A long overdue review.
Several weeks ago, my friends and I got together for a farewell dinner for two friends of ours who would soon be picking up and moving themselves all the way out to Seattle. What better way to celebrate them, our friendship, and the beginning of summer than an authentic pig roast? And what better place to do that than Poste?
Every summer, Poste does nightly (except for Thursdays) family style dinners. Poste Roasts are intimate, family style dinners for 6-12 people. Held in the restaurant’s Chef’s Garden amid pots of herbs, these dinners are definitely an experience to be had. Make your reservations at least seven days in advance and you and your friends can sit at the big marble table and sample the deliciosity that Chef Robert Weland has to offer.
And there is a lot that he offers. When you make your reservation, you are asked to give your meat selection (as roasting an animal on a spit obviously takes a long time and needs to be done prior to your arrival). The options (main dish and sides) are all locally sustainable foods. For your meat selection, you can choose from standards such as suckling pig, beef brisket, or lamb. There is also salmon, squab, poussin, or goat. Each meat selection comes paired with specially chosen sides that are served family style.
My friends and I decided to go with the pig. Aside from it being a delicious choice, its paired sides of macaroni and cheese, grilled seasonal fruits, and sauerkraut were options we could not turn down.
(As an aside: we could also not turn down the truffle fries (or truffle frites, if you want to be French). We ordered several baskets (why get plain fries when you can get truffled ones?) for the group and devoured them within minutes. They seemed to be double fried in what I guess was duck fat. The truffle flavoring was there but subtle enough that it was not overpowering. Served with a homemade ketchup that many of us had to keep from licking off our plates, these were a perfect beginning to what would turn out to be a spectacular meal.)
So, we’re all sitting around the table, engaging in our usual banter, when out comes our pig. Our very own pig! Our host presented it to us and allowed us a chance to look at it (and take pictures with and of it) before they took it to the kitchen and (SORRY) beheaded it. The staff was kind enough to split the head (sorry, again) and separate the pieces (ears, brains) so that we could sample them as we pleased. I actually expanded my culinary palate and pulled up my big girl pants and spread a little bit of the pig brain on toast. The verdict? Not so bad. It had the texture of liver, I thought (kind of velvety) with the same kind of iron undertones. I can’t say that I’d ever order it on its own (or by choice) but I’m glad that I tried it.
The pig itself was amazing. We all had a little bit of the crispy skin…think Thanksgiving turkey yumminess times about one hundred. The meat itself was succulent and juicy and its only downfall was that we had to carve the pig ourselves. Thankfully, there were several brawny men in the group who not only embraced the task but, also, enjoyed doing so. The pork belly was as good as you could expect, if only in small portions. We all had our fill of the pork and then some, and still went home with six doggie bags (for which several actual doggies were very thankful).
The sides were also a hit. Expecting to have grilled peaches (because that would seem obvious, considering the season), I was surprised when our cassoulets revealed grilled apples, instead. Needless to say, this fruity accoutrement was my least favorite part of the meal, though the sweetness did work well with the savory aspects of the pork and the macaroni and cheese and with the acidity of the sauekraut. Now, let’s talk about the macaroni and cheese. In a word, it was scrumptious. Absolute carbohyrdate cheesey perfection. There were at least three different cheeses integrated into the sauce, though if quizzed, we couldn’t tell you which. But they were fancy cheeses, no doubt. The top was perfectly crisped, allowing for a slight crunch to go with the soft gooeyness.
We all ate our faces off. And enjoyed every second of it. Of course, though, we had to have dessert. Well, I did. For the record, everyone else said that they did not want anything. Fine, I could take one for the team. Little did I know that, once the tasting of salted caramel (um, yum, no??) arrived, every single person within a five foot radius of me would dig in a spoon “for a taste.” Good thing I don’t mind sharing. We took down the dessert and enjoyed every last drop. The selection included a coulant (which was really just a fancy caramel cake…it was actually pretty bland but had a hidden hint of caramel), caramel ice cream (not overly sweet, not overly salty), caramel creme brulee (with a perfectly hardened layer of scorched sugar, though it was still my least favorite component) and some caramel popcorn (super sweet but with a final kick of heat).
For $38/person (excluding drinks (take note of their cocktail menu, it’s pretty unique), appetizers, and additions), this is a great dining experience for a group of friends to share on a warm summer night. The ambience is awesome, the food is fantastic, and the pace of the meal is perfect for a night out in the garden.