Best Suckling Pig
350 Hudson Street
Not so long ago, finding good suckling pig in Manhattan was about as easy as finding a decent slice of pizza in Nepal. But recently, a handful of sophisticated chefs have been trying their hand at this tricky old-world dish. John Villa (Pico) rubs his baby pigs inside with sea salt and parsley, and Christian Delouvrier (Lespinasse) stews them into a rich, provincial confit. But the blue ribbon goes to Luis Bollo, the executive chef at Meigas, in TriBeCa. Bollo handpicks his piglets from farms upstate, dunks them in virgin olive oil, then cooks them for twelve hours at around 135 degrees. After that, he sets the meat in a refrigerator for another twelve hours, roasts it for twenty minutes at high heat before serving, and accentuates the slow-cooked flavor with a basting of honey and red wine. The result is the filet mignon of pigs, a melting, smoky confection with a brittle, orange skin like Peking duck. The dish is so succulently rich that you may want to eat it like Peking duck, too, in delicate little slivers, with help from your friends.