd-pleaser, and a lot of that can be attributed to the amazing homemade pasta, not to mention the pork ragu and dash of chili and pecorino. I may have had two helpings.
One of my favorites was the Slow-Roasted Pork Belly served with lentils and caramelized shallots, which, to me, was reminiscent of elegant sauerkraut.
I paired this with the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, which you guessed it, included bacon.
By this time, I was getting really full, so after a small bite of the Tuscan Spare Ribs and Crispy Pork Cheek “Milanese,” I sipped on this amazing Chianti and set my sights on dessert. There’s always room, right?
I give you the chocolate Tortino, complete with bacon gelato & candied bacon.
Something you don’t have to feel guilty about – Smithfield Foods made a donation to the LA Regional Food Bank on behalf of every guest.