Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Offal Strange

In a piece on Houston restaurant Feast, Frank Bruni writes:

Feast would, in fact, be a gamble anywhere in America, because the menu doesn’t just slip in a little tongue here, a little liver there. It’s a full-on, extended ode to offal that has no real peer in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities that pride themselves on their epicurean adventurousness.
Umm, perhaps maybe you've heard of some guy in San Francisco named Chris Cosentino - has a restaurant called Incanto, is so dedicated to offal he runs a website called Offal Good? No? How about Cochon in New Orleans, where at any given time you can have rabbit livers, boudin, pork cheeks, hogshead cheese and pig-ear salad?

Look, the restaurant sounds lovely, much like the culinary version of a St. John cover band (one of the chefs spent several years there, and even the website tries to imitate the retro-minimalist look and feel of that bastion of nose-to-tail eating), and I'm all in favor of paying attention to the nasty bits, but let's not get carried away. Especially when less than a third of the items on the current menu on Feast's website actually feature offal. It's not exactly like the trend has eluded Bruni's home town, either, where a place like Casa Mono likely has a comparable number and ratio of dishes using "spare parts" (pig's feet, lamb tongue, sweetbreads, foie, cockscombs, tripe, bone marrow, duck hearts, pork belly anyone?)


  1. Went to Cochon a couple of weeks ago and I miss it already!!!!

  2. Flew in late last night and went to MGFD right from the airport cuz I was starving. Lo and behold, they had crispy pig head on the menu! Cheek and other goodies rolled up like salami then cut, lightly breaded, and fried into a crisp patty. Served with a kickass side of greens and mustard. It was so effing good I got 2! Will be back Saturday night for Art+Design and dinner so I hope its still there. I also noticed that theyre doing sauteed sweetbreads now with some meyer lemon and risotto. Another interest for me...