11 Spots for Whole-Animal Roasts in Boston

Pig out on these feasts
November 11, 2015
by Scott Kearnan

Chefs are embracing "nose-to-tail" dining, and offering creative spins on serving up a whole roast beast. Whether you're seeking the drama of a whole roasted pig, duck, goat or even just whole fish, bring friends to try the trend at one of these Boston-area eateries.

Bar BouludChef Daniel Boulud's Back Bay entry offers the "Rustic Family Feast" that serves at minimum seven guests with a 20-lb pig; you can order enough to feed up to 20 max. The kitchen requires a two-week lead time and the cost is $70 per person, but you'll also get oysters and charcuterie to start, sides like cauliflower, a spread of desserts (including a basket of madeleines for the table), and for an additional $150, a magnum of red wine. 776 Boylston St.; 617-535-8800

BELLY Wine Bar. At Belly, you'll eat the belly. And the shoulder. And the other appendages. The restaurant's "Arm + a Leg" feasts are popular whole-roast dinners that focus on a different animal monthly. Each feast feeds four to eight people for $62/person; 48 hours' notice required. 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge; 617-494-0968

BISq. The new Cambridge sibling to Somerville's Bergamot (pictured) offers whole-animal dinners that are fully customizable. Size up the animal of your choice (pig, lamb, goat?) for a price of $30–$75 per person depending on the size of the party, and chef Dan Bazzinotti will whip up three additional courses, including dessert, to round out the meal. For a restaurant that specializes in small plates, this is one big feast. 1071 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-714-3693

Citizen Public HouseCitizen was early on the whole-animal trend in Boston, and it's still one of the most popular destinations. Each roast is for 10 or more guests ($450; $45 per additional guest) and includes an assortment of shellfish and sides like Brussels sprouts, broccoli gratin and more.  1310 Boylston St.; 617-450-9000

Kirkland Tap & Trotter. Chef Tony Maws complements the "Whole Hog" dinner at his beloved Craigie on Main with the more malleable "Whole Animal" feasts at this Somerville sib. Choose your meat and let Maws do the rest, customizing the sides and pairing it with just the right wines. Prices are subject to the size of your party, but start at $55 per person Monday through Thursdays, $85 per person on Fridays and Saturdays. 425 Washington St., Somerville; 857-259-6585

Liquid Art HouseFor a feast with flair, head to this restaurant-slash-art gallery (pictured) for family-style whole roasts like Rohan duck with sour-cherry marmalade, suckling pig with shallot jam, and a trio of Green Circle chickens, the variety fed on the scraps of high-end eateries like Per Se. Plus it's a chance to check out what new chef Doug Rodrigues is up to there; the Clio alum landed in the kitchen there just this week. 100 Arlington St.; 617-457-8130

Loyal Nine. The options vary nightly, but there are always some whole-roast options on the agenda at this Cambridge relative newcomer. Whole roasted aged duck with confit legs and liver mousse, head-to-tail bluefish and whole fried mackerel over corn and mushrooms are among the recent options. 660 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-945-2576

MC Spiedo. "Spiedo" means "spit" in Italian, so it's no surprise that the old-world cookery at this Seaport restaurant from James Beard winners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier includes a "Suckling Pig Saturdays" concept. The 40-inch steel spit (pictured at page top) is used to roast a pig every week, with the delicious results carved and plated tableside, then accompanied by sides like creamy polenta and roasted carrots. The best part: it's a whole feast available as an à la carte ($24) menu option. 606 Congress St.; 617-476-5606

Osteria Nino. Whole roasts have made their way to the best of the 'burbs. Including this Italian from the Lyons Group (the team behind spots like Sonsie and Back Bay Social Club), where the wood-fired oven is used to roast a suckling pig ($45 per person; minimum of 10 people) with five days' notice. Ready? Set? Call. 19 Third Ave., Burlington; 781-272-1600

Posto. Larger parties will want to look into this Somerville eatery's pig roasts for 10–12 people ($525). Accompaniments include a seasonal salad, warm olives, herb-roasted Yukon gold potatoes and roasted apples. (Lighter appetites can opt just for the Asian BBQ hog head at its sister restaurant, Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar.) 187 Elm St., Somerville; 617-625-0600 

Tavern Road. The animal options vary, and so will the price. But parties of 12 or more can choose between animals like lamb, goat, pig or duck, moving from appetite-whetting starters like braised tongue right through to the tail. Along the way, graze on sides like fried potatoes, gnocchi and spaetzle. 343 Congress St.; 617-790-0808

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