I’ve found lately that I haven’t really been eating out at many fantastic restaurants. I’m not sure if it’s the cold weather or the lack of funds, but I don’t really have a ton to tell you about by way of must-visit-spots. Until… last night.
CityGrit Presents Jim ‘N Nick’s: City Grit is a “culinary salon”, part supper club part experimental pop-up restaurant. Chef Sarah Simmons and Jeremie Kittredge, the brains behind the brilliance, wanted to provide a unique culinary experience for discerning New York diners by hosting weekly dinners at an old school in Nolita, occasionally catered by chefs and cookbook authors from all over the country. The menu and wine list are always changing, and for a reasonable ticket price, anyone can attend. It’s haute cuisine with a Southern flair, served to the masses with a warm and welcoming hug-from-your-mama vibe about it. Who could ask for anything more?
From Jim ‘N Nick’s, and preparing the meal for the Thursday, January 19th dinner was Chef Drew Robinson. Chef Robinson opened the evening by addresses the 82-person dining room with a quick speech about the importance of pig (you don’t have to tell me, Chef) and the Southern mentality behind preparing it. One of the things that struck me most about this dining experience is the intense passion and love of food that the people involved put into their meals. You may as well be at your grandmother’s kitchen table for all the love that goes into these dishes.
On the menu:
Hickory roasted pork belly with tomato chutney aioli
Homemade Berkshire ham and sausage with pickled okra, pimento cheese, and Saltines
Company salad: romaine with pickled vegetables, parmesan cheese, and homemade buttermilk dressing
Barbequed shoulders and roast loin with stone ground grits, braised greens, cracklins, and smoked onion and tomato relish
Bourbon pecan pie
Corn bread mini-muffins
Verdict: Do I really even have to say it? This meal was incredible. I was literally spreading pimento cheese on pickled okra, coating my corn muffins in pecan pie filling, closing my eyes to savor the deliciously sweet and tender pork… this is BBQ done right, my friends. It’s not haughty or pretentious, just freaking delicious.
PS… can someone please buy me a camera? Kthxbye.