Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

The Iberian Pig

Written by Patti on June 9th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Tapas continue to hold our collective attention and of course there will always be places that do it halfheartedly and others that excel. Unfortunately, most tapas restaurants serve the same tired old dishes.

But not The Iberian Pig. They are producing small plates that thrill. Best friend Clint picked the perfect spot for Holly and I to meet up with he and his mother, my Memphis pen-pal, the genteel Miss Sylvia. Situated in the middle of Decatur Square, you can support the environment and jump on the MARTA and end up right in the middle of the square – how’s that for green?

Decatur's Art Deco MARTA Station - You Are Here!

Look for the Handcrafted Sign For Amazing Cuisine

And what about The Iberian Pig, what does that mean?  From their website:

The Black-footed Iberian Pigs that roam Spain create some of the most sought after cured meat in the world, Jamon Iberico. Only recently imported into the United States, we are one of the select few restaurants in the country that serves the acorn fed Iberico ham from Spain. To preserve the integrity of Jamon Iberico, we slice the ham in view of our guests on a imported mechanical proscuitto slicer from Italy. Served with toasted ciabatta and espresso aioli, this item is truly a signature of the restaurant.

Integrity, indeed. Every last bite was sublime. But first, there were some hugs to be exchanged!

Holly and Clint

Clint and Miss Sylvia

With My Best Pen-Pal, Miss Sylvia

Hugs exchanged, we turn our attention to the house rules. Why can’t every restaurant have these posted? I love it!

Take Those Cell Phones Outside!

We met our server, Greg, who took fantastic, attentive care of us all evening. And he was funny – that’s important to me.

Everybody's Happy!

And the food, glorious food! Eric couldn’t make dinner, so I will be returning with him very soon to sample all the dishes.  We each chose a dish and reasoned we could always order more.  First up, Clint’s suggestion of BWD- Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and walnuts, Romesco dipping sauce. They were gobbled up in a millisecond. Next!

Super Hot - You Might Want to Give Them A Moment, If You Can Resist!

Second plate – Croquetas de Queso – Crispy goat cheese, citrus-honey yogurt, lavender honey. This was my personal favorite, so much so that we ordered two. Miss Sylvia’s excellent choice. The honey with the yogurt was so good we asked Greg to please leave it well after the croquetas were gone. Insanely tasty.

Crispy, Creamy, Salty, Sweet - All The Senses Were Engaged

Moving right along, we come to my dish – BBQ Octopus – Slow simmered all day then char grilled, house made BBQ sauce, fennel, shallots, pork belly, and crunchy potatoes.  I’m surprised we weren’t elbowing each other to devour every bite. But there are rules, you know.

Yum Yum Yummy From Under The Sea

And then it was Holly’s turn. Calamares – Baked stuffed calamari with grilled vegetables, Mahón cheese, tomato sauce. One of the best versions of Calamari I have ever eaten.  Once you’ve tried this, you will be hard pressed to go back to the boring, breaded, fried rings.

Meaty, Cheesy Stuffed Calamares

Bless my friends, they put up with my constant photo snapping. It also caught the attention of owner and chef, Chad, who dropped by to say hello.

Chad Crete, Owner & Chef, Takes A Moment To Say Hello

After asking Chef Chad for his personal recommendation, we ordered the Tocino con Manzana – Slow braised Kurobuta pork belly, Granny Smith and Fiji apple salad with Laird’s Applejack, citrus-honey yogurt, candied walnuts, apple cider reduction, and Chilean extra virgin olive oil. A collective happy groan swept our table.

I Have No Words - Just Delicious

Were we still hungry or just drunk with love for the menu? One more plate. Huevos con Trufa – Rustic bread, slow roasted pork cheeks, poached egg, black truffles. I love any dish that comes with a poached egg. This did not disappoint.

Hitting All The High Notes

Now you would expect us to be too full for dessert – but with four spoons, how could we resist the Copa Catalan – Espresso custard served with fresh berries Bomba – Mango, raspberry, and passion fruit sorbet rolled in white chocolate, served with fresh whipped cream and seasonal berries? A few bites couldn’t hurt. The most perfect way to end the meal, even if we were filled to the brim.

Fruity, Chocolate, Creamy - What's Not To Love?

Thank you Holly, Clint and Miss Sylvia for the amazing dinner and as always, your perfect friendship!  Never a dull moment when we get together.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Cameo’s Word Up

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6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Clint says:

    What a great evening. A great restaurant. And GREAT COMPANY!

  2. Holly says:

    I’ll second that!! Wonderful food, always a treat to see you and Clint and an extreme pleasure to finally get to meet Miss Sylvia!

  3. Pedro says:

    I’ve been dying to go. I’ve heard nothing but great things.

    The Huevos con Trufa and the Calamares dish sound amazing.

  4. Greg says:

    Thanks for coming!!! It was our pleasure and I had a blast!

  5. Dana says:

    Next time get the Chef’s tasting menu – so delightful! You’ll also have to try Chef Chad’s parent’s restaurant – SUGO – yummmmmmmy Italian! You have to try the meatballs there – size of small planets!

  6. Christy says:

    I’ve been DYING to try this place! I am a huge fan of grilled octopus and I love restaurants that offer different variations of calamari! Delish!