Swine – Home to the Foie Gras and Jam-Wich

One of my girlfriends recently went to a restaurant that she said reminded her so much of me that I had to eat there, and fast.

That’s why it’s important to have good friends who really know you.

Swine is a west village restaurant specializing in all things barnyard. Yes, there is lots of pork, but also expect chicken, duck, beef, and anything else that flies, runs, or swims.

There are a few veggies on the menu too, but (luckily) most of them are drizzled in pork fat.

The restaurant is small ad dark, with a pinball machine at the entrance and a long bar. The vibe is great for a few drinks or for an intimate dinner with friends.

Duck fat cashews

Dining alone, I would never have ordered these, because I find cashews overly fatty and a little unctuous for my tastes. However, these totally changed my perception of cashews. Served warm and heavy dusted in a spice mixture, they are zesty, smoky, and redolent with Asian style spices. The duck fat gives the nuts a meat, grounded taste that somehow takes away their inherent greasiness.

Fat combating fat…it’s the way of the future, friends.

FG and J sandwich

Foie gras and strawberry balsamic jelly. If there is a more perfect sandwich in the world, I certainly haven’t found it. The first bite is a little sweet, but as you keep eating, the foie asserts itself. It is creamy and room temperature, melting in between the charred toasts. The jam is sweet enough to stand up to the wonderfully rich foie. This sandwich had us all licking our meaty, jammy fingers. This was a standout of the meal and in the neighborhood. It’s absolutely exemplary and at $18 a splurge, but a worthwhile one.

Bone marrow and brisket burger with potato wedges

A first rate ”cheffy” burger. Moist and thick, loosely packed and loaded with earthy, beefy flavor. The bun is substantial enough to stand up to its juices and the onions are sweet and soft. The potato wedges are also excellent – well seasoned and crisp on the outside while very fluffy within.

All that said…this burger is pricey for what it is. It’s high quality and well portioned, but just a wee bit overpriced, considering that it’s merely tasty and not totally craveworthy.

 

Braised chicken with garlic, peas, bacon, and mashed potaotes

Just like you wish your mama made. Dark meat chicken braised until it is totally tender but not at all mushy or stringy. The potatoes are smooth and buttery with a savory, bacon dotted gravy floating atop. The lardons are crunchy and salty and the peas and a welcome burst of sweetness. This bowl is elevated baby food, and I mean that as a compliment – the flavors are simple, direct, and focus on the ingredients. No fancy, high end products necessary. Just wonderful chicken, creamy potatoes, and the warmth of roasted garlic. This is something I can’t wait to reproduce at home, albeit with a tad less salt.

Swine is a very tasty restaurant. The food is a bit salty and the prices are a bit high, but the wine and cocktail list is wonderful and fairly priced. It’s better for a drink and a few bites than a full meal, but the FG and J sandwich is worth the trip alone.

 People always talk about how important it is to have friends when you are going through hard times. But sometimes it’s just as important to have friends when you are hungry for dinner. They should know just where to send you!

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