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Mangalitsas All Over

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 14, 2009 5:00PM

The Magalitsa pig, also known as the "curly haired hog," is a breed of pig that originated from Hungary and the Balkans known for its thick wooly coat. The meat from a Mangalitsa pig is also rich in fat and is reputed to have a flavor and texture similar to Wagyu beef. In gourmet circles Mangalitsas have eclipsed mulefoots as the new trendy pork.

This week four restaurants are hosting Mangalitsa dinners with price tags commensurate of the Mangalitsa's popularity. Tomorrow night at Vie (4471 Lawn Ave., Western Springs, 708-246-2082) chef Paul Virant will be joined by BOKA's Guiseppe Tentori, Perennial's Ryan Poli and Girl & the Goat's Stephanie Izard in preparing a five-course, $100-per plate dinner; wine pairings are an extra $40. The scene shifts to BOKA (1729 N. Halsted, 312-337-6070) Wednesday night where the four chefs will collaborate on a four-course, $100 menu. Dinners start each night at 6;30 p.m.

Chef Patrick Sheerin of the Signature Room at the 95th (John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan, 312-280-0472) has also crafted a six-course, $100 Mangalitsa dinner Wednesday night with wine pairings included starting at 6:30 p.m. If you choose to dine at any of these, you'll then have time to decompress before Chris Pandel of the Bristol (2152 N. Damen, 773-862-5555) gets his Sunday Mangalitsa dinner ready for a 7 p.m. seating. The Bristol's Mangalitsa dinner is a six-course affair limited to 50 guests. Cost is $125.