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Monday, June 22, 2009

Campanile Pig Roast

Pig Roast Dinner

The IM read "Do you like meat? More specifically, do you like pig". In my head I was thinking "uh, have you MET me?" Yes, I was a pescitarian for two years, but when those random cravings for bacon kicked in, I gave it up. Sure, I try and eat a mostly plant based diet from day to day, but I'll be damned before I turn away some pork goodness. So when my friend Kris (suggester of the ever so awesome Strawberry Buttermilk Cake) invited me to join his friends at Campanile's 20th anniversary pig roast celebration, I couldn't say no...despite the pathetic state of my bank account. Despite having spent the last seven years of my life in Los Angeles, I have never been to Nancy Siverton and Mark Peel's restaurant even though I have been longing to go to their Thursday grilled cheese night for some time. My only hesitation was that I would be going to dinner with seven strangers, but given the fact that I can get along with a block of wood, I wasn't too stressed about that.

Pig Roast Dinner

My Saturday day was incredibly lazy and given the overcast weather, I felt perfectly fine staying in and watching a Real Housewives of NJ marathon instead of getting my script coverage done like a good girl. I kind of had to psych myself up to go out, but I am so glad I did. We were all expecting to sit outside with barrels of hay, but I guess the four sprinkles earlier in the day led the restaurant management to move the event indoors. We later learned that everyone in the restaurant was there for the same reason. Six pigs, four hundred people..can you think of anything better? To start, we were served with a large basket of cornbread that I assume came from La Brea Bakery right downstairs. The cornbread was amazing. Nice and sweet (the way I like it) with a rich butter on the side. I was pretty happy that we weren't going to have to stand in a long line for a buffet. Instead, individual plates with pig and beans were brought to our table and large family servings of the sides were placed in the center. To go with the pig and baked beans there was an iceberg wedge, green beans, lobster and corn salad, and a curried potato salad.

Pig Roast Dinner

My two favorite things on the plate were the beans and the lobster and corn salad. I have never been a lover of corn. I think I was traumatized from being a kid with braces and having it always get caught in between. Anyway, the salad was so good, we ended up getting an extra helping of it for the table. The sweet corn and lobster played well off each other and the dressing wasn't to heavy and there was even more freshness from the tomato and shaved asparagus. Talk about a party in my mouth. After all the food and conversation and of course wine, I wasn't sure I would be able to stomach a dessert, but it seems the clever chefs knew what we would be in the mood for. For dessert we were served an apple crumble. Instead of it being topped with rich vanilla ice cream, it was topped with a bit of whipped cream and a light lemon sorbet. It was completely unexpected and totally welcome after all of the heavy food we had just consumed.

Apple Crumble with Lemon Sorbet

So yes, the food was amazing, but the best part of the evening was the company and conversation. I was in the company of some people who seriously know their food and who were really fun to be around. I especially loved that we were able to discuss episodes of Barefoot Contessa in depth without anyone looking at me with their eyes glazed over. It was a great night with new friends that I hope to see again very soon.

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15 comments:

nick said...

That pork looks ridiculously good.

We recently got to go to the "Cochon 555" event here in DC (courtesy Foodbuzz) where they have 5 chefs cook 5 whole pigs and we got to sample everything. It was maybe the most fun time I've ever had.

Also, this:

"but given the fact that I can get along with a block of wood"

Is a LOL, and must come in handy on any number of corporate/family/extended friends outings!

Diana said...

Oh wow - that pork!!! Everything looks so great -- I'm so glad you had such a nice time with your new friends. Dining with foodies is the best. :)

Cathy said...

I wanted a pig roast/luau style wedding when hubby proposed. I ended up in Vegas eloping, but I still have dreams of a full on pig roast at some point! Looks like you had fun.

Mary said...

The food, of course, looks lovely but what I really love is how you recounted the evening. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. Have a wonderful day.

Erica said...

I've heard so many good things about this place! They have a grilled cheese night? That rocks- I'd be so in! The dessert alone makes it look worthwhile! mmmmm. Glad you had fun!

wine and food said...

FYI...Nancy Silverton is no longer associated with the restaurant. Hasn't been in at least 6 years. Mark Peel has always been the executive chef of the restaurant

Anonymous said...

This Kris person seems to be a genius! And isn't Ina Garten wonderful, I recently heard she's a really wonderful person.
-t.r.p.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Your whole menu consisted of "real food" my dearest Esi. Much like our anscestors ate on an everyday basis. Yes even pig. I'm drooling here. That apple crumble looks delicious.

Heather said...

oh my gosh!! that all looks so good. i don't think there's any way i could have picked a favorite... but i guess the lobster would have been high up there :)

Reeni♥ said...

What a delicious meal - the corn and lobster salad does sound really good! You are so funny - a block of wood!

Maria said...

What a meal! Wow! Glad you had fun!

♥peachkins♥ said...

looks really mouthwatering!

Kerstin said...

Wow, what an amazing meal, glad you enjoyed everything and had a great time!

The Food Librarian said...

You deserved this nice meal! Lovely and yummy.

Foodycat said...

What a fantastic meal! I have never heard of Campanile, but that makes it look worth a flight to LA.