Matt Carter started the local nose-to-tail trend four years ago, slow-roasting a whole pig in La Caja China for Sunday brunch at The Mission. Kevin Binkley jumped in whole hog last fall, offering an all-you-can-eat pig dinner on Saturday afternoons and evenings at Cafe Bink. Now Jared Porter is getting on board the whole-animal bandwagon at The Parlor.
In fact, he and his kitchen crew plan to take the concept a few delicious steps beyond pig, and it all starts next Wednesday night, February 6.
You see, Porter and company aren't limiting themselves to pork but rather featuring a different animal each week. Next Wednesday, they'll feature a whole pig, and after that, they're work with lamb, goat, rabbit, quail, even bass and tilapia farm-raised in Gila Bend (which Porter promises is clean-tasting and delicious). Porter will be buying most of his product from local herdsman Brad Payne, who raises lambs and goats and sources the rest.
The weekly event -- offered Wednesday through Saturday nights for dinner only -- has been named Bestia Tutto, Italian for "whole animal." Three menu items making use of the featured animal will be offered each week: an appetizer ($9-$10), a pasta ($12-$14) and an entree ($16-$20), but customers may also order a three-course tasting menu for a lower price, probably somewhere between $30-$40, depending on the animal. Although the kitchen crew at The Parlor won't be using La Caja China, they'll be cooking the animals a variety of cool ways -- grilling, sous vide-ing and roasting in the wood-burning oven overnight. They'll also be curing some of the meats for charcuterie. Porter says, "I'm cutting these guys loose. They're a talented bunch and I'm giving them a lot of freedom on this."
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.