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The Great Italian Pigout!

The other night I had the pleasure to attend the Great Italian Pigout, hosted by Chef Chris Palmeri of Naked City Pizza Shop (@NakedCityLV). Chris is an old friend who has cooked around the Strip and made the move a few years ago to do his own thing, to truly embrace his passion for food he wanted to cook. He founded Naked City Pizza Shop inside of Moondoggies Bar here in Vegas, providing a killer Buffalo-style quick-serve, offering sandwiches, wings and various specials. Chris wanted to really do something different, so he enlisted some of his chef buddies from the Strip and they put together a 5-course menu, embracing all things Pig. For this festival of deliciousness, I wanted to definitely support and enjoy what the guys had put together, and for $25.00, the meal was a bargain.

I headed over to Moondoggies, running into a few people from Vegas past and we dove into the experience. Starting us off was a Jack Daniels Honey cocktail, mixed with their new liqueur, orange juice and amaretto. A touch sweet for me, but the whiskey base spirit would definitely be an easy drink mixed with iced tea or soda water.

First course on deck was a sheet pan (Chris’ signature Buffalo-style) Margarita Pizza with housemade sweet Italian sausage. Although I couldn’t enjoy this myself (tomato allergy), everyone who had the ‘za thought it had great flavor, wasn’t overly salty and freshness. Fortunately, Chris made me a plate of the sausage, sans sauce along with house-made bread, which didn’t suck. Following that up, was the Pork Shoulder Ragu with Papardelle which looked amazing! Again, a dish I couldn’t enjoy (my loss), but the sweetness of the red wine braise with the shoulder, allowed the sheer umami goodness to come out. I was lucky to have a simple plate of the Papardelle with olive oil and parmesan cheese – mild flavors, but much needed.

The next course was a great surprise, but quite fitting based on the meal – it was time for salad. He put together a mix of Field greens with Cured Pork Loin with Lemon vinaigrette. This loin was cured in a similar style to Prosciutto, but with the cut of pork it was savory and rich, while having a lack of fat. The coup de gras of the meal was during the fourth course, Housemade Porchetta – stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, pork loin and wrapped in pork belly. This dish with the three different types of pork was a fantastic marriage of flavors – as the sausage wasn’t too salty, the loin was tender and wrapped in the pork belly made it amazing.

Rounding out the meal, courtesy of Jolene’s baker at Sloppi Jo’s Roving Eatery (@SloppiJos) were two delicious nuggets of joy - Breakfast cupcakes with pancake batter studded with bacon, bacon butter cream and Elvis cupcakes – banana cupcake with peanut butter butter cream. Let me tell you – if you thought the first four dishes were gluttonous, these desserts took the cake. Literally.

I can’t wait to head back to Naked City to try some of Chris’ damn good and creative sandwiches and wings, but whenever he’s ready to do the next themed dinner I’m definitely in. And those of you who missed this experience, don’t you dare do that again!

Keep eating and drinking…