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Pork-Focused Dinners Abound In Philadelphia This Spring

Alla Spina is one the Philadelphia restaurants that proudly wear their affection for all things pork on their sleeves. Photo courtsey: Alla Spina

Attention pork aficionados: this one is for you. If you’re looking for a place to go to enjoy a whole roasted suckling pig, you’re in luck.

Philadelphia has a number of great restaurants that are now serving the signature dish, an awesome excuse to grab a group of friends for an indulgent nose-to-tail dining experience.

As Chef Jose Garces puts it, “There’s a decadence to having an entire animal roasted snout to tail for your pleasure…and it’s too delicious to miss.”

So in honor of the special “Pig Out” event coming to Amada, Chef Jose Garces’ first restaurant, on March 25, when the whole suckling pig menu item will be available for the first time to guests not in a group of four or larger, we’ve rounded up a few choice spots around town where you can partake in this gastronomic indulgence and other large format pork dishes.

Go ahead and pig out:

Alma De Cuba: Whole Suckling Pigs are now available at Alma De Cuba for parties of two or more. Dinner includes a ceviche tasting, sides and desserts. You must order three days in advance and, of course, come hungry.

Amada: On Sunday, March 25, Chef Jose Garces’ Amada will host its first-ever Pig Out, featuring two seatings of all-you-can-eat Cochinillo Asado, or roasted whole suckling pig. A signature dish since the restaurant opened in late 2005, the cochinillo asado has never been available to groups smaller than four guests, and requires a 72-hour advance order. But for one night only, for $55/person, you can enjoy a special menu including all-you-can-eat, hand-carved suckling pig. The restaurant will host two seatings: 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. On March 25, the entire restaurant will be reserved exclusively for this indulgent feast. (If you do have four or more people, you can still order the Cochinillo Asado for other dates as long as you call ahead.)

Cantina Feliz: The dinner at Cantina Feliz includes a “Cochinito,” a whole roasted suckling pig for four or more people. It’s $38 per person and served with grilled asparagus, plantains, grilled corn, black beans, refried beans, salsa roja, salsa verde and tortillas.

Alla Spina: Pork is the predominant menu theme at Alla Spina, the new restaurant from Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud and crew. Dishes include pig pot pie, fried pig tails, pig sticks, pork terrine and more. There’s even a giant sculpture of a pig standing over the bar named Alex and, appropriately, it’s Alla Spina’s mascot. As for the pork dishes for a group: the whole roasted pork shoulder with mustard green salad and sotto aceti, on the regular menu for $80; it serves four. During the opening weeks, they’ve also been running a special on a whole roasted pig’s head. Depending on size, the pig’s head will serve between two and four people. Tip: go for the cheeks!

Bonus Round

Amis: Amis is not letting Alla Spina have all the pork-related fun. Chef Brad Spence is on a whole animal kick right now, doing a “Beasts of Amis” series at the restaurant. Earlier this year, Amis offered a whole suckling pig dinners. And this week, the whole roasted pig was back in the house.

Frankford Hall: Also, Frankford Hall has been known to roast an entire pig on special occasions. And trust us, you want to be there when they do.