Pig Tale

Poste's chef goes whole hog

When it comes to nose-to-tail dining in D.C., few chefs take the concept as literally as Rob Weland.

The chef at Poste Moderne Brasserie uses as many parts of the pig as possible, including cuts that might otherwise go to waste. He sources his tails, trotters and more from farms like Polyface, Pipe Dreams and Bev Eggleston's EcoFriendly Foods.

At the bar and on the "20 Bites" tasting menu–which is offered only at the four-seat chefs' pass–Weland serves crispy pig's-tail croquettes ($14). To create these delicate, crispy snacks, he carefully debones and rerolls the tail, then cooks it en sous vide and garnishes it with spicy mustard and a deviled quail egg.

Pig ears and offal appear in terrines and galantines on the charcuterie plate; on the entrée side of the menu, a phyllo-like crust contains slow-braised trotters served with a poached hen egg ($27).

Weland literally puts the carving knife in the diners' hands at the restaurant's Poste Roast. Groups of six to twelve can reserve the communal table in the patio's garden and share a whole suckling pig, lamb, goat or salmon. Call ahead to reserve the table and specify in advance which animal to prepare.

At these whole-beast feasts, the kitchen will present the roasted animal for inspection, then return it to the kitchen to handle most of the butchering. Once the animal's on the table, it's up to you to divide the cuts. The restaurant prepares the most popular parts, but diners can even request tools for digging out the most adventurous bites.

Poste Moderne Brasserie, 555 8th St. NW, between E and F sts.; 202-783-6060 or postebrasserie.com