Friday, August 28, 2009

Here's the scoop on the Iberian Pig

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 8:40 PM

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Maizie Hale, the PR Queen, writes with details about the Iberian Pig, a new Spanish restaurant that will open in Decatur next month:

The Iberian Pig will open in mid-September on the Decatur Square, offering an array of innovative dishes, including some that feature the restaurant’s exotic namesake -The Black Iberian Pig. Federico Castellucci III, whose family introduced the popular Sugo restaurants to metro Atlanta, created the concept and is co-owner with his sister, Stephanie Castellucci. The siblings are graduates of the Hospitality School at Cornell University and are fourth-generation restaurateurs.

The Iberian Pig’s eclectic menu will focus on traditional cured meats, cheeses, tapas, cocas (flatbreads) and main plates like the Iberian Burger made with American Waygu Beef, a toasted brioche bun, bacon-onion relish, vine-ripe tomatoes, mahon cheese and butter lettuce, served with eggplant fries). Another planned main plate is Cabrito Carbonara, slow-roasted goat with chittara pasta tossed in a carbonara sauce with applewood smoked bacon, fresh cream and a poached egg.

The European décor evokes the feel of a festive Spanish tapas bar, while an upbeat mix of modern, independent and Spanish music helps create a high-energy atmosphere.

The Iberian Pig’s chef is Chad Crete, a managing partner and fellow graduate of Cornell University. Crete’s tapas include tacos made with slow roasted pork cheeks, fire-roasted corn salsa, avocado, butter lettuce and cilantro oil. Another features slow-simmered octopus char grilled with barbecue sauce, fennel and shallots, and served with crunchy potatoes.

The bar, a focus of the restaurant, will be managed by Bar Chef Thomas Fable Jhun, who distinguished himself as mixologist at Sugo in Duluth with in-house infusions, culinary cocktails and fresh in-house squeezed juice. A huge ice block stationed in the bar will be chipped to prepare individual cocktails. There is also an extensive selection of comfortably priced wines.

The Iberian Pig is located at 121 Sycamore St. in the center of historic Decatur Square. (This is the former home of Sage.) The restaurant seats 140, including a 20-seat bar area and a 40-seat private room.

Hours will be: dinner only Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. A late-night menu will be served until midnight Monday through Thursday and until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

(Photo of Iberian Black Pig courtesy of Wikimedia.)

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