Monday, August 15, 2011

The Skinny Pig Fattens Up East Walnut Hills

Sorry, THE SKINNY PIG is permanently closed.

      We've always been attracted to DeSales Corner in East Walnut Hills.  Its outward appearance reminds us of a Washington, DC neighborhood.  The recent activity with housing, galleries and retail shops popping up there has been encouraging.  Our guess is that it will only get better with the promise of a casino downtown and many adjacent areas being polished up for its arrival.  

The Skinny Pig Interior
When we heard that there was a new restaurant called the Skinny Pig a couple of blocks from Madison Road, we checked out the menu and decided to try it out.  The premise is a simple café with the twist of bar-height granite countertop tables and chairs.  The space is sparse, but warm and inviting, with brick exposed walls and original wood floors. The kitchen sits fully in sight at the back of the restaurant.  

      This is the second restaurant venture for Chef Joshua Campbell, the downtown Mayberry being his first.  He was there the night of our visit overseeing his three month old creation.  We were immediately acknowledged upon entering by the  server.  The menu was simple to go with the surroundings with various flatbreads featured.  The outdoor grill was in operation that night with BBQ baby back ribs, flat iron steak, and portobello mushrooms being offered also.  We were intrigued by the interesting combinations of ingredients on the flat breads, so that was definitely going to be our pick.  

Adobo Pork Tenderloin Flat Bread
Herbed Chicken Flat Bread
Our server recommended the one with pork tenderloin, chile cilantro peaches, red onion, and lime avocado sauce.  Eric thought the herbed chicken, ricotta, artichoke, roasted red pepper, and orange saffron basil spread sounded like a winner.  We shared—with the pork being Eric's favorite, and the chicken being mine.  The other listings of ginger apple turkey, garlic beef, and two vegetarian flat breads sounded equally satisfying.  

The Sweet Flat Bread
Our server was brisk and friendly and didn't miss a beat in suggesting the sweet flatbread, which was made up of cinnamon sugar, Belgian chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas.  It's become a common combination, but it seemed to succeed better here as we worked our way through the delicious and generous serving for two.  Unique drinks were a Mexican version of Coke and Fanta Orange made with pure cane sugar.  The restaurant is also BYOB, which was being widely observed by guests  

      Chef Campbell has a sense for current culinary trends.  The Skinny Pig feels like a work in progress so we look forward to it growing and changing with the neighborhood.  They have a lovely patio area at the side that had the look of expansion.  Put all those things together and you have a winning combination that has all the ingredients of a neighborhood gem.

Maybe I should open up a restaurant and call it The Fatted Cat!

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