Less than two months into the new year, I have a favorite new (to me) restaurant: Blind Pig Bistro.
It’s far too early to crown a winner for 2012. Recall that Altura was my favorite new restaurant last year. So far this year, for more casual dining, I give the nod to Katsu Burger, though I went in the pre-BC (bun change) days. I’ve heard a few complaints from friends who don’t like the denser new Kaiser bun. I’ll have to check it out.
But back to Blind Pig. It’s in Eastlake at the old Sitka & Spruce location, and while the setting is intimate, it’s still virtually impossible to take photographs of the food (without a flash) once the lights are dimmed. The time I brought a camera to the original Sitka & Spruce, I got little more than a psychedelic shot of the menu board.
Well, Blind Pig’s menu board, hung high on one of the red walls, plays a key role during your visit to the restaurant. You’ll find yourself staring at it while picking out plates to order, and then later as you decipher what you’re eating in each dish. Chefs Charles Walpole and Matt Fortner (both formerly of Stowell family fame) serve up spectacular food that features bold flavors and great ingredient combinations.
Here’s a hint: Don’t pre-order all of your food, unless you’re going for the three or five-course tasting menu, which might help you to try something you wouldn’t ordinarily order. Instead, make believe you’re at a sushi counter. Order dishes one or two at a time, steering your dinner as you wish, and knowing you can get half-portions of many plates. This will give you the potential for a lot of variety in your meal. And with food this interesting, you’ll want a lot of tastes. (More information in the gallery above.)