Sunday, November 27, 2011

Panciuto as the leaves surrender

We haven't been back for months, so last night we returned to Panciuto to see what Chef Aaron Vandemark would make from the ingredients of this season.

Once again, the food blew us away. I have yet to taste a single mediocre dish there.

We started by sharing a cheese and charcuterie board, which featured, as is Vandemark's way, all local ingredients. Each bite was delicious, though the star was the pork belly, which was everything it should be: crispy and yet unctuous, rich and amazing.

My starter was a flat bread with greens, cheese, and pulled pork shoulder. The server advised that we pick it up and eat it with our hands, which was possible only by never letting go once you had the delicate bread in your hands.

My main, which I could not finish, was by far the best pork shank I've ever tasted. Cooked in a sauce that included molasses but never turned too sweet, the meat fell off the bone and was moist and flavorful and wonderful. The gnocchi on the side were pillowy soft and rich in flavor. Even the wilted greens, of which I am frequently suspicious, were amazing--though it helps that he cooked them in the meat juice.

Dessert was an apple crostada with the best cinnamon ice cream I've ever tasted.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: if you live around here, you need to get to Panciuto as soon as possible.


Dan Campbell said...

Absolutely fantastic restaurant! We went back in June, mostly because I saw your reviews of it. One of the best dining experiences I've ever had. And the food, the FOOOD!

Mark said...

I'm glad it was as good for you, Dan, as it was for us.


Blog Archive