Finally, a meal that actually encourages giggling at the (inevitable) sexual innuendos on the menu.
For their second dinner this season, the FIVE at FIVE™ chefs gathered at Panzano to play on a “T&A” theme – that is, many of the dishes came from the –ahem– chest or –ahem– rump regions of the animals.
Guests were scooted into a cozy Panzano nook with some brut rosé and Brian Smith’s refreshing gin variation on his famous Paloma. If you haven’t tried a Brian Smith Paloma yet, please stop reading this post immediately, hail an Uber, and get yourself to The Squeaky Bean where Smith’s bar staff can readily fill this gaping hole in your life.
Drinks were followed closely by passed apps, including a dynamic “Melons” gazpacho, a light roasted halibut cheek, a rabbit mousse crostini, tea smoked lamb breast ribs served in soup spoons, and Jenna Johansen‘s amazing vietnamese frog’s legs, which were probably my favorite bite in the group.
Savory and crispy almost like chicken wings, the simple frying treatment made these some seriously hot legs.
For our first course, Elway’s Chef Aniedra Nichols served us her broiled tuna collar, served with seaweed salad, grilled daikon slaw, and a yuzu ponzu.
The seafood trend continued as Table 6‘s Chef Carrie Shores plated her bay scallop panzanella kabobs with fresh herb de provence brown butter vinaigrette.
In the running for my favorite course of the evening, Chef Jenna Johansen‘s “Shake n Bake” fish with a piave and herb crust was paired with a fresh tomato green garlic sauce that blew me out of the water. The freshness and acid/ sweet balance in this dish only made me more excited for the imminent tomato season to really kick off.
Brian Smith’s beer pairing for this dish, Odell Brewing’s “loose Leaf” American Session Ale, was also a spot-on accompaniment that won over even the hop-haters at our table with its crisp and refreshing edge.
Fully embracing the theme, Panzano‘s own Chef Elise Wiggins prepared us a Menage à Trois of Pork: roasted pork butt medallion, pork liver tortelloni, crispy pork breast prosciutto. While the roasted pork butt was amazing and the crispy pork breast prosciutto may be the best take on “fancy bacon” I’ve tried in years, the real scene stealer in the trio was Elise’s pork liver tortelloni.
Described by my dining neighbors as “delightfully un-american,” the fresh tortelloni was filled with a pâté so rich, it could have been foie. This bite felt like a melt-in-your-mouth orgasm, which is completely appropriate commentary for a dish called a “Menage à Trois.”
Old Major‘s Chef Nadine Donovan appealed to our inner Sir Mix-a-Lot with her “We like big BUNdts” dessert, featuring a stupidly delicious lemon mousse that I would gladly smother over any dessert or even a pile of pancakes if given the opportunity (seriously, Nadine, hook a foodie up with that recipe).
The next FIVE at FIVE™ event celebrates “Dude Food” on Father’s Day, Sunday June 15th at Table 6. Be a good offspring and get your dad a ticket here for only $50 (that’s inclusive of tax and tip, too!)