Three people contacted me recently about The Chocolate Pig. “You must go!” they all said. Having such a quick reaction from family and friends is unusual but, then, The Chocolate Pig is unusual. Some would say novel. Many of the items on the menu will put a smile on your face just trying to image how the dish might look or taste. Take the chocolate-dipped bacon, for instance, placed atop a beef burger or a vanilla sundae, for heaven’s sake! Frankly, I was curious about how those would partner.
Located in the Tech Trendy Cortex Corridor
Dominating one corner of the Cortex Innovation Community, this little piggy snuggles pleasantly into the hip technology corridor. The restaurant had been open only a week, when my friends and I ditched our lunch plans and headed for the Central West End to see what was causing all the commotion among local foodies.
Eye Catching Design and Menu
First, you need to know that Pig is the brainchild of Bissinger Chocolate owners, looking for new ways to meld the sweet and savory. The unique interior catches your eye with its absence of angled walls and designs that hint of swirling chocolate. The kitchen door, for instance, is etched to look like melting chocolate and the floor could be an imaginative interplay of white and dark chocolate.
The Peanut Butter Bomb
I asked manager Steve Bleisch, which dessert we should share. He suggested two: The Peanut Butter Bomb and the Affogato. We quickly agreed. When he placed “The Bomb” in the middle of the table, I wasn’t sure just what the dark, baseball-size sphere was. I touched it. “Is this edible?” I asked suspiciously. Steve laughed. “It’s thin chocolate,” he said. “Now watch what happens when I pour this hot berry sauce over top.”
Oh, Yes, We Had Lunch, Too
Hmm. . . I just noticed I wrote about the desserts first; I don’t usually do that, but you can see why I did. Not to say the rest of the menu takes a backseat. Starters, Shareables, and Entrees more than match their sweet competition. A particular favorite is the Chicken Fried Brussels Sprouts, marinated in buttermilk, fried in a special batter, and served with buttermilk dressing.
A Sweet Conclusion
Eating at The Chocolate Pig, I had a childhood flashback. I remembered my mother reprimanding me, “Don’t play with your food!” she’d say, when I tried to make a log cabin with my green beans. But dessert chef Tyler Davis was definitely playing with his food and having great fun dishing up surprises. I’m sure my mother would’ve approved of the food play had she known the outcome could be so incredibly delicious.
The Chocolate Pig: 4220 Duncan (down the block from Vicia) in the Central West End. Open: Mon-Thu 11a-10p; Fri-Sat 11a-midnight. Owners: 23 City Blocks Hospitality Group, Kate Turner, managing partner; Chefs: Patrick Russell and Tyler Davis. Menu: Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items available.