Pork belly, done well, is still a dish worth having. Max's Wine Dive comes through here.
I like pork. In fact, I love pork. Chops, bacon, feet, snouts, ears, tails, skin. All that and more are perfect dishes when done well, respected.
This week I had a plate of pork that I liked a lot. Pork belly, wild boar sausage, and chiccarones. Plus spring peas. But the peas, while good for color, and tasty, take a supporting role here. You will savor each piece of boar sausage … go ahead, swirl it a bit in the peas, some of which are mashed, then taste. Slightly spicy, but only slightly.
Wild boar is, in my opinion, a flavor from the gods. I’ve never had it with pork belly, but it works, and works well. Next, put a crackling in your mouth. These seem slightly sweet, but their crunch is appropriate, and they are great chips for the pea purée. Finally, the belly. And it’s some pig.
It’s on Shay Prigmore’s menu at Max’s Wine Dive, on Fairview, in Houston, and he seems to know pork, among other things. (I wanted more crisp on the skin of the belly, but I am perhaps wanting too much.) This dish is satisfying, aesthetically and otherwise. If you start with the wild salmon, which is served on a plate with radish and pickled onion and crème fraîche and cucumber (drink a dry Riesling with it), and follow that with the pork three ways, your evening will be complete, at least at the table.