Pig Roast at Citizen Public House
St. Germain Cocktail (St. Germain, sparkling wine, soda, lemon twist: $10)
While we waited for the group, I ordered the St. Germain cocktail. I usually shy away from St. Germain when it’s with prosecco or wine, skeptical that it will be too sweet for my taste. But alas, this one was not, and turned out to go pretty well with our first dish of oysters, clams and shrimp cocktail.
Fresh Oysters, Little Necks, Cocktail Shrimp
Taking advantage of the large group, we decided to order the Modern Tea Punch bowl, which was recommended by bartender Sean Frederick. The English Tea flavor was really nice for a Sunday afternoon. And who wouldn’t want to be served from this gorgeous bowl and drink from these charming cups?!
Modern Tea Punch (Appleton Estate Reserve rum, black yea simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, lemon bitters: $8/person)
The chef presented us with our pig (photo may not be for the squeamish). While the pig was sectioned out, side dishes were delivered to the table. Whole fried green tomatoes were a refreshing rendition of the classic slices, emphasizing the tomato and not as much fry batter and topped with a cool and slightly creamy sauce. Roasted sweet potatoes were simple and well cooked. Perhaps my favorite side was the actual ingredients used to stuff the pig, and the very crispy skin used to dress the stuffing: think less fatty but more savory bacon.
Roasted Pig, Fried Green Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing
The chef then returned with the pork sliced right from the pig. Sections of the rump and shoulder (not pictured) provided the most meat, while more crispy skin and other exotic parts of the pig were presented for tasting. I have to admit that somehow I found the will power to try the pig brain. (Anthony Bourdain would be proud.) It reminded me most of a pate, especially in texture. While I can’t quite pin the flavor, I think this qualifies as one of those dishes that you might like if you didn’t know what it was before tasting. Getting encouragement from others around me, and also realizing I might never have the chance again to try some of these “delicacies”, I went for it and also tasted the eyeball. Yup I said it: eyeball. It was mostly chewy, again the flavor not very describable, and probably not something I would try again, but an eyeball nonetheless.
It was afternoon of a lot of food, good drink and even more fun. If you have never experienced a pig roast before, Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar is certainly a good one to start with. The reasonable price of $38 per person (not including tax or tip) definitely provided enough food for everyone at the table, as well as a few boxes of leftovers to take home. The family-style serving at a long table makes for a leisurely afternoon amongst friends. So bring your appetite, and your sense of culinary adventure!
Have you ever experienced a pig roast?