Last night, with a welcoming crowd in the bar, the dining room and on the beautiful deck overlooking Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, The Blind Pig held their grand opening. Amidst many happy patrons, who were enjoying The Blind Pig's creative sharing plates menu, owners Tony and Jarryd looked at the turnout and smiled. “I think the opening went really well. I'm really blown away by the overwhelming support of the community and how many people came out the first time. I mean, it's Wednesday and we had an hour long wait for a while”, Tony said. He added, “It's awesome how everybody seems to love the food, the drink and the atmosphere. We're just overall blown away by the support of the community”. Jarryd added, “The fact the the community came out like this; words can't even describe how excited we are to get back into the community, to be part of this, it's huge!” They both agreed as Jarryd continued, “It's going to be a lot of fun. If tonight shows how it's going to be, we're going to have a lot of fun”.
Inside, the patrons enjoyed the expansive bar and the craft cocktails from bartender Gabby. Outside, with a nice sunset followed by a warm, pleasant evening, servers were constantly bringing new plates for the hungry guests to enjoy. The concept at The Blind Pig is simple; empty plates are brought to the tables and then the various sharing plates of food come, to be enjoyed by all. Not only does this allow everyone to try different dishes, but it ups the conversation level as everyone compares their thoughts on the dishes. By sharing, it not only brings a communal event to the table, but allows everyone to compare their tastes and opinions. Inside, they have even taken the approach further, with several communal tables holding ten or more people. There, guests might be sitting across from someone they don't know, using the food to “break the ice” in conversations.
Chef Josh certainly rose to the occasion, keeping his kitchen staff sending out dishes that elicited many oohs and ahhs from the different tables. Almost every table had the bone marrow with pickled figs and smoked shallot marmalade. That looks like it may become the signature dish of The Blind Pig. The bone marrow, rich and velvety, had the richness cut just enough by the marmalade. The combination, served with baguette toasts, seemed to be a hit with everyone. Chorizo raviolis, with cilantro-mint pesto, also seems like another sure hit. The raviolis, nice and with an al dente pasta, were a surprise with the chorizo, adding just enough spiciness to make them something uniquely different. Indeed, it seemed a dish that several tables would order one plate of, then come back and order another plate because they couldn't get enough of the ravioli. Also popular was the golden beet salad, with a cumin-guava vinaigrette and pistachio granola. Fresh, unique and definitely delicious, it is a dish that brings a refreshing coolness to the taste buds.
For dessert, a brie cheesecake was served with a parsley ice cream. Not too rich and definitely flavorful, the flavors blended amazingly well. The parsley ice cream was a complete surprise, reminiscent of green tea ice cream and an excellent palate refresher. Bartender Gabby also made a cocktail that worked very well for dessert. Her Brandy Crusta, with Maison Rouge VSOP, maraschino liqueur, curacao and lemon in a sugar crusted glass, was the perfect drink to end a delicious evening.
From all appearances, the opening of The Blind Pig was a resounding success. As Tony and Jarryd circulated, you could hear the guests telling them how much they enjoyed the experience and that they would be back soon. It looks like a good start for a unique restaurant in a beautiful location.
The Blind Pig
31431 Santa Margarita Parkway