Situated on a corner in the middle of the bustling Ohio City neighborhood, The Black Pig is much more than just an homage to pork.
Though the brick building itself doesn’t stand out, the inside exudes a sense of comfort and welcoming. Exposed brick walls left me wondering about what history they had seen (sorry, I have a thing for exposed brick in old buildings), while abundant natural light and rustic wood accents added an extra element. All told, it’s a cozy place to settle down for a meal.
Of course, I couldn’t care less about what it looks like if the food is no good, and on that end, The Black Pig shines. The oft-changing menu offers “European-inspired New American cuisine” slanted toward local and seasonal fare. Although pork is obviously a highlight, you’ll also find other meats and pastas, along with a few veg-friendly options.
Kicking things off, we tried the corned chicken livers, something new for us. Served with a tangy beet mustard and pickled shallot, the livers were lightly fried, plump, and juicy.
Next up was the Parisian gnocchi with Swiss chard and golden raisins, all atop a celery root puree. I love the subtle flavor of celery root and it was accented perfectly by the mini bombs of sweetness in the raisins. Have you ever heard the phrase “mini bombs of sweetness?” Now you have.
For the main event, S tried the skirt steak, something unusual since she doesn’t get beef that often, but the southern inspiration was too much to resist. Charred onion farro, roasted sweet potato puree, poblanos, and a fresh chimichurri – quite a combination of flavors! I went with the walleye – seared to perfection, and served with kohlrabi cakes (like potato pancakes but with a slight broccoli flavor), sunchokes, and sauteed greens. There’s two underutilized but delicious vegetables for you, kohlrabi and sunchokes.
If you’re shopping at the West Side Market (or anywhere nearby), a stop at The Black Pig should be on your to-do list sometime. The food was all outstanding, the service was great, and prices are reasonable ($18-25 for most entrees; or save some money with one of the tasting menus). Although with young kids we usually don’t get out often enough to hit the same place again, this one definitely earned a spot on the potential repeat list.