The Ravenous Pig
I went down to Florida a few weekends ago to visit my parents, and it was a complete eating fest. Whenever I visit, our days literally centralize around food – what, where, when – and between my mom and I in the kitchen and different restaurants we visit, I always leave beyond stuffed. This time they took me to a pretty cool gastropub that has opened up in a part of town called Winter Park. The Ravenous Pig was such a unique departure from the usual big chains (though please…I do NOT hate on Cheesecake Factory…) that I had to write about it.
This restaurant literally felt like I was in some market-driven, casual pub in the West Village. The restaurant was founded by a couple who trained at the CIA, worked in a number of restaurants on the East Coast, and returned to their hometown to open a quality resto. They do all of their charcuterie themselves, and the list is diverse – everything from porchetta to lardo to vindaloo curry salumi. All of their pastas are house-made as well, and the menu changes daily.
We started off with the house-made gruyère biscuits with smoked sea salt…buttery, fluffy with puff pastry-like layers of doughy goodness. Then, we moved on to a kobe steak tartare with shallots, pickled green tomatoes, and a curry aioli. Again, flavorful and delicious. We wiped the plate clean. For the entrees, there was a lamb loin with farro-risotto and a carrot puree, a Niman Ranch flat-iron steak with truffle fries (can you go wrong?), and a crispy skate with braised veal cheeks, charred radicchio, and parsnip puree. All of them were amazing.
Dessert was s’mores pie! A gooey marshmallow topping over dense, fudge-thick chocolate ganache served with the most amazing chocolate sorbet I have ever had. They must have cheated – it was too good to be sorbet! If you happen to find yourself in this area, you must try this place. It’s too good to be missed and is head and shoulders above most other restaurants in the area…