Pig's Ears are the New Pork Belly
I wish I could say I spotted this trend, but I can't. A brilliant food writer I know has pointed out the proliferation of pig's ears in New York City restaurants. The very best are—no surprise here—at the Spotted Pig, where April Bloomfield serves them, super crisp and sliced thin, with lemon caper dressing (they're notable enough that they earned special mention from Grub Street). At Hakata TonTon, the West Village restaurant that's better known as "the pig's foot restaurant", there's pig's ear marinated in vinegar soy sauce (the Village Voice's excellent Robert Sietsema noted that it appears in 33 of the 39 dishes—this must be one of them). At El Quinto Pino, the super authentic tapas bar from the Tia Pol group, there's a pig's ear salad. Peter Meehan didn't seem to have loved it in his New York Times review of the place (it was one of the few things he didn't love; he called that salad "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor,") and I usually agree with him, so that's probably not where I'll be going to eat pig's ears.