Clinton Street’s newest restaurant, Pig & Khao, has been getting lots of positive buzz lately. Just today the Village Voice published an entertaining q & a with the restaurant’s general manager, Mike Miloscia, who advises that good service comes to those who make an effort “not to be a dick.” He goes on to espouse the value of earning respect in a new neighborhood and making an effort to be nice to the locals.
Speaking of locals, neighborhood foodie Mitch Weinstein paid a visit to Pig and Khao recently. Here’s what he had to say about the the Southeast Asian newbie:
We finally got over to Pig and Khao, and I think we’ll be returning often. We sat at the end of the counter in front of Chef (Leah Cohen), who runs a really tight ship (and hey, it’s a counter with seats that actually have backs on them!), and she’s cute and sweet as well.
I ordered a Genesee Cream Ale to start, after seeing a friend write about it somewhere else, and it probably had been at least as long since I had one (oh, like 30 years) as it had been for him.
Smoked salmon skin chips make for an interesting bar snack, dipped in the mild chili jam they’re served with; I’ve bought smoked salmon “wings” at Russ & Daughters to make a salmon chowder and the taste of these is reminiscent of that chowder.
Crispy red curry rice salad was delicious and (only a little bit) funky and particularly well balanced; it’s served with crisp romaine lettuce leaves to make your own wraps and we left nada. The quail adobo was equally devoured. The quail is practically boneless, and it’s not one of those scrawny Chinatown quail either – but nice and meaty…and the perfectly cooked quail egg is a fun touch too…
But the dish that we could barely finish was the grilled curry lamb ribs, a heaping portion of charred lamb ribs (truth be told, they may be my favorite kind of rib), which are served with whole wheat chapatti, pickled beets and a yogurt sauce. The idea is to strip the lamb off the bones and make a little wrap with it, stuff into face and repeat, which we happily did…
We had barely enough room for dessert, but had to try the Halo-Halo, a mashup of, as the menu says, shaved ice, leche flan, ube ice cream, macapuno and pinipig. It tasted like some of the bestest and coldest cereal you could ever imagine, and may compete with the beer porridge at Acme as one of the coolest desserts of the year.
The crowd skews, you guessed it, young (but then again, everywhere we go, the crowd skews younger than me) and it was packed as we said our goodbyes. Service was great.
Pig & Khao is located at 68 Clinton St. and is open at 5 p.m. every day. Reservations are not accepted.
Mitch Weinstein writes about food on his blog, Tasty Travails.