Sweet baby Jesus, Brian Howard has done it again. This time, in celebration of National Bacon Day—yes, this is an actual psuedo-holiday observed the Saturday before Labor Day—the maniacal Comme Ca executive chef has put together a tasting menu that is a symphony of swine.
Your starter is a simply divine Kurobuta pork tartare ($16), which Howard based upon Lebanese kibbeh nayyeh, a raw lamb dish. Now, the concept of raw pork may freak some out, but fear not, as all of Brian’s Bacon comes from a heritage pig. This is not your standard factory-farmed variety.
The tartare is lightly smoked and served with house-made chicharrones for dipping, because seriously, why wouldn’t you dip pork into pork? It’s a remarkable combination and with the floral, marinated plum as a palate cleanser between bites, you’ll tear through it much too quickly.
The entrée is a bacon-wrapped bone-in pork chop ($32), served atop grilled romaine hearts, ember-roasted tomatoes and dollops of black garlic ranch. Bacon-wrapped pork? Would you expect anything less?
This is Howard’s riff on a wedge salad, and if all wedge salads tasted like this, we wouldn’t need kale. The grilled romaine hearts have a thin layer of blue cheese melted onto a single side, melding saltiness with smokiness from the grilled romaine. Combined with the juicy, charred tomatoes you hardly need the bacon-wrapped pork. But it puts the dish right over the top.
The pork chop is tender with the bacon outer wrapping providing a crunchy contrast to the juicy meat beneath. Use your fingers and gnaw this beast down to the bone; don’t worry, Comme Ca doesn’t mind.
For dessert, Howard is serving a trio of bacon-based treats ($16). Chocolate-dipped smoked bacon is served alongside a butterscotch and bacon pot de crème and bacon cronets—Howard’s play on the cronut craze in the form of a beignet instead. The cronets are bacon-laced, vanilla crème-filled and exceedingly addictive, but the pot de crème is downright dangerous. An amalgamation of sweet and meat, this is dessert perfection.
The least pork-heavy menu item is the bacon-based cocktail. Praise the Lard & Pass the Bacon, a sweet, citrus-forward cocktail that serves as the perfect foil for the rest of the bacon-y goodness. Which is not to suggest it's vegetarian. The drink is made with pork belly-infused Four Roses Bourbon and garnished with a bacon twist. That’s how they roll.
Any of the menu items can be ordered individually during dinner or the full suite can be ordered as a $59 tasting menu. Just don’t waste time getting to Cosmopolitan, because after Saturday’s dinner service, these dishes may never be served again. You’ve been forewarned.