I hit up the latest Swine and Dine meal today. It was a real change of pace from the usual supper gatherings as I found myself heading towards ZINC Restaurant (in the AGA) for an 11AM brunch seating. Sharman, aka The Pork Girl, had 14 seats set aside for the event. First off, I have to admit that I’ve never been to ZINC for their brunch menu. Waiting for the rest of our party to arrive left me with time to read through the normal offerings (which we could pick on this day if we so decided). The brunch menu offers you one choice from each of the three categories – to begin, main, and sweet endings. Items include cheese, seasonal fruit, grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, lobster benedict and so on.
I wasn’t here for the lobster benny though. I came for the swine. The first course of bacon inspired pastries was surprisingly light. Maybe it’s because of the size, as I didn’t feel that cloying sweet overload I get with normal pastry plates. Easily my favourite dish was the pear and bacon croissant. Adding a little of the blackberry jam to each bite was heavenly. The dollop of root beer bacon butter added a great porky flavour hit to the bacon cinnamon rolls.
The main course was a huge slab of unctuous pork belly. The well cooked protein sat atop a sweet white bean ragout. The fried egg was likely just a luxury and helped push this into the brunch category. I could tell you all about how good it was, but I’ll just leave it by saying I may have eaten 1/2 of another plate…
We ended the three course meal with a maple bacon creme brule. It came with chocolate covered back and crispy pork rinds. The portion was perfect, but it did lack the finesee of a good brule. All in all, it was a really nice meal. ZINC wasn’t nearly as busy as I thought it would be and the pricing for brunch isn’t that bad. I dare say it’s worth a return visit for a day I don’t require such a fuel up of pork!