The dream team of Italian cooking with a definitively Southern flair has another hit on its hands.
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman – at this writing, nominees for the James Beard Foundation Awards – have opened another Brookhaven Circle eatery that shows off their culinary creativity, their dedication to the pig and their commitment to creating world-class dining experiences in Memphis that won't break the bank.
The butcher's case at Porcellino's — Photo courtesy of Porcellino's Craft Butcher
Porcellino's has a much different focus and feel; it's open from breakfast through dinner, offering a set menu of pastries and coffees, plus fabulous daily specials (kimchee and Siracha-brined fried chicken biscuit, anyone?) at breakfast, with tapas-style offerings at lunch and dinner.
There are certainly craft cocktails and plenty of wine options by the glass and bottle, and the idea is to order a bunch of plates to share – although we've been known to order a second round of ribs just for ourselves.
The atmosphere at Porcellino's is like the neighborhood cafes that make visiting European villages so charming; there's a friendly staff, a cozy environment, simple metal chairs and dark wooden tables, plus counter seating, throughout the space.
And Porcellino's has one distinct differentiator from its sister restaurants: it's also a butcher shop, filled with delightful meats and charcuterie to take home.
The sticky Asian ribs at Porcellino's are topped with a crunchy garlic, peanut and sesame layer — Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies
So, to the menu. In addition to that rocking fried chicken biscuit, there's a quiche of the day (Think mushrooms and arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette.); a daily soup option (Maybe puréed potato and leek with bacon-chili jam and biscuit pana gratta.); and loads of consistent items on the docket.
Try pimento cheese gougeres or specialty coffee drinks at breakfast and our absolute fave at dinner: the Newman Farm ribs with an Asian sauce, topped with a mix of crunchy fried garlic, sesame seeds and puffed rice.
There are off-menu offerings every day, too. One of the wait staff will wheel around a tea trolley filled with whatever that day's special noshes are, offering them to diners as they move from table to table.
Be forewarned, however: These tiny morsels might seem like a freebie, but they're not.
Porcellino's offers a craft butcher box every week, a must-do at some point. When the weather turns fine, they'll offer up burgers for the grill. When it's chilly, you might find a roast for comfort food or a nice hunk of sliced bacon.