Since they first opened -- and re-opened -- then reopened Oak at Fourteenth, owners Bryan Dayton and chef Steve Redzikowski have tried to create a true neighborhood restaurant, pulling in crowds of regulars with their creative take on North American cuisine and an equally inventive beverage program.
And starting April 3, the restaurant will try to get even more chummy with the community, when it hosts the first in a series of quarterly pig roasts aimed at building a party-like following.
"We'll be doing it four times a year with different themes, and the idea is to have it evolve and be always constantly changing," Dayton explains. "We want to do pork and cider in the fall, champagne and pork in the summer, maybe bourbon in the winter, that kind of thing." And for next year, he says, the restaurant is talking with a mezcal producer about pairing the Mexican spirit with a whole-roasted goat.
To kick it all off, though, the restaurant will channel the party culture of Spain, pairing the April pig with Rioja. "We want it to be like the cafes of Spain, where you come in and get a glass of wine, and everyone shows up and it's crazy and fun," says Dayton. They plan to display the swine, which is half Berkshire pig and half wild boar, on the bar with a bottle of Rioja sticking out of its mouth.
The meal itself will be five courses -- all based on parts of the pig -- and will pair each course to a different Rioja wine, including a 2004 Muga Riserva, which should be the highlight of the meal. But the event won't be a formal dinner -- Dayton hopes the weather cooperates so that people can hang out on the patio, from the first glass of rosé until dessert.
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While Dayton's excited about the first party, he's also providing incentives to come to all of them. "We'll give people a card, and if they come to every party all year, they'll get a cool T-shirt that says they went to every roast," he reveals.
The Rioja roast, priced at $75 per person, excluding tax and tip, will be on Tuesday, April 3; the regular menu will not be available that night. To make reservations, call Oak at 303-444-3622.