Props to David, writer of the blog PhilaFoodie who recommended this great place. His review of COCHON
food-ie #9 was divine.
I'd like to thank Amy Giuffi for being so great to deal with and helping to organize this great meal. Her enthusiasm to host us was key to making this dining experience so fun and delicious. Gene Giuffi's menu was a combination of some wonderful staples from their menu as well as some more adventurous and savory rarities that were a treat for us pork loving foodies.
As a group of 30, we were not very quiet. We had brought plenty of wine etc and the place was roaring with banter (admittedly, most from my table). One thing I did manage to hear repeatedly, over all that, was how much every course was so "delicious", "the definition of savory" and "oh my god this is good".
Sitting next to my mom, there was an agreement. We were careful to not order any of the same things and therefore try as much as possible. The salad started off with a remarkable perfectly dressed salad which was light and refreshing.
For the Appetizer :
Feeling the responsibility to take advantage of the "adventurous" items, we ordered the Crispy Pigs Feet Croquette and also The Roasted Pork Belly. The croquette was really good and so interesting. It was full of flavors I couldn't quite identify and after asking the waitress I found out some of the main ingredients. Unfortunately my memory is filtered with really great wine that I mooched off of my table-mates, so nutmeg is the only spice I can sort of remember. I found my Mom was a little less in sharing with her Pork Belly, it was so indulgent and rich that I hope they add this one to the regular menu soon. I definitely intend to return for this... perhaps without my mom. (shhh, dont tell her)
For the Entree:
I ordered the Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder over Lentils duPuy Brussels sprouts with poached egg while mom ordered the Heritage Pork Loin stuffed with boudin noir sausage and pine nuts. These dishes were not "elf food" as someone pointed out. The servings were generous and the food so rich and flavorful, I would consider these in the category of French comfort food. The Pork shoulder was so tender and juicy, and over amazing lentils but what surprised me the most was that the brussels sprouts were so good! Normally, I hate brussels sprouts! The Pork loin was equally great and the potato accompaniment was really delicious. Unfortunately, at way too early a point, we found ourselves getting full too soon! Fortunately that gained me a take-home lunch for the next day, which was like re-living a very happy memory
We shared the Creme Brulee and the Warm Chocolate cake with ice cream. While these dishes are not at all adventurous nor unique, they were made perfectly. These did not go unfinished. And to add to that extra happy-stuffed-pig feel, I enjoyed truly excellent coffee. I can't emphasize enough how good coffee acts as the perfect punctuation for any great meal to me.
Stuffed Pork Loin
Since I myself don't eat snails if I don't have to, I opted to quote my fellow foodie who seemed to be completely impressed with the quality of her appetizer.
Our 4 course meal for $55 (includes tax & tip)
First Course (everyone):
-Baby Spinach Salad with poached pears, sun-dried cherries, pine nuts, sherry-wine vinaigrette
Second Course, choice of:
-Crispy Pig's Feet Croquette with micro greens and violet mustard
(*note from restaurant: "Also, I know it sounds out-there, but the pigs feet croquette is SO good! It's basically the meat from trotters put into a cake and deep fried. No bones.")
-Seared Scallops with fris'e, lardons, roasted peppers, fingerlings, lemon-thyme vinaigrette
-Roasted Pork Belly with pickled turnip and red onion salad
-Escargots with Shitake mushrooms, tomato concass', Pernod garlic-butter sauce
Third Course (Entree) Choice of:
-Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder over Lentils duPuy, roasted Brussels sprouts, poached egg
-Steak Frites with red-wine sauce and aioli
-Heritage pork loin stuffed with boudin noir sausage and pine nuts
Fourth Course, Dessert:
Creme Brulee -or- Warm Chocolate cake with homemade ice cream