Passion for Pork Week – Tzin Wine & Tapas
In an effort to hit as many restaurants during Pork Week as possible, I made plans with my friend Jacqueline and mapped out an itinerary to hit three restaurants. Jacquiline would be the perfect partner…she may look skinny, but she can eat a lot. She was up for the task when I asked if she could handle an all-pork menu at three restaurants. She responded with a promising “I can pack it back, and I’m Asian…. I love pork!”
First stop was to visit Corey McGuire, Executive Chef, at Tzin Wine & Tapas. Tucked along the trendy 104th street, Tzin is an intimate wine bar with a sophisticated menu perfect for sharing. The seating is cozy, with tables cropped close together in an atmosphere that made me feel like I was side-street wine bar in Europe, and not somewhere in down town Edmonton.
The first thing you encounter when you walk in to Tzin is the kitchen. There was no hiding for Chef McGuire, and he let me invade his compact kitchen to grab some shots of him plating an appetizer he created for pork week using Irving Farms. Braisedirvingsfarm bacon on crostini with maple balsamic apple compote and Calvados gastrique ($15).
Having been with Tzin for only five months, he was a regular patron long before he set up camp in the open kitchen. With a sous chef and a dishwasher, the three made an efficient team that could efficiently push out dishes that had my head craning for a peek. Chef McGuire is certainly a fan of pork, and proudly showcases local Irving Farms Berkshire on his menu.
When Jacqueline arrived, she allowed the owner Glenn to pick two glasses of wine based on all-pork menu options. First up was the Pork Week feature. Chef McGuire was kind enough to serve mine without a crostini (gluten free!), and both Jacquiline and I were loving this dish.
Clearly we were not the only ones. Chef McGuire reported the dish had been popular, and as of this week was going to be making a permanent appearance on the Tzin menu.
Next up from the regular menu was Chorizo Pincho served with a Spanish bean salad ($15). The pork was served like bite sized-chorizo pops, a little kick, but full of flavour. As a major fan of street meat while I was inLatin America, Chef McGuire’s classier version of meat on a stick made me smile and my taste buds rejoice.
We also got a beautiful plate of Grilled Berkshire Pork Tenderloin served with warm potato salad (along with some combination of veggies that had us both digging for the bottom of the plate) ($18). The trio of pork dishes was an excellent start to the evening, and after eyeing up the seafood paella at the table next to us, I’m excited to order that along with the new permanent pork week appetizer on my next visit to Tzin.
Thursday night…one Pork Week Restaurant down… two more to go.