Sunday, June 5, 2016

Farm to Table Pork Dinner at Post 390 with Dogpatch Farm

Post 390 in Boston is already known for their farm-to-table fare, but every couple of months, they take it a step further by holding a special dinner featuring one local producer, and bring them into the restaurant! I recently attended this Farm-to-Post dinner with hog farmer Sue Frank from Dogpatch Farm in Washington, ME.

The dinner starts out with a cocktail reception on the second floor of the restaurant with delectable hors d'oeuvres like Coppa di testa (olive gardiniera, smoked provolone), Pork fat fried chicken oysters and habanero honey, and Pate en Croute (pistachios, pickled mustard seeds, apricot, pork liver, their own pate herb blend, other meat parts)
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The cocktail of the evening of course features the beloved pork as well: Lipstick on a Pig (smoked Bulleit bourbon, Pedro Ximenez sherry, bubbly charred rosemary lemonade, candied crackling)
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It took them 6 days to dry the pig skin to make the crackling!

The Farm to Post dinner was held in their private dining area which was beautifully set.
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Before the dinner, they had a short video presentation showing the pigs and the area around the farm. Dogpatch Farm breeds mulefoot hogs, a heritage breed that is named for their mule-like hooves. Owner Sue Frank calls her hogs "woodland-raised" as they roam around the woodlands of Maine.
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On to the dinner.
Our first course was the Hocks and trotters (Chinese soup dumplings, ginger-scented black vinegar, pickled baby carrot salad, snipped herbs). The dumplings are made with the broth that they boil the pig's head in. This was paired with Belgian Witbier from Ommegang.
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I certainly wasn't expecting to eat soup dumplings at this American restaurant, but these were quite good. The pairing is all about the texture and the coriander notes.

Pork Belly Roast, seared sea scallop, candied rhubarb, english peas, sunchoke puree, micro basil.
Paired with Pieropan, Garganega, Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy
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Have you bacon-wrapped scallops? Well, this was better. The scallop was fresh and perfectly seared, and worked well with the thick, fatty pork belly. Surprisingly the pork belly didn't overwhelm the scallop, either, and the tartness of the rhubarb helps to cut the richness of this dish.

The finale of the savory courses was the Carved Porchetta and Cracklings. The porchetta is brined 3-3.5 weeks with brown sugar, bayleaf, rosemary, etc, and there's rosemary and thyme inside the porchetta itself.
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The porchetta was served with maple dijon mustard, baby beets, roasted new potatoes, pickled green beans. Oh, and don't forget the cracklings. This dish was paired with Twelftree, Grenache, Barossa Valley, Australia 2011.
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You can't go wrong with porchetta, but I have to say this was definitely one of the better versions I've had.

They didn't leave out the pork for the dessert either. Dessert was an Elvis Mallow Pie (peanut butter blondie, marshmallow dipped in Valrhona chocolate, candied bacon, peanut brittle, banana caramel)
Paired with Mastroberardino, Fiano Passito, Campania, Italy 2010
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A decadent dessert, but you have end a pork dinner in a big way, am I right?

I was sitting two seats down from Sue Frank from Dogpatch Farm and it was great to chat with her about the pigs and her operations, and to see how delighted she was to experience the end results of her products.
The next Farm to Post dinners are Best of Martha's Vineyars on July 27, Kimball Fruit Farm on September 14, and Novemberfest on November 2.

Post 390
406 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 399-0015
Post 390 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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