Ever wonder what to pair with pig's head and pickled tongue? Turns out the answer is Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year (good luck finding it, of course).
Last night at Proof on Main, chefs Levon Wallace and Andrew McCabe were joined by Linton Hopkins and Jason Paolini from Atlanta's Restaurant Eugene for the fourth annual The Hog & The Barrel Dinner. The meal featured hogs in their entirety—yep, brains and balls included—served in five courses and paired with Van Winkle bourbons.
The 70 or so attendees included Rep. John Yarmuth and Julian Van Winkle III and Preston Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. (Decorum required that Congressman Awesome be mentioned first.)
Much as the menu said the hog was being presented "from nose to tail in no particular order," here are some random observations on the evening.
·Always get to the fried pig brain sandwiches and St. Louis style snoots early lest their be a run on them.
·When the distiller says, "Oh boy, this is special" when given a glass of his own Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 year, when you're finished savoring your own pour, you should be excused for licking the inside of the glass.
·All noodles should be made from a hog's belly.
·It seems very difficult, if not impossible, for many folks in the restaurant business not to politely work into conversation with Julian Van Winkle III that if he could possibly please include a few additional bottles of Pappy in their next shipment, well, they'd greatly appreciate it thank you.
·When the menu says "'everything' sausage," don't put any thought into what "everything" entails. Just chew and relish the multitudes.
·You have almost no chance of getting a bottle of Pappy for your home, as most of it goes to restaurants. Related: the Eater Louisville Satellite Office has just been recommissioned the Eater Louisville Café .
·After a dinner with Van Winkle pairings, give up on trying for a quality nightcap and just order a can of PBR. You'll need to come back down at some point, little boy.
·There should be a limit of one gonad joke per testicle eaten. Related: the chefs' balls were delicious. It was hard to keep them out of your mouth.
·The Eater Pappy Locator: Where to Find Pappy Van Winkle [EN]
·Eater Louisville Launch Party at Proof on Main [Eater Louisville]