New restaurant/pub on Kauai: The Feral Pig
I laugh when I read one of the Yelp reviews on The Feral Pig, in Lihue, Kauai. It read: "Sazerac? Side cars? Who makes those anymore!?!"
Dave Power, that's who. One of Honolulu's best bartenders when he used to be the bar manager at Town, he made a Nolita (Bulleit bourbon, Dolan Blanc vermouth, Amaro Averna and Angostura Bitters) for John Heckathorn's whiskey tour.
In August, he and Scott Kessinger opened The Feral Pig, a pub with a classic cocktail list and killer food. Possibly literally. Take the Feral Burger, an off-menu item that combines Kauai ground beef with ground, house-smoked pork shoulder, and then tops it with pork belly, caramelized onions and "secret aioli sauce" (so if you want it separate, you're going to have to ask for a "side of SAS"). You can get it either as sliders or as a full sandwich.
It's seriously amazing and I'm not just saying that because I've just had a couple of drinks at Power's bar. Another favorite sandwich is the pork belly banh mi, in which the pate is full and flavorful and the pickles help cut through all the richness. (The recipe for the pork belly comes from Dave Caldiero, chef de cuisine at Town, a parting gift to Power.)
And this being Power's bar, there's always some experiment brewing: an elderflower infusion, smoked Campari, his version of creme de cassis.
This ends up being our last stop before our flight back to Honolulu. Since The Feral Pig is just a mile away from the airport, Power is campaigning for The Feral Pig as Lihue airport's Best Cell Phone Waiting Area. I wish I had people to pick up at Lihue and to greet with a slider sandwich lei.
The Feral Pig, 3501 Rice St., Lihue, Kauai, (808) 246-1100, theferalpigkauai.com