Hog & Hominy rocks seasonal cocktails, farm-fresh sides, and an innovative pizza menu.
(page 2 of 2)
At both lunch and dinner, dishes are served family-style from an imaginative menu that can be off-putting for first-timers who might not know where to start. So here’s a tip: Think of the menu’s snacks as mini-appetizers, the plates as mini-meals, and the farm-fresh sides as vegetables to balance the plates.
A nice way to sample Chef Aaron Winter’s contorni menu is to toast the meal with house Negroni, hand-crafted by mixologist Nick Talarico and barrel-aged for six weeks. Share arancini with others at the table; these deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with mushrooms and sprinkled with Parmesan are irresistible, so get two orders. Next, try a house-made mortadella hot dog with a side of tarragon creamed corn, a Southern favorite updated with new ingredients.
Don’t skip dessert, especially if you order a warm and satisfying blackberry crostata. This type of Italian fruit tart is fashioned after a family recipe for bumbleberry pie and topped with crunchy almond crumble. Nutella, vanilla, or muscadine gelato served in glass tulip sundae dishes offer more sweet endings.
Some diners might be a little confused by the menu’s sprinkling of Italian words like barese, lardo, crudo, and Calabrese. But the expert staff at Hog & Hominy is more than happy to translate. They might even gently push you toward trying something new, like crispy head cheese in a pool of tomato and watermelon gazpacho with a fried-egg cap. (Yes, I was timid, but now I’m a believer.)
Pizzas are the backbone at Hog & Hominy, and the combinations are unique, especially for Memphis. They have no pepperoni and cheese pizza, but suspend judgment until sinking into the Iowa, a bright and cheerful pie made with sweet corn, leeks, cream, Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, and crispy bites of bacon.
I’ve pretty much eaten my way through Hog & Hominy’s eight pizza combinations and enjoyed them all except one: a pizza called the Gulf Coast with sliced squash, shrimp, and mussels. It was a little weird, even for me. Still, a single disappointment doesn’t dent my unabashed enthusiasm for Hog & Hominy’s gutsy menu where flavor trumps predictability every time. Add hip decor (polished cement floors, retro Tolix café chairs, and an outdoor Bocce court), classic cocktails, and two dozen whiskeys, and I’m more than happy to predict this: The new kid on the block is here to stay.