Get ready to swoon, people. I met today with Bob McGee, the chef who’s cooking our snout-to-tail dinner next Monday, and his menu had me licking my chops.
Monday, Aug. 29
Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe
2955 E. Manoa Road
$55 per person, cash or check
- Pork liver and mortadella banh mi: A taste of unctuousness
- Pigskin pasta with Hamakua shimeji mushrooms and escarole: Skin slow-cooked, fat scraped off, skin then rolled, half-frozen and sliced into thin, pasta-like strips
- Tonnato maille with sauce gribiche: “A riff on vitello tonnato, the classic veal and tuna preparation”
- Orecchiette in a snout, head and tail ragout with bitter greens: Where snout meets tail on your plate (and the pasta’s shaped like an ear!)
- Rolled spleen with Hobbs bacon and salsa verde: Comfort flavors rolled in bacon and herbs, sliced and served as rounds
- Bone-in belly chop with polenta and sauce romesco: Yes, a belly chop with spare rib meat, sous-vide cooked in butter for 36 hours, then crisped in a hot oven
- Dessert: “Not quite decided yet, but will be pig-free, a man’s got to know his limitations”
All pork except for the Hobbs bacon will come from Shinsato Farm in Kahaluu and be processed by Higa Meats in Honolulu.
It’s what I hoped for: an introduction for adventurous but relatively uninitiated people like me to parts of the pig beyond chops, belly and trotters. Unfussy and direct. A way to support local agriculture. A show of respect for the animals we eat.
And thankfully, well this side of bizarre. “I’m not the guy who has to serve the pig’s eye on a plate,” McGee says. “That’s just not me.”
A week after Monday, McGee launches Plancha, a three-night-a-week pop-up focusing on small, freshly caught local fish and produce. But if you were shut out of this first snout-to-tail dinner, he’ll reprise it in late September with three nights of snout-to-tail 2, featuring an all-new menu of porcine dishes.
For you wine drinkers, McGee’s suggestions: “This stuff will definitely pair well with both red and white pinots to contrast and complement, as well as Tempranillos and Chablis, the more oak the better.” Bring beer if that’s what you like, or sake, or anything or nothing at all.
To those of you who can’t make it and want to spectate, stay tuned for pics and commentary on Tuesday.
And to you 20 who confirmed your RSVPs, I’ll see you on Monday night!