Ad Hoc Farewell to Foie Gras at FIG
As I write this at 12:30 AM Saturday night/Sunday morning, I wonder if the people at Animal, which is open until 1 AM, have been able to order foie gras for the past half hour, since it’s now July 1st and the first day that the foie gras ban is in effect. I’m also trying to imagine just how much extra business restaurants serving foie have been doing this weekend. And I’m wondering how many restaurants will pay the $1,000/day fine to continue serving foie.
Mostly, though, I am hesitant in posting this post, wondering if it’s cruel to post a review of three dishes my readers won’t be able to order anymore. Well, I have to cut my teeth on this new food blogging thing I’m doing somehow, and who knows if the ban may someday be repealed, allowing these dishes to come back. So here goes.
I returned to FIG Friday night, less than a week after my first visit, and proceed to order everything on the menu that contains foie gras.
The first dish was one that apparently was on the menu when I was there last week, but I had somehow overlooked: Foie Gras with Stone Fruit [$21, $10.50 for FIG at Five].
In this case, the stone fruit was not peaches or nectarines, as I expected, but cherries. It was also served with crushed pistachios and accompanied by two mini-baguettes.
In general, I prefer foie gras seared rather than au torchon. I think it loses a little bit of its punch when cooked thoroughly. I felt this was the case here, that the torchon did not have as strong of a duck-ness that is inherent in a piece of foie gras gently poached or seared to medium-rare. Don’t get me wrong, it still tasted like foie gras and not liver from a chicken or pig, and the mixture of sweetness from the cherries and savoriness from the pistachio really played off each other and worked well with the foie gras.
Next was the Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait [$16, $8 for FIG at Five]. Since I had already written about it last week, I’ll just quote what I said then:
The parfait came in a glass jar and was served with grilled baguettes and fig marmalade.
The parfait was smooth and fatty and salty and paired beautifully with the subtle sweetness of the fig marmalade and the buttery crunch of the baguette. The combination actually reminded me of buttered popcorn.
Last, but kinda least (foie gras-wise), was the Sturgeon, Celery, Apple, Prosciutto-Foie Gras Sauce [$29, $14.50 for FIG at Five].
The foie-ness of this dish was way lower than any of the other foie gras dishes I’ve had recently. Although I’m sure that the taste of the sauce would likely change dramatically without the foie, the foie was not all that apparent in the sauce.
However, the dish itself was excellent. The sturgeon was moist and tender but yet firm. It did not fall apart at the first sign of provocation. The sauce was indeed delicious, while the other accompaniments were quite light and refreshing. The little delicate discs of what I think were radishes, and dollops of whipped (probably) radishes as well, gave a creaminess to the dish, and the celery was perfectly cooked and infused with flavor.
As the conclusion of my ad hoc farewell to foie gras, the sturgeon didn’t really fit, but it did contribute well to another fantastic dinner. So once again I leave FIG (at Five) happy, but also sad that foie gras can no longer be (legally) served in California.
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