Returning to the Scene of Pig Face Salami

After four glorious days in Trinity, Elliston, and New Bonaventure, we headed back to St. John’s with a specific mission in mind: to return to the scene of last year’s late-night pig face salami snacking session.  A classic pursuit.

The restaurant was Chinched Bistro.  The occasion had been our official Screech In, which was performed by Shaun Majumder and involved an iPhone cord.  It was hilarious and weird and involved more than one beer…. 

At some point in the night, Shaun Hussey, who owns Chinched Bistro with his wife Michelle LeBlanc, suggested we head back to their restaurant and try his house-made pig-face salami.  This resulted in an entire charcuterie sampling, a very late bedtime, solid hangovers the next morning, and one of the greatest memories from our trip.

On this trip, we vowed to return to Chinched during regular hours, and have ourselves a proper meal like the grownup ladies we (supposedly) are.  So, we made reservations for the night before we flew home, and arranged to dine with Thea Morash, who works with the City of St. John’s; we met her last year, and were excited to catch up.     

Chinched Bistro is a place for meat-lovers; Chef Shaun is a cured meat pro, so the charcuterie platter is a must-order. 

There was focaccia, house-baked crackers, olives, mustard, pickles, nuts, pâté, rillet, sausage, and more; if we were more responsible, we’d have written them down and would be able to name each of them.  But we just got too excited and dove right in.  You’ll just have to let us assure you they were amazing.

They also snuck in this tiny plate, which was poached swordfish with tomato salad and truffles.  Holla!

We had the southern fried chicken livers with homemade ranch dressing and kale and bacon coleslaw (think fancy chicken nuggets for the nose-to-tail lover):

The squid ink cavatelli (soft and tender and so beautifully crafted):

The beef tartar with "perfect egg yolk," which was classically done and just so good:

The Korean-style shortribs with coconut sticky rice (I don’t think there will ever be a time either of us see this on a menu and don’t order it – it’s everything that’s good about the world):

And for dessert, we had a slice of Michelle’s wild blueberry pie, which (gloriously) was just good old-fashioned, unadulterated PIE.  No freeze-dried blueberry foam, or deconstructed crust (not even sure what that would look like), or any other weird distractions.  It was a big slice of pie.  Perfect pie. 

We also had their wonderful coffee coconut sorbet, and just the right number of cocktails that we rose the next morning, hangover-free.  What a meal.  Thank you so much to Shaun and Michelle for having us.

The next day, a few hours before our flight left, we grabbed our final Newfoundland meal at Relish; it's a gourmet burger joint owned by Chef Roger Andrews, whose food we’d tried at both the From This Rock dinners and at Cod Wars

We already knew the man is talented, but Relish proved his talent extends to burgers, too.   We stood for an awkward amount of time in front of the menu, unable to decide.  There were a lot of options and we're very indecisive.

Diners can choose from beef, turkey, or vegetarian patty options, a long list of burger ‘types,’ and a huge number of sides.  Every burger comes with lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic mayo, pickles, and their house-made beet relish.  After much menu-staring, we decided to go with their signature, “The Bullet.” 

It’s a tribute to Newfoundland classics, namely fried bologna, fried onions, and deep-fried pickles.  A serious burger! 

Our second choice was the Harvest Jazz, which came with crumbled blue cheese, Havarti, caramelized onions, and walnut pesto. 

We shared a side of sweet potato fries between the two of us, and feasted - both burgers were excellent.  Talk about ending the trip on a light note. 

But we’re not quite done!  Check back in for one more post about our day in St. John’s.