Set to open the Blind Pig at 702 N. Second Street by late June, first-time restaurant owners Debra Ciasullo and David Hentz want to get a few things straight. First off, despite internet chatter to the contrary and the name of the restaurant itself, the Blind Pig’s menu will not focus on pork. While there will be house-made cracklin (pork rinds) and a few other yummy pork items, head chef Hentz (London Grill, Tavern on Green, Tir Na Nog, Flat Rock) describes his menu’s focus as comfort foods. Roast beef sandwiches, chicken and waffles, and hamburgers were the first dishes to come to his mind, along with vegetarian options such as falafel. And yes, he plans to have at least one vegan option on the menu at all times. Because he plans to do much of the kitchen’s shopping himself at local markets (the Italian market, for one), Hentz says that the menu will stay relatively small with many items changing with the seasons.
One thing that’s not going to be seasonal, however, will be the much-gushed-over “Thanksgiving Bites,” which are little balls of house cooked turkey rolled in mashed potatoes and stuffing, breaded, and deep fried. This is the kind of staple that people will keep coming back for.
The husband and wife owners stop short of calling their new establishment a gastropub. Instead, they prefer to keep it simple; they’re a bar. A bar with good, local, comfort foods, of course, but a bar first and foremost. With taps mostly devoted to Yards’ products, Hentz emphasized to us his love for “the tin.” And while the final beer selections are still being made, he made it clear, “there’ll be loads of tin!” The couple, together with their more silent partners, have 100+ years of experience in the restaurant industry, and “know how to make people happy.” Thanksgiving bites certainly don’t sound like a bad place to start. —Conrad Benner