Why? Emerging Chefs Midnight Brunch!

It was a night of brunch, bubbly, and the Blue Moon over Cleveland! Friday night, Matthew and I headed to Emerging Chefs‘ Midnight Brunch at The Black Pig.

We are definitely not used to events that begin at 11pm and needed a power nap after work to make it through! We arrived at the restaurant and were shown to the lovely and intimate rooftop patio with a gorgeous view of downtown Cleveland.

We ran into Katie and her boyfriend Nick and decided to make a brunch foursome of it. We sipped on a welcome cocktail of gentine, absinthe, champagne and lemon. One of my favorite parts of this brunch was that every drink pairing but one involved bubbly.

Our first course was a goat cheese tart with sweet red onions and a red onion gastrique, paired with Henriot Brut NV champagne.

The goat cheese was whipped into a light and airy filling that was perfectly complimented by the tang of the red onions. The herbed pastry shell had a great flavor too. Overall, a delicious start to our late-night feast.

Course two was playfully named “Lox and Rocks” and was Chef Michael Nowak’s take on the traditional lox and bagel breakfast. This course was paired with a St. Germaine cocktail.

The salmon, which is some of the best I’ve had in town, was cured in-house along with beets, giving the fish a rich red color. Served alongside was house-made bread that was seeded to be like an everything bagel (my favorite!), hard-boiled egg, and pickled onion. A little taste of all these elements made for the perfect bite!

The oyster was topped with caviar. See the powder underneath? It was very salty and should be used sparingly. I missed that memo and messed up the taste of my oyster, unfortunately.

The third course was my favorite of the night: braised pork belly, crispy fingerling potatoes, poached quail egg, Chanterelle mushrooms, and pearl onions. You got it: a new spin on bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns! This course was paired with a traditional mimosa.

Every element of this dish worked perfectly by itself, but if you put them all together, it got even better. That was one thing both Matthew and I noted after the brunch: all the dishes had a lot of elements to them that all were enhanced by combining them into flavor-packed bites. That takes some serious culinary talent!

The pork belly literally melted in your mouth, the quail egg was the perfect size to add richness without being overwhelming, and the mushrooms: I could have eaten an entire bowl!

We weren’t done yet: next up was steak and eggs. A thinly-pounded pork steak was country-fried and paired with black pepper Bearnaise, asparagus, fluffy egg, and Anson Mill grits. This course was served with Rose Brut NV champagne.

This was Matthew’s favorite course and it’s not hard to see why. The breading was light and didn’t overwhelm the meat, the grits were creamy and delicious, and you can never go wrong with us and asparagus.

Chef Nowak doubled down on dessert. First, we got a piece of Fromaggier d’Affinois (a French brie-like cheese) covered in truffle honey. Ridiculously good!

And then…brioche french toast, carmelized bananas, Mitchell’s brambleberry ice cream, and candied bacon, all paired with a 2009 Chauteau de l’Echaderie, the only non-sparkling drink of the night.

What a perfectly sweet and salty end to our midnight munching! While I’m not usually a “breakfast” person, Chef Nowak’s innovative and tasty plays on traditional brunch fare made a believer out of me!

The Black Pig will begin serving brunch on Sunday, September 16 and will have extended Sunday brunch hours until 9pm. Chef Nowak told us variations of these Midnight Brunch dishes, including the pork belly and steak and eggs, will be on the menu. Also, The Black Pig is considering making Midnight Brunch a continuing event.

Emerging Chefs next events happen Saturday, September 29 with Harvest Moon at Spice Kitchen & Bar and Sunday, October 28 with The Roaring Twenties at Crop Bistro & Bar.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Emerging Chefs to help promote Midnight Brunch and Harvest Moon. In exchange, I received/will receive a single media pass to each event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

2 Responses

  1. Linda Gruenspan

    I love all the detailed descriptions,,,makes me hungry! -I am looking forward to meeting you on Friday at LOCAVORE! Everything is all set to have a fun filled, deliciously decadent event.

  2. I’m so glad they are going to be offering up some of those brunch items – sound so good! I think the pink powder may have been pink salt -oops! Wished I could have made this one for sure but we had to head down to C’bus early for the OSU game and there is no way I could have swung both!! Looks like another fabulous Emerging Chefs event.

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