Holy Roast Suckling Pig!!!! Thanks to The Lodge Bar & Grill

LodgeWest Chippewa Street has not typically been known as a bastion of fine dining in the City of Buffalo. Other than its fine dining staple – Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant – the street is mostly known for its night clubs and bars. That changed in 2013 when The Lodge Bar & Grill opened its doors.

The Lodge aims to be an urban oasis that causes patrons to elevate their expectations of dining in the Chippewa Entertainment District. The restaurant is a “modern and chic” take on a traditional lodge – an escape from the elements. It blends urban sophistication with a casual and fun atmosphere. The cuisine from the kitchen of Executive Chef Todd Lesakowski matches the sophistication of the decor, coupling that with an approachable and elegant presentation. All food at The Lodge is made in-house, including an array of charcuterie, bacon, sausage, pasta, fries and ice cream.

A native of Western New York, Chef Lesakowski’s resume boasts stops in some well-known restaurants in New York City and Boston, including Blue Ginger, Gotham Bar and Grill, The Franklin Café and Ten Tables. Chef Lesakowski has had a hand in opening 15 restaurants over the course of his career. Most notably, he helped open Deuxave in Boston and Boston Chops in Boston’s South End, which was number two on the list of Best New Steak Houses in America by Food & Wine Magazine in 2014. Chef Lesakowski brought a wealth of knowledge and skill to The Lodge when he was hired to head the kitchen in November of 2013.

 

PigLast week, the good folks at The Lodge invited some of the staff from What’s Going On In Buffalo? to experience its new private party option – a whole roasted suckling pig. The pig roast (which must be booked at least ten days in advance) can feed 10-20 people and costs $45/person, plus tax and gratuity (drinks are not included). After an amazing meal that left everyone at the table speechless, I can assure that this is one of the best dining deals in Buffalo.

After we arrived and had a few libations at the bar, we were seated at a long table at the front of the restaurant. When we sat down, we had no idea what we were in for. We thought we’d enjoy some delicious pork, and we did. What arrived in addition to that pork, however, was an abundance of well-executed side dishes, as well as a first course and dessert.

Shortly after we sat down, Chef Lesakowski brought out the roast suckling pig before he and his team began to carve it. While he currently sources his pigs from a farm in Massachusetts near where he used to work in Boston, he is in talks with Rich Tilyou at T Meadow Farm to begin to source the pork locally in Niagara County.

After seeing and smelling this wonderful pork, we were excited for the chefs to carve it for us so that we could see if its flavor would match its delicious aroma. What we didn’t expect was to have a first course of seafood brought to us while the pig was being carved.

Three large shellfish buckets were delivered to our table. Each bucket featured fresh seafood that Chef Lesakowski has flown from Boston to Buffalo four days a week. The buckets were piled high with freshly shucked Wellfleet Oysters and Narragansett Littleneck Clams. There were freshly cracked King Crab legs and peel & eat shrimp. The buckets were served with two condiments – a cocktail sauce and a mignonette sauce. The seafood was fresh and delicious. The mignonette complimented the briny oysters perfectly. Our meal was off to an exceptional start.

Shellfish Bucket

Shellfish Bucket

Not long after the first course was cleared, the pig arrived. There was a large platter featuring the leg meat, trotters and other various cuts. There were two platters featuring the entire rib cage cut into two pieces which revealed the delicious housemade pork stuffing. There was also a platter featuring the head, the cheek and various offal, including the liver, brain and other tasty organ meat.

Pig Platter

Platter of carved pork with potato pancakes at top left.

Pigs Head

Pig’s head & assorted offal

The pork was incredibly flavorful and succulent. The meat was rich with pork flavor and melted in the mouth. The tastiest and most tender meat may have been the cheeks, not surprisingly. Each person had more than enough to choose from, no matter how adventurous of an eater they were. The pork was also served with a platter of condiments although most of the meat needed no help – it was flavorful all on its own.

Condiments

Condiments clockwise from the top – Applebutter, Red Pepper Mostarda, Suckling Pig Jus, Whole Grain Mustard, Cornichon.

Along with the meat came side dishes…lots of side dishes. There were several vegetable sides, including a broccoli and cauliflower gratin, candied sweet potatoes and housemade potato pancakes with maple syrup. There was homemade spiced applesauce and roasted winter vegetables with bacon and dates. There were housemade biscuits and the best side of them all – confit pork belly mac and cheese.

 

Cauliflower Gratin

Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin

Each side was delicious in its own right. The gratin was creamy and rich with the vegetables still retaining a nice bite. The potato pancakes and applesauce were a great, traditional accompaniment to the pork. The Brussels Sprouts had a nice caramelization that paired well with the squash and onions.

Sweet Potatoes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Winter Vegetables with bacon and dates

And then there was that mac and cheese…

Pork Belly Mac n Cheese

Confit Pork Belly Mac & Cheese

This huge portion fed the entire table. The pasta was coated in a rich, creamy sauce and topped with a crunchy, flaky topping. As if that weren’t enough, the lily was gilded by the addition of hunks of unctuous confit pork belly. The pork belly went incredibly well with the pasta and cheese sauce. It also provided a nice textural contrast with the crispy topping. We’re all still talking about this one.

Then, after all that, we were told we were getting dessert. Luckily, the desert wasn’t as over the top as the rest of the meal and actually ended it quite well.

Pig Cookies

Piggy Cookies

Cute pig cut-out cookies were brought to the table on pig-shaped cutting boards. They had a slightly crispy exterior and were chewy and still slightly moist inside. The frosting was delicious. After all that food, we still found a way to enjoy these great cookies.

Our meal was over the top and wonderful. This suckling pig roast is a great way to celebrate an event with a private party. It might even be a reason just to have a private party! Given its value and the scarcity of this type of offering at local restaurants, The Lodge’s suckling pig roast might be just what you’re looking for when you book your next private party in Buffalo.

Located at 79 West Chippewa Street in Buffalo, The Lodge Bar & Grill is open at 11:00 a.m. daily. [(716) 256-1940] It offers lunches, dinners, late night snacks and a brunch on Sunday. As you can tell, it’s a great place anytime, but especially for your next private party.

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2 Comments on “Holy Roast Suckling Pig!!!! Thanks to The Lodge Bar & Grill”

  1. Patrice January 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Awesome definitely taking friends and family there.

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  1. Five Places to Check Out During Local Restaurant Week | What's Going On In Buffalo? Find Out! - March 9, 2015

    […] Dine on great food at a great place that hosted the What’s Going On In Buffalo? staff for an amazing pig roast. […]

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