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Best Pig

CAFE GRAY
10 Columbus Circle, Third FL.
212 823-6338

The pork revolution started slowly several years ago, when a few French chefs cautiously tested the fatty but flavorful braised pork belly as a weekly special. Now there's barely a restaurant in Manhattan without some form of inventive pig dish on the menu, and it's not just any old pig, either-thanks to Niman Ranch, heritage breeds raised on boutique farms are everywhere. When Gray Kunz opened Café Gray, the Swiss-raised chef featured an old favorite on the menu-pork shank braised in stout and maple syrup, but the great big bony shank overwhelmed even New York diners. His latest porcine creation is pleasingly smaller yet no less large in flavor, combining crispy braised pork cheek with a slice of pork belly drizzled with a tart tamarind glaze and nestled on a bed of bacon-spiked, oak-barrel-cured sauerkraut infused in a champagne emulsion. The humble hog has risen.

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