Friday Food Porn: Some Pig, on the Table At Lecosho

Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"We come out of the alley and onto the Harbor Steps and Lecosho is right there, with the best promise ever written right onto the little sandwich board outside the front door: Stuff We Like. It's the motto of the place, and really the only description of the cuisine required. In an age when everything must be "Pan-Pacific Fusion" or "Locally Produced New American Regional Classic Comfort Food," Stuff We Like is a welcome hit of honesty and simplicity, allowing for everything while promising nothing at all."

From this week's review of Lecosho.

Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"A restaurant serving Stuff I Like would include pork barbecue, tacos, shrimp cakes, cheap lager, cassoulet, salami sandwiches, corned-beef hash, har gow, Cuban coffee, pancakes, maguro sashimi, chocolate-covered cherries, and Bavarian pretzels smeared with goat cheese. It'd be open all night, showing spaghetti Westerns, old sci-fi movies, and black-and-white '50s classics about good girls going wrong on TVs hung above the bar, and have a killer jukebox with a robotic arm that came out and slapped you if you tried to play anything by the Dave Matthews Band.

But Lecosho serves what owner Matt Janke (ex-Matt's in the Market) and his staff like, borders and history be damned."

Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"'Master of lentils' is one of those phrases that I honestly never thought I would write in my life. Certainly not outside some creepy, rattletrap mega-vegan cafe where everything smells like wheat germ and feet. But "master of lentils" is the only title I can bestow which gives appropriate gravitas to the masterful lentil-making abilities of whoever prepped the bowl of sharply flavored, wine-dark, savory little buggers that ended up sitting before Peter and I, mounted by a single link of housemade sausage and half a soft-boiled egg."

Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"Lecosho's kitchen uses lentils with their sausage and egg. They use a similar preparation as the base for a bowl of duck confit and rounds of potato fried in duck fat, which Peter and I attack as if we were starving, even though it arrives as something like our fifth or sixth course. With salmon (wild sockeye, dressed with an herbed aioli) the lentils come again, this time bright and spiked with citrus flavors. And in all their forms, they work better than the slightly undersalted white beans that floor a bowl of otherwise amazing porchetta (the meat rolled, roasted, and sliced so that the fatty skin is crispy and drooling with the essence of roasted pig and the inside is stiff and just this side of medium rare); better than the dull and gummy spaetzle in a weak brown-butter sauce; and better than the sticky polenta that comes with the house-brined pork chop.

It's perfectly good polenta. Just not as good as the lentils."

Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"Peter and I eat the spaetzle, which improves dramatically when mixed with the lentils--a little bit of reflected excellence that goes a long way. We eat olives from a bowl on the table and thick slabs of rillette made of pork belly cured in aquavit--the meat smooth, the rich lozenge of fat on top perfect for spreading across the crusty bread served with it, better than any butter imaginable.

On other nights, I will return for fish soup in a broth spiked with saffron and sofrito, rich with shellfish and chunks of salmon; for short ribs rubbed with espresso and crowned with pickled beets; and for bottles of Dixie lager. But tonight, we sit in a room that has gone from being packed with potential to filled with actual people, with an overflow crowd hanging around outside in the drizzle, just waiting."

Just a taste of this week's review of Lecosho on the Harbor Steps. You can read the whole thing here. And you can see more pretty pictures of the food, courtesy of Joshua Huston, by clicking through to the slideshow right here.

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