The last time I caught up with David Uygur, it was February, and he had just been named Prince of Pork at the national Cochon555 event, reigning supreme with his take on a Red Wattle heritage-breed beast. It’s a beast Uygur knows intimately, bringing it in to Lucia, where he fashions all manner of charcuterie, from smooth, spreadable n’duja to the long-cured, spiced, and seductive.
At Macellaio, he told me, as he spoke about the slated opening of a new restaurant just blocks from Lucia in the spring, he was excited about the chance to do what he loves—curing meat—in a 55-seat space, where he could have a roster of coppa, lardo, prosciutto, pancetta, and others. “It’ll be fun to have a change to stretch out,” Uygur says.
Last night’s opening menu at the restaurant that he runs with his wife Jennifer included a section of little snacks, like sea salt poached potatoes with mojo picon and duck tongue confit with onion dip. Share-plates went into the territory of palote cacio e uova (little eggy fritters); a triple-threat tomato salad with tomato leaf oil, sumac, garum (the fishy condiment from ancient Roman cuisine), and tomato skin powder; spice roasted carrots with labneh and preserved lemon; and slow-roasted Anson Mills grits with wild mushrooms. Think tapas meeting the intelligence of the Mediterranean world.
Anthony Bombacci is Macellaio’s chef de cuisine. The beverages include an Italian-inspired roster of vermouths, amari, and wine. You know the breads, which are of the same ilk as the crackling country loaf that begins every meal at Lucia.
“I am attracted to the timeline. When I look at my salumi board,” Uygur said when I spoke with him in February, “it represents a chronology from whole animal or part of animal to final product”—a span of days to a week (pâtés) or a matter of years (certain firm salumi). For Uygur, salumi-making is a process of small revelations.
Stay tuned for a first-bite post soon. Meanwhile, go forth and have your own salumi revelations. The salumi-nibbling spot is located at 287 N. Bishop Ave., right smack in the heart of the Bishop Arts District, dominating a corner.
Make reservations here. And don’t forget that there’s an ample counter in the spacious room, which is reserved for walk-ins.