the whole animal

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael's Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael’s Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

This summer Michael’s Restaurant Group in Long Beach is featuring the “whole animal” menu at all three of its restaurants: Michael’s Pizzeria, Michael’s On Naples, and Chianina. The whole animal concept involves utilizing the entire animal in a variety of menu options. I was lucky enough to sample many of these delicious offerings. Here’s what you have to look forward to –

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael's Pizzeria.

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael’s Pizzeria.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael's On Naples.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael’s On Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael's Of Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael’s Of Naples.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette. Truly great!

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette at Chianina. Truly great!

Bacon gelato at Chianina -  this actually works!

Bacon gelato at Chianina – this actually works!

I love the emphasis of the whole animal menu. It forces you to try things you may not have considered gourmet in past. Chef David Coleman’s menu is successful at all three restaurants. Cheers to new food experiences in Long Beach!

2 thoughts on “the whole animal

  1. Bibi

    What was best? How were the duck necks? I’m planning on BBQ brochettes of duck hearts, a recipe I discovered in the Basques country while on the Camino de Santiago. Only problem is the minimum order is 30 lbs! Not sure I can rally enough culinary adventurers to even consume 1 lb of them!

    Reply
    1. wade Post author

      That’s a tough question. The tongue was the most surprising dish because I’ve never experienced it cured. The duck neck pasta was fantastic as well. It reminded me of pulled pork but with a unctuous ducky flavor without being gamey. Excellent with the handmade pasta. I wouldn’t recommend 30 lbs of anything unless you have a large freezer:) …But if you do you know how to get a hold of me!

      Reply

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