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Eat Brian Howard’s bacon for National Bacon Day

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Chef Brian Howard.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Sweet baby Jesus, Brian Howard has done it again. This time, in celebration of National Bacon Day—yes, this is an actual psuedo-holiday observed the Saturday before Labor Day—the maniacal Comme Ca executive chef has put together a tasting menu that is a symphony of swine.

Your starter is a simply divine Kurobuta pork tartare ($16), which Howard based upon Lebanese kibbeh nayyeh, a raw lamb dish. Now, the concept of raw pork may freak some out, but fear not, as all of Brian’s Bacon comes from a heritage pig. This is not your standard factory-farmed variety.

Bacon-wrapped pork at Comme Ca.

Bacon-wrapped pork at Comme Ca.

The tartare is lightly smoked and served with house-made chicharrones for dipping, because seriously, why wouldn’t you dip pork into pork? It’s a remarkable combination and with the floral, marinated plum as a palate cleanser between bites, you’ll tear through it much too quickly.

The entrée is a bacon-wrapped bone-in pork chop ($32), served atop grilled romaine hearts, ember-roasted tomatoes and dollops of black garlic ranch. Bacon-wrapped pork? Would you expect anything less?

This is Howard’s riff on a wedge salad, and if all wedge salads tasted like this, we wouldn’t need kale. The grilled romaine hearts have a thin layer of blue cheese melted onto a single side, melding saltiness with smokiness from the grilled romaine. Combined with the juicy, charred tomatoes you hardly need the bacon-wrapped pork. But it puts the dish right over the top.

Bacon for dessert? Only during the special Brian's Bacon menu at Comme Ca.

Bacon for dessert? Only during the special Brian's Bacon menu at Comme Ca.

The pork chop is tender with the bacon outer wrapping providing a crunchy contrast to the juicy meat beneath. Use your fingers and gnaw this beast down to the bone; don’t worry, Comme Ca doesn’t mind.

For dessert, Howard is serving a trio of bacon-based treats ($16). Chocolate-dipped smoked bacon is served alongside a butterscotch and bacon pot de crème and bacon cronets—Howard’s play on the cronut craze in the form of a beignet instead. The cronets are bacon-laced, vanilla crème-filled and exceedingly addictive, but the pot de crème is downright dangerous. An amalgamation of sweet and meat, this is dessert perfection.

The least pork-heavy menu item is the bacon-based cocktail. Praise the Lard & Pass the Bacon, a sweet, citrus-forward cocktail that serves as the perfect foil for the rest of the bacon-y goodness. Which is not to suggest it's vegetarian. The drink is made with pork belly-infused Four Roses Bourbon and garnished with a bacon twist. That’s how they roll.

Any of the menu items can be ordered individually during dinner or the full suite can be ordered as a $59 tasting menu. Just don’t waste time getting to Cosmopolitan, because after Saturday’s dinner service, these dishes may never be served again. You’ve been forewarned.

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