In many cultures, roasting a whole suckling pig signals a celebration. At popular Moorish/Basque tapas spot La Vara, however, there’s cause for a feast practically every night. A signature “special,” the cochinillo ($30) is on the menu regularly, except “when we run out or we don’t get a delivery, and then people get mad at us,” says chef/owner Alexandra Raij.
It’s easy to see why some would get upset when denied the baby pig, roasted 12 hours until the skin crackles and the flesh becomes moist and tender. The lovely, lush flavors of the meat is enhanced by the king of Argentine condiments, chimichurri, and a very Basquian quince and rose jus (a nod to the backgrounds of Raij and her co-chef and husband, Eder Montero). Pairing the meat with greens such as Swiss chard, black kale, pine nuts and currants, and some pan amb tomaca, slender slices of bread rubbed with tomato and olive oil and topped with tuna and crunchy slivers of nori, completes a truly mouthwatering meal.
268 Clinton St.