5 Great Nose-to-Tail Dining Experiences in the USA

Feb 25, 2016 05:00 AM EST | By Josine Macaspac (media@latinospost.com)

Nose-to-tail dining is a dining movement that utilizes every part of the animal, and not just the parts that consumers consider "desirable". Those who are in the nose-to-tail dining movement, chefs, butchers, restaurateurs, and business owners alike, are proud of their ability to be able to take the "unwanted" cuts of meat and transforming them into gourmet dishes that can fetch prices to rival those of more expensive cuts.

In the USA, the nose-to-tail dining movement is becoming more and more popular as both restauranteurs and diners look for that latest innovation in cooking, and using these formerly unwanted cuts of meat offer a whole new range of ingredients and cooking methods to produce unique and exciting dishes.

Here are five great nose-to-tail dining experiences in the USA:

1. Publican (Chicago, Illinois)

The Publican is a restaurant in Chicago that is proud of its nose-to-tail dining menu. According to sous chef James Lyons, "There are only so much you can do with a pork chop." To Lyons, using these less popular cuts of meat means a chance to be creative and to branch out with their offerings for their customers.

Dining at the Publican can be a bit of an adventure where you can start your meal with an appetizer of crispy pig's ears, followed by a terrazine made from pig's tails, and you can end your meal with the white chocolate semifreddo.

2. Incanto (San Francisco, California)

Owned by Chris Cosentino, an American celebrity chef and long-time advocate for nose-to-tail dining, Incanto is famous for using the offal for beef and pork - that is, heart, tripe, kidneys, and other meats from internal organs. Interestingly, Cosentino's least favorite cut of beef is the usually-beloved tenderloin, which he argues is tasteless and textureless. 

While one can argue that dining at Incanto feels and tastes like other fine dining restaurants, Cosentino actually says that his style of cooking is reminiscent of thrifty, peasant-style cooking, where all parts of the animal are utilized.

3. Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica, California)

The Locanda del Lago is a restaurant that specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. There are two things that diners should look forward to when they visit Locanda del Lago. The first is their extensive wine list. If you're a wine lover and you love drinking good-quality wines with your meals, check our Locanda's wine list.

The second thing is the monthly "Morso Della Bestia", which translates to "Bite of the Beast". This five-course dinner highlights nose-to-tail dining that utilizes a different animal every month, such as cattle, pork, lamb, or even rabbit!

4. Re:public (Seattle, Washington)

The main mission of this restaurant's owners was to be able to bring both the rustic feel of European dining to the USA, as well as further the movement of nose-to-tail dining. When you step into the restaurant, you will immediately feel that unique twist in both decor and the menu.

One glance at the menu, and you will see how much love, care, and devotion that the owners and chefs have put into the food. You have smoke anchovy tartines, crispy pig's tail with mustard, and an ox tail ragu pasta. Don't forget to order some of their authentic Italian desserts for afterward.

5. Smithfield's Restaurant and Bar (Ashland, Oregon)

One of the greatest things about Smithfield's is that it's a steakhouse and a charcuterie all in one. You can dine on sumptuous, choice-cut steaks, along with smoked meats and sausages. However, if you really want to try the adventurous side of the menu, you can opt for their nose-to-tail dining options.

Their charcuterie board features rabbit rillette and chicken liver parfait. They have a sumptuous roasted bone marrow with sourdough bread. Try out their great smoked and grilled meats, along with their delicious desserts.

Do you have your own favorite Nose-to-Tail dishes or restaurants? Let us know in the comments!

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