Maialino Revisited

If you ask the Fork and Spoon there are few things in life better than good friends and good food. When you get to have the two things at the same time, life is beautiful. Spoon and Fork had helped a Sandwich Fork through a tough time. As a thank you – a really big thank you – she took the Cutlery for a Maialino feast. This, I must say, was quite the thank you!

Just as an aside, if you want to order the maialino and Maialino, when you make your reservations, reserve one!

While we were looking over the menu, having cocktails, giggling, eating bread, and having a great time, we ordered the Frittura Vegetale of the day – which turned out to be zucchini.  There were all different types, shapes and sizes, lightly battered, slightly crispy, tender inside and totally delicious.

For the Primi both Fork and Sandwich Fork had the Raviolo al Uovo. What arrived was one beautiful raviolo, about 4″ in diameter, swimming in a little pool of browned butter. In the center of the raviolo you could see the outline of an egg yolk. Fork was giddy with anticipation. Once you cut into the raviolo there is an oozing of cheese and egg yolk that blend together into – well, it just cannot be described. We had to ask for more bread. There wasn’t any way any of this was going to waste.

Spoon ordered the Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Bucatini, a spicy tomato sauce, guanciale and pecorino cheese. Just the right balance of everything. The  thick tomato sauce had a wonderful kick to it. Guanciale is a bacon that comes from the pig’s jowl.

As we were sitting and chatting, our conversation kept returning to our anticipation of our main course – the Maialino al Forno – little pig from the oven. Our of the corner of our eye we watched our lovely waitress approach with a baking sheet with our pork shoulder in it. Absolutely beautiful. THe pork shoulder slow roasts in the oven for 4 or 5 hours.At the end of the slow roasting, the heat is turned up and the skin is blasted to crisp, dusted in rosemary, cracked fennel, salt and pepper. The aromas wafting from the baking sheet across our table were heady. As we sat looking at our beautiful piggy, our waitress turned and walked away. WHAT!? Come back with that baking sheet! The moments it took for her to return to the kitchen so cut the pork into seemed like hours. But return she did with a serving dish with 4 generous sized strips of pork and crackling. Beneath the strip was more pork. But nestles on the bottom of the plate and acting as the stage for the pork were potatoes. Potatoes sitting in the juices from the pork. This is a totally simple preparation that just simply tastes great. This is pork at its absolute best. With the potatoes, the dish can serves three with ease – even a little left over to take home.

As if any of us had room for anything else, we ordered dessert. This was the type of meal where something sweet was absolutely necessary to cut the richness of the pork. Spoon ordered a beautiful berry tart. Buttery, crispy crust, luscious, berry filling. Perfect.

Fork and Sandwich Fork both ordered blood orange sorbet. It was a special flavor at the time. It was sweet and sour, cold and smooth. It was – at least to Fork – the perfect way to end the meal. Palate cleansed, richness whisked away, coldness giving the right amount of perking up.

Thank you again, my darling Sandwich Fork, for thinking to include me in this wonderful feast!

Maialino ~ Gramercy Park Hotel ~ 2 Lexington Avenue ~ New York, NY ~ 212.777.2410
Maialino on Urbanspoon


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