Third time is another charm for Ticer and Hudman
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.
Porcellino's is the duo's third restaurant on Brookhaven Circle, joining their upscale original Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and their superbly casual pizza and comfort food spot Hog & Hominy.
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.
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.