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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Who's Serving Foie Gras? Palio d'Asti, Le Charm, and BayWolf

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Counting down the meals before July 1, when California's foie gras ban takes effect.

At Palio d'Asti, which weathered its first anti-foie protest on Valentine's Day, chef Daniel Scherotter serves an appetizer of hazelnut-encrusted seared Sonoma foie gras with balsamic glazed cippolini onions and shredded radicchio, as well as an entree of slow-roasted duck leg and foie gras with Savoy cabbage, baby carrots, whole-grain mustard sauce, and mostarda de cremona. He only charges a $5 supplement to the restaurant's prix fixe dinner menus. For an extra $10, Scherotter will add a little foie gras to any dish on the menu. Skip foie-ing up the pizzas, where the fat will just melt away, in favor of the gnocchi with braised duck and mushrooms or the porcini ravioli with turkey sugo. After all, there's no point in having foie for foie's sake. Oh, wait...

For a more classic -- aka French -- version of foie, Le Charm, the SoMa bistro, offers a slice of foie gras terrine with apple confit and brioche, for $16. Add another $10, and they'll serve you a glass of Sauternes with the foie gras, a pairing so hallowed Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin mentions serving the two together in his 1825 masterpiece, The Physiology of Taste.

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BayWolf is famous for featuring duck -- and duck livers -- on the menu, but owner Michael Wild says he saves foie gras for the holidays. In honor of the upcoming ban, the Oakland restaurant is throwing a series of "Farewell to Foie Gras" dinners. The first one, on Feb. 26, is already sold out -- "the response has been nothing short of incredible," Wild says -- and so he's announced a second dinner on Sunday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. Next month's $85 prix-fixe menu will be slightly different from the coming one, but you can expect dishes such as foie gras ravioli with double-duck consommé and foie-stuffed duck breast with peas, favas, and greens.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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