Last night my husband and I ventured out to Pelham Road to check out Bacon Bros Public House. Chef Anthony Gray’s second restaurant has been racking up rave reviews, and we were excited to check it out for ourselves. Don’t worry, I’m going to post the pics, but I wanted to share with the class a little first.
Five things you should know about Chef Anthony Gray:
(I’m growing attached to lists)
1-He helped open the famed High Cotton Restaurants in both Charleston and Greenville.
2-He was a Top Chef contestant in Season 10 of the Bravo show.
3- He worked under famed Chicago Chef, Art Smith.
4- He was named one of the Top 10 Chefs to Know in Atlanta in 2012 by Braiser.com before moving to Greenville to take over the kitchen at Coal Fired Bistro.
5- Chef Gray is a master of Charcuterie.
Um… what’s Charcuterie? (Don’t feel dumb. I didn’t know what it was when I first started writing about food. I still can’t say the word without stumbling over myself.)
Charcuterie (/ʃɑrˌkuːtəˈriː/ or /ʃɑrˈkuːtəri/; French: [ʃaʁ.kyt.ʁi], from chair ‘flesh’ and cuit ‘cooked’) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef‘s repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.
So with that in mind. This was round one. We asked the waiter to have Chef Anthony send out whatever he wanted me to try, instead of struggling to pick and choose off of the expansive menu. With a Bullit Rye and a Chalone Chardonnay in hand, we dug in.
This is the Bacon Bros Public House Meat Board. From the darker meat on the right going clockwise: Bresaola (cured beef with juniper and sea salt), Headcheese (with mustard and hot sauce), Lonzino (cured pork loin with sugar and salt), Salami, Fennel Coppa (with fennel seed, sugar in the raw). The meats were all melt in your mouth fantastic. In the middle of the plate there were housemade dill pickles, and housemade mustard seed mustard and a sweet beer mustard. The meats came with a plate of warm cheese biscuits.
Folks. This is the kind of food that makes you high. And we were only getting started.
Then came out the Pork Trotter. The name doesn’t sound very appetizing, but this was our favorite dish of the night, I think. Trotter meat is taken from below the shank on a pig. For this dish, the meat is cooked at 134 degrees for about a day and a half, then shredded, pattied and breaded with seasoned panko. The meat is rich and tender and the crust is lovely. The dish was accompanied by an apple salad with mustard seed and vinaigrette and an African squash puree. Seriously, it was the best thing I’ve eaten in an incredibly long time.
Next up, our waiter, Josh, brought us a dish of grilled sweet gem lettuce with Thomasville Tomme cheese, olives, and a white anchovy-preserved lemon dressing. Grilled lettuce is definitely going to be on our must-try-at-home list!