On the day of Hurricane Irene, my neighborhood was lucky; we were virtually untouched, aside from a few branches scattered across the road. As dinnertime approached and we contemplated leftovers, I took advantage of still having electricity by killing some time on Facebook, where I noticed the following message pop up on my newsfeed, courtesy of a nearby restaurant that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine:
“TONIGHT! We’ve got a littly piggy named IRENE and she is all yours! First 12 people to call Posto and book a spot can help devour her! It will be one large table so come prepared to have fun and meet new peeps! $25pp. Piggy, Salad, Sides and Dessert.”
I turned to my boyfriend. “What do you think about eating a whole pig with strangers at Posto tonight for $25 each?”
A few hours later, we sat down with a friend who saw me talking about the dinner on Facebook, a bunch of strangers, and – by sheer coincidence – a couple I had met at a birthday party of a mutual friend months ago. Somerville is a small world.
The food soon began to roll out. First: insanely delicious grilled bread, fresh out of the pizza oven. Then, some salad. Finally, pig. Just pig. Oh, and a giant bowl of potatoes. Before it arrived on our table in parts, the whole pig was paraded around the table and I had a long moment of regret. The whole idea of eating this seemed barbaric, in a way. But then I concluded that if I couldn’t face the whole animal that I would be eating, I probably shouldn’t be eating it.
First, plates arrived with giant slices of pig filled with stuffing containing…more pig. A delightful herbed sausage stuffing. This seemed somewhat manageable; we each took a slice. Barely into our portions, we were presented with the kind of thing you’d see at a medieval feast: the pig head and feet on a raised platter. A strange mix of excitement and revulsion could be felt around the table. While much of this platter was ignored, some diners did dive right in to find the cheek meat.
Several other plates of pig appeared at the table as well – ribs and other assorted parts. The amount of food could have fed an army. To top it off? Cannoli for dessert.
While this was a special event, a whole pig roast is typically available Mondays through Thursdays with two weeks’ notice for $425 – up to 12 people. The locally raised pig is roasted in Posto’s fantastic wood oven and accompanied by potatoes and salad.
For the less porcinely inclined, the rest of Posto’s menu is extraordinary. Try the classic bolognese or gnocchi with short rib (half sizes are available!) – or a wood-fired pizza. Posto is New England’s first Certified Neapolitan Pizzeria, so pizza aficionados are sure to be satisfied.
187 Elm St, Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144
Hours: Mon – Sat, 5pm – 11pm; Sun 11am – 11pm
Rachel Leah Blumenthal is a Somerville-based writer, photographer, and musician. She writes about food on her blog, Fork it over, Boston!, and runs Boston Food Bloggers, a networking community. For more information, visit RachelBlumenthal.net.