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Where for great Foie Gras?

Where for great Foie Gras?
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  • Where for great Foie Gras?

    Post #1 - November 3rd, 2010, 9:22 am
    Post #1 - November 3rd, 2010, 9:22 am Post #1 - November 3rd, 2010, 9:22 am
    I have a celebration dinner coming up and think it would be just great if I could get foie gras for an appetizer and maybe nice duck breast or quail for an entree....

    Since the ban was lifted, I haven't exactly figured out where to go for foie gras any more.

    I used to love it at Naha, a perfect fried (sauteed) fat appetizer, but I went there in 2008 and they had TOTALLY changed the preparation, and it wasn't worth going back for.

    I don't want some "fancy" thing where they mix the foie gras with something else. No pate. Just give me a nice sauteed slice, with the other stuff that pairs well on the plate.

    I live on the north side of Chicago near Loyola, but I'm rather figuring on going downtown for this. But I guess I can go somewhere else as well.

    Any ideas?

    Nancy
    Last edited by Nancy S on November 3rd, 2010, 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:16 am
    Post #2 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:16 am Post #2 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:16 am
    Lots of places in the city preparing foie gras torchon now...doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. Check out Boka (bokachicago.com). Alternatively, restaurant Michael in Winnetka is a good place to get a nice piece of seared foie.
  • Post #3 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:44 am
    Post #3 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:44 am Post #3 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:44 am
    Nancy S wrote:I used to love it at Naha, a perfect fried (sauteed) fat appetizer, but I went there in 2008 and they had TOTALLY changed the preparation, and it wasn't worth going back for.

    I had the foie gras appetizer at Naha in May or June, and it was awesome. In fact, it was exactly what is still listed on the online menu:

    Hudson Valley Foie Gras and a "Tarte Tatin" of Apricots, Rhubarb and Fennel, Red Currants, Banyuls Gastrique and Elderberry Flowers

    The foie was served whole, simply seared & un-messed-with, on top of the tarte. The tarte had sweet & tart flavors and some crispy/flaky texture that paired nicely with the rich foie. I really enjoyed it.
  • Post #4 - November 3rd, 2010, 7:16 pm
    Post #4 - November 3rd, 2010, 7:16 pm Post #4 - November 3rd, 2010, 7:16 pm
    Alternatively, restaurant Michael in Winnetka is a good place to get a nice piece of seared foie.



    Chef Lachowicz's foie preparations are always stellar. My fave to date: a duck confit/foie strudel. MMMMMM. In fact, the current foie dish combines the two preparations:



    Sauteed Medallion of Hudson Valley Foie Gras over foie gras strudel with candied huckleberries $19


    Such a deal! :wink:
  • Post #5 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:34 pm
    Post #5 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:34 pm Post #5 - November 3rd, 2010, 10:34 pm
    Khaopaat wrote:
    Nancy S wrote:I used to love it at Naha, a perfect fried (sauteed) fat appetizer, but I went there in 2008 and they had TOTALLY changed the preparation, and it wasn't worth going back for.

    I had the foie gras appetizer at Naha in May or June, and it was awesome. In fact, it was exactly what is still listed on the online menu:

    Hudson Valley Foie Gras and a "Tarte Tatin" of Apricots, Rhubarb and Fennel, Red Currants, Banyuls Gastrique and Elderberry Flowers

    The foie was served whole, simply seared & un-messed-with, on top of the tarte. The tarte had sweet & tart flavors and some crispy/flaky texture that paired nicely with the rich foie. I really enjoyed it.


    I had the foie gras at Naha about the same time. With a Rioja. So simple and spectacular.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #6 - November 4th, 2010, 5:02 am
    Post #6 - November 4th, 2010, 5:02 am Post #6 - November 4th, 2010, 5:02 am
    milz50 wrote:Lots of places in the city preparing foie gras torchon now...


