Cocktails, glorious cheese, fresh coconut water and swine served 15 different ways. Or as some of us called it, Sunday at Newport Dunes. While we bounced between cocktails and pork, occasionally we remembered to take a photo. Here's a taste of what stopped us in our tracks.
Dee Nguyen's Break of Dawn team offered a duo of delicacies, one being a Mexican chocolate custard topped with a spicy candied bacon. Yet we were salivating over their rosemary braised bacon, which melted the moment we started eating. The nutty mango-napa slaw with spiced peanut refreshed and gave us texture. Scallion ginger puree and pork jus reduction took it over the top.
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Despite the heat, there was still a breeze, justifying a stop over at Mark McDonald's Old Vine Cafe soup station. A chili verde pork soup had heat seeking qualities, but we gravitated towards his hearty version of chowder. He adds smoky bacon, stewed pork shoulder and pork sausage. Fried potatoes are a deceiving, but delicious crouton garnish.
Four hours, one Portola Coffee Lab gift basket, and many Haven bacon fat cupcakes later, we dragged ourselves home to crawl into a fetal position on our couch. Pork products are banned from our household until next week. Thank you Bobby and Amar for throwing a porktastic gig. The meals were excellent, but the best part was knowing we were contributing to C-CAPS culinary scholarship program.