...Black Pig Bistro (Calgary)

Overall - 8
Food - 7*
Service - 8
Ambiance - 9
(*Food rating takes into account value)
Black Pig Bistro on Urbanspoon

Having spent a month in Spain two years ago we've been really craving the familiar flavours from one of our favourite places. So when we heard about this new restaurant located in the heart of Bridgeland serving sliced Jamon Iberico we knew we had to give it a try. The menu is full of Spanish influences including the aforementioned Iberico ham, salt cod and Manchego cheese all served up in a trendy and casual atmosphere. 

We started off our night with the much recommended Jamon Iberico served with tomato rubbed baguette. Compared to the Italian Parma ham, Iberico ham is more dense, tender and intense in flavour. If it came down to a choice between the two, Iberico would win every time. At $24 for 50g it's certainly not cheap but definitely worth a try. 
Our next appetizer was the tomato Cesar salad. Instead of the classic romaine lettuce, perfectly ripe red, orange and yellow tomatoes are carefully peeled and topped with a rich anchovy Cesar dressing, crispy fried capers, Manchego cheese, buttery panko bread crumbs and micro basil. We both thought this was a very imaginative dish that was well prepared and delicious to boot.
The salt cod tortellini was another dish that brought us back to our time in Barcelona (salt cod is a staple of Catalan cooking in Spain). The presentation was artfully plated and looked beautiful. The pasta was cooked just right and the salt cod filling was creamy and rich. Topped with crispy kale and served over a tangy piquillo pepper pureĆ© we found the flavours really worked together. 
We shared the market pork which happened to be a slowly braised and pulled pork sandwich served with a fennel and orange slaw and crispy fried potatoes. The pork was tender, moist and very flavourful while the slaw served over top was crisp, tart and sweet. Although the dish was quite delicious we didn't think it merited the $27 price tag and hence the lower food rating above.  We have had sandwiches/burgers that are just as good elsewhere, that have come with more generous sides.
Although the food was very well prepared and tasty we found the prices somewhat inflated. In the end our mistake was not asking about the 'market price' for the market pork. The higher prices are the only thing keeping us from rushing back to Black Pig Bistro. 


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