There’s only five more days of legal foie left in the state of California, so I thought I’d round up and recap the foie gras dishes that I’ve had recently that are still available until the ban goes into effect. Rather than rank them sequentially, I’ve thrown them into three buckets:
Foie of Utmost Importance (“I’m making a special trip for this...”)
Foie of Least Resistance (“It’s on the menu, and it sounds pretty darn good...”)
Foie of Last Resort (“Well, can’t get it after Saturday, guess I’ll order it...”)
Obviously, the bucket names are a bit tongue-in-cheek, so take the raking in the same spirit. The dishes are listed by price in each bucket below.
Foie of Utmost Importance:
* Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait, Fig Marmalade, Grilled Baguette ($16, $8 from 5-6 PM; FIG)
* Foie Gras, Biscuit, Maple Sausage Gravy ($25, Animal)
* Foie Gras Ravioli, Aromatics, Parmesan, Italian Summer Truffle ($35 Lunch Main Course, $28 Dinner “Hot” Starter; Providence)
I picked three very different foie gras preparations at this rank. Each are amazing in their own way, and you really can’t go wrong with any of these dishes. Animal’s will give you the purest taste of foie gras of the three, but the foie gras really “makes” the other dishes too. It’s just a matter of what form you'd like your foie to be in when you consume it.
Foie of Least Resistance:
* Foie Gras Saikyo-Yaki ($20, Shunji Japanese Cuisine)
* Summer Berry Gazpacho, Armagnac Poached Foie Gras, Pickled Beets ($22, Petrossian)
* Bobo Farms Foie Gras, Apple-Rosemary Butter, Caramelized Cippolini, Molasses Toast ($25, Hatfield’s)
I am not sure if the saikyo-yaki is still on Shunji’s menu, but if it’s not, Son of a Gun has a potentially-similar miso foie gras dish that I haven’t had but have heard good things. The other two are very different from each other, with Petrossian’s gazpacho light and refreshing, and Hatfield’s foie gras rich and and comforting; both had generous portions of foie for the types of dishes they were.
Foie of Last Resort:
* Smoked Eel & Foie Gras Terrine, Piccalilli, Soy Gastrique, Brioche ($14, Waterloo & City)
* Asparagus with Foie Gras Ravioli, Black Summer Truffles, Little Gem Lettuce, Truffle Jus Vinaigrette ($16, Petrossian)
* Foie Gras Sauté, Grilled and Partially Dehydrated Strawberries, Black Sesame, Green Almonds ($26, Providence)
These dishes are not bad by any means, but the foie gras was not the highlight of any of them. The unagi with the terrine worked well with the foie, but did not let the foie take the spotlight. The foie in the ravioli reminded me more of chicken liver, and the star of the dish was definitely the asparagus. The strawberries in the sauté stole the show, its sweet/tart-ness overshadowing the foie completely.
So that’s it for me. I hope someone finds this useful. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze in more foie gras before the ban goes into effect, but if I can, I’ll be looking for your personal recommendations.
So post your own list below, using whatever criteria or ranking you'd like, but please be at least fairly confident that the dishes are still available, so that whoever wants to try them may still be able to do so in the time remaining.
[Full-size photos, with captions, at http://offaloffal.com/]