There’s a relatively new boss in town and just in time to celebrate a long holiday weekend. The boss is bringing you craft beer, wine, specialty cocktails and food centered around the noble and delicious pig. That is a multi-win for many patrons and maybe for you, too.
You don’t need a reservation or special invitation to head up Sugarhill in Hamilton Heights to Hogshead Tavern (@HogsheadTavern, 126 Hamilton Place at 143rd Street, www.hogsheadharlem.com). The expansive French-paned window wall and subway-tiled space will invite you to find a seat, or not, and imbibe while tucking into shared plates of mostly pork creations.
Good things really do come in small packages. At Hogshead Tavern that package is their petite menu of shared plates packed with flavor and fun. Think pub food elevated with salads, vegetables and world flavors. It’s the perfect combination for their arsenal of more than 35 beers either on tap, in bottles or in cans. And with that selection, should you be indecisive, ask for a flight of four that will inspire impending pint consumption.
Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Hogshead Tavern is the good stop for afterwork unwinding, a pre-dinner or post-dinner moment and, of course, just general barfly activity from opening to closing. The menu will coat that stomach with porky goodness either way.
Definitely start with kale and artichoke dip with ciabbata crostini. It’s a nice hearty alternative to the spinach and artichoke variety we are used to at other establishments, but way more cheese for all the perfectly browned warm crostini. Move on to Hogshead sliders. Three grass-fed beef burgers topped with pastrami and onion confit arrive on a cutting board awaiting hungry hands and mouths. Move quickly on this shared board lest you might come up empty handed.
If you are not in a sharing mood, order crispy pork-belly grilled cheese with apple and sweet onion relish and three cheeses—smoked gouda, fontina and mozzarella. Really decadent sammy. Also, the pig & dip sandwich adorned many a table with its pulled-pork fennel onion marmalade, pork-belly gruyere and pork au jus. That is a must try next for me.
Should you be searching for a new approach to weekend brunch in Harlem, Hogshead has you covered, with an additional petite menu served Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Start with the Bloody Mary prize hog. That’s house-made Bloody Mary mix and bacon vodka with a pork-belly garnish! A meal in a cup.
On the savory side, eggs Benedict goes country, dressing poached eggs with crispy pastrami over a biscuit and bathed in pork-sausage gravy. Or if you live a life of mini-foods, try the steak and egg sliders with bacon, quail egg and onion confit. Something sweet for brunch? The PBB&J French toast (extra B is for banana) is finished with bacon bourbon maple syrup. Elvis might rise up from the plate for real!
No one is the boss of you? Fine! Go to Hoghead Tavern and get high on the hog. You be the boss!
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Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings, subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.