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Black Pig Bistro offers nice array of Spanish-inspired dishes

Derived from the name of the black Iberian pig a prized Spanish hog known for its natural diet of acorns olives and grass Black Pig Bistro offers a premium gourmet experience for discerning palates.

Head chef and co-owner Alison Bieber (formerly Cucina) has introduced a fine upscale option to the Bridgeland neighbourhood in the space formerly occupied by DeVille Coffee. Having good bones to work with from DeVille’s renovation the room features a clean design with a white brick feature wall blonde wood tables and eclectic lighting. Surrounded by windows the space feels light and airy.

Visiting on Friday night my husband and I find the room hopping by 6 p.m. — this is Calgary’s latest hot sport and needless to say in these early days reservations are recommended.

Perusing the drink menu we find a nicely curated selection of wines cocktails and beer. My husband selects the Black Pig Caesar a feisty play on the classic made with fresh horseradish ($10).

Wasting no time we also order the tomato Caesar salad ($14) a beautiful and delectable medley of fresh yellow and red tomatoes with a creamy Parmesan anchovy dressing. Topped with savoury brown butter crumbs fried capers basil and thick slivers of Parmesan cheese this salad is a fantastic mix of textures and vibrant flavours.

For our next dish we splurge and order the namesake dish of Jamon Iberico (50 grams $24). Also known as Pata Negra this delicacy is prized for its smooth texture and rich flavour. Cured for over 48 months it really is the finest ham money can buy. Served with a sliced tomato and garlic-rubbed baguette we love the simplicity of the dish — the ingredients speak for themselves. The ham isn’t thickly cut but it’s not thinly shaved either; it’s pleasingly hearty and smooth all at the same time.

Continuing down the pork path my husband orders an awesome rendition of pork and beans ($26). A mix of tantalizing green beans edamame broad and white beans this dish is flavoured to perfection with fennel mint and roasted garlic clove and topped with tender porchetta. It is unlike any pork and beans dish you’ve ever had — everything about it screams fresh vibrant and delectably tangy.

Black Pig Bistro also offers daily features that include the market pig and the market fish. In keeping with our pork theme I go with the market pig ($29). Today’s feature is comprised of two generous servings of sumptuous scaloppini accompanied by mushroom ragout fricassee fiddleheads and ramps (think of a mix between a wild leek and garlic). The dish is a great mix of fresh flavours with the ragout offering an earthy saucy touch to the breaded scaloppini.

The one mild disappointment of the night is the flourless chocolate cake ($10). Oddly deconstructed the plate is dotted with chunks of cake a small scoop of peanut butter fig ice cream and tiny dollops of chocolate pudding and dusted with powdered peanut butter. The result is on the dry side. The cake isn’t overly moist the pudding and ice cream are scant and the powdered peanut butter gives us dry mouth. Individually I like all the ingredients but the balance is off. Next time I’ll try the passion fruit panna cotta.

Black Pig Bistro is an exciting addition to Bridgeland’s emerging dining scene. The service is friendly and knowledgeable and the menu offers a nicely curated array of Spanish-inspired tapas and entrees. Open for lunch and dinner it’s the perfect spot for your next date or a night out with epicurean friends.

And with that I bid you adieu. For the next few months I’ll be trading my fork and knife for late-night outbursts spit-ups and baby coos — and I couldn’t be more excited. Cheers friends.

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