After hearing rave reviews about Edge, I was looking forward to finally checking out the food for myself. The restaurant was absolutely gorgeous: dim lighting, candles in glass votives, upholstered booths. The manager led our party to the private dining room in the back of the restaurant, where we were seated at a long, wooden table lined with candles. On the table were trays of house made charcuterie, the cured meat alternating with springs of fresh rosemary and thyme. The five-hour dinner began with an introduction by the Seghesio reps and Chefs Aaron Brooks, James King, and Joshua Smith. We immediately got the vibe that the team was excited for the meal they prepared. We started with a BBQ Tom Collins and house made pork rinds. The cocktail was refreshing, smoky, and perfectly complimented the salty, crunchy, smoked paprika-dusted pork rinds.
Before each course, the chefs came out and explained the inspiration behind, and preparation of, each dish. Each chef added his own spin to the plates, from a southern twist on ribs & grits to deconstructed soffrito. The first course, though aesthetically pleasing, was not my favorite. I’ll preface this by saying I do not love oysters or headcheese, both of which made guest appearances. The oyster was super crisp, and the accoutrements provided balance and depth to the dish. Some may find my distaste for the terrine’s consistency pedestrian, sorry. I appreciate the technique but it’s a yet-to-be-acquired taste.
Next up , the pasta course. Chef Brooks called the sauce a pine nut puree, but I call it buttah. The light, ethereal pasta was stuffed with pork and sat on a bed of this velvety, luscious puree. It had the earthiness of truffles, the nuttiness of parmesan, and the texture of finely-sieved potatoes. Divine. Single leaves of charred brussel sprouts and thinly sliced quince were meticulously placed around the tortellini. The brussel sprouts added color and bitterness (in a good way), while the quince, which tasted more like cinnamon-roasted apples, added sweetness and a slightly crunchy textural contrast. The dish was so beautiful and delicious, the room grew silent as everyone ate their food. The wine, my favorite of the night, paired exceptionally well with the pasta. The rich sweetness went nicely against the quince and the rich pork filling.
For the third course, Chef King presented the Stuffed Trotter. He explained that, after tasting the wine, chorizo seemed like a natural pairing. He wanted to do a sweet and tangy twist on a sofrito, turning it into a jam instead of simply as a base. The peppers added tang, while the fresh peas provided a pop of color. The Pinot Noir, albeit not my favorite, stood up well to the spicy chorizo and sweet sofrito.
Next up was my favorite dish of the night, the ribs. Tender, off the bone, and not an ounce of fat, I devoured this plate before most people had a chance to snap a photo. The collard greens, fried in lard, were crispy, salty, and unlike any other greens any of us had ever eaten. One southern belle at dinner exclaimed that she had to tell her grandmother about these collard greens. The grits were luscious. Salty, cheesy and perfectly cooked, they complimented the smoky, juicy pork sprawled atop them. I apologize for this half-ass picture. I wasn’t lying when I said I ate them quickly. The Old Vine Zin paired exceptionally well. It was super bold and really stood up well to the tangy tamarind BBQ sauce.
The piece de resistance: porchetta. Chef James carried the porchetta into the dining room with such care, you’d think he was holding a baby. We all huddled around to watch the chefs carve the pork-within-a-pork table side. The smell of the caramelized, juicy pork made me salivate like Pavlov’s dog. The skin was crispy, meat was tender, and the alternating layers of fat dissolved instantly upon hitting my tongue. It was beautiful. Served with a slew of tasty sides, we were all amply porky enough to be spit-roasted with apples in our mouths. Especially after eating the beautiful heirloom potatoes covered with a thin, transparent layer of lard. The accompanying hush puppies, served with honey butter, propelled me out of my meat coma. The crispy, salty, fried hush puppies were a ridiculously brilliant pairing with the honey butter. At one point, I condemned myself for literally dipping fried dough into pure butter, but the sight of the other equally ravenous guests masked my own glutton. I vowed to do pilates the next day. Never happened.
And now, for dessert. Although the ribs were killer, dessert was just over-the-top delicious. I’m not a chocolate fan, I’d happily trade a soufflé for key lime pie or apple crisp any day. But when the head pastry chef makes bacon ice cream and incorporates lard into the flaky crust surrounding a shiny, rich, bitter chocolate ganache, you surrender. The ice cream lacked the fatty remnants bacon ice cream typically leaves on one’s palate. Instead, we got a milky, icy, beautiful frozen dessert with hints of salty, smoky bacon. This was one of the most memorable meals of my life. Beautiful wine, interesting, delicious food, and even better company. If you haven’t been to Edge, I suggest you check it out immediately. The Four Seasons is lucky to have these talented chefs, and I’m lucky to live within walking distance to the hotel just in case I get a craving for some hush puppies.