The Crispy Pig in Sea Cliff puts a southern twist on gastropub. The upscale menu rewrites the rules of rotisserie, combining authentic preparation techniques with hints of BBQ.
“Be prepared to have a good time, use your hands and eat,” said owner Michael Imbriano, who opened the rustic joint with wife Jodie Imbriano in May. “There was a void in the area for southern cuisine so I wanted to put my own spin on it.”
Imbriano takes diners back to basics with the confit cooking style he uses on his chicken wings.
“Our wings are cooked twice. First in their own fat for a couple hours. Then we let them cool down and when the customer places the order, we fry and sauté them in our homemade BBQ sauce.”
This preserves the juices and makes the antibiotic and hormone free wings extremely tender. It’s the ultimate southern comfort dish delivered in style.
Another signature plate is the lemon rosemary pan seared catfish that is prepared on a hot skillet until golden and transferred into a cold pan to heat up with lemon juice and herbs. A spoon is then used to pour cold butter over the catfish as it’s cooking.
“This slower process really allows the butter and seasoning to soak throughout the catfish for a more flavor[ful] finish.”
Prepare to ask for a few extra napkins with the dirty mac & cheese. Dressed with taleggio, aged provolone, jalapeños, pancetta and a roasted collard green vinaigrette this entrée doesn’t mess around with tastebuds.
The ambiance is just as entertaining. There are white washed walls constructed from oak panels, reclaimed wood and vintage signs that give the eatery an old-school, casual feel.
The eight-seat bar is made of walnut and surrounded by assorted Edison light bulbs. It houses 12 beers on tap and the raved-about cocktail Southern Belle, infused with Stoli Blueberi, lemonade and mint sprig garnish. The Moscow Mule is another crowd-favorite served in a copper mug with Stoli Vodka and ginger beer.
“The sweetness from the Stoli Blueberi and the tartness from the lemonade make the smokiness from the BBQ cuisine a little sweeter.”
Come October, The Crispy Pig will start dishing out pumpkin pecan praline tarts and s’mores lava cakes topped with marshmallow cream and served with a skewer of toasted marshmallows wrapped in bacon.
“These comfort foods will make diners feel more at home.”
They’re all treat—with no tricks.