    Great thread, as I too would like solid recs on pure foie gras. I've been bothered by this torchon and pate trend for quite a while. Am I the only one who thinks these techniques destroy the two main attractions for eating foie (taste and texture)? Furthermore, I'd much prefer a duck/chicken/pork based pate on flavor alone. I also think torchons are lazy. Yes, the method takes more time, but chefs are doing it in batches large enough to last a week during their prep; seemingly just for the sake of getting the words "foir gras" on their menus.

    Even though not the fanciest preparation in town, I really like Big and Little's seared lobes over fries. It's a big F-U to all those fancy con-torchon-ists out there. :lol:

    Big and Little's
    939 N. Orleans St.
    Chicago, IL 60610
    312-943-0000
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #7 - November 4th, 2010, 7:27 am
    Post #7 - November 4th, 2010, 7:27 am Post #7 - November 4th, 2010, 7:27 am
    Currently on the menu at Blackbird (and quite delicious):

    Roasted hudson valley foie gras with charred green garlic, black garlic, preserved plums and shrimp salt
  • Post #8 - November 7th, 2010, 6:17 pm
    Post #8 - November 7th, 2010, 6:17 pm Post #8 - November 7th, 2010, 6:17 pm
    Well, I had posted late so I didn't see all the replies before I went, but some recommendations seemed good anyway.

    We went to Boka. Now, the foie gras was good, but not that old Naha style, more like the new.

    There were two smallish pieces of foie gras, one was on banana, one was on brioche.

    This dish was indeed quite good and probably compares to what a lot of restaurants serve.

    The "old Naha" foie gras by comparison was one slice of foie gras, seared, usually served with a port wine sauce and maybe some toast on the side. Totally not vertical - which just worked better. Like an ultimate fried fat.

    So Boka foie gras - better than some, not my favorite.

    Now I wonder, could it be duck vs goose foie gras? I just wonder why the small pieces instead of the big slice. It wasn't so much a serving size difference.

    Nancy
  • Post #9 - November 8th, 2010, 10:57 am
    Post #9 - November 8th, 2010, 10:57 am Post #9 - November 8th, 2010, 10:57 am
    It is really unlikely you would get Goose Foie Gras in the US. We just don't have enough people eating goose on a regular basis to make it a viable product.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #10 - November 8th, 2010, 1:08 pm
    Post #10 - November 8th, 2010, 1:08 pm Post #10 - November 8th, 2010, 1:08 pm
    Oceanique on Main St. in Evanston does a really nice classic seared Hudson Valley duck foie gras served with poilane toast and a variety of accompaniments on the side, including a pineapple chutney. 20 bucks. Yum! Also, probably easier than going all the way downtown from the Loyola/Rogers Park area....

    Oceanique
    505 Main St.
    Evanston, IL
    http://www.oceanique.com
  • Post #11 - November 11th, 2010, 2:44 am
    Post #11 - November 11th, 2010, 2:44 am Post #11 - November 11th, 2010, 2:44 am
    I can't find the photos but the foi gras at the Publican was beautiful. While taking a tour of the kitchen we were shown the product and got a brief down of their sourcing. Seeing the foi gras in the package I attest to the quality. The liver was hege, and virtually without blemish. At the time of our tour a couple months ago we were told that the Publican was one of very few restaurants sourcing that specifc fois gras as it is only provided in small qauntities.
    “Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.”
    George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright (1856-1950)
  • Post #12 - November 13th, 2010, 11:43 pm
    Post #12 - November 13th, 2010, 11:43 pm Post #12 - November 13th, 2010, 11:43 pm
    I've had the foie gras at The Publican and it was excellent. Last I heard, they only get it in a few times a year.

    If you really want foie gras, go to avec. They have a whole roasted Sonoma Valley foie gras served with roasted pears, walnuts, and herbs. It's been on the menu since they reopened. The menu says market price (~$85). It's meant to feed around four people. I'd have to say it was one of the best things I've eaten all year: http://flic.kr/p/8P9kH5
  • Post #13 - November 14th, 2010, 5:49 am
    Post #13 - November 14th, 2010, 5:49 am Post #13 - November 14th, 2010, 5:49 am
    ive had two preparations of foie recently and both were on the northside in evanston

    First place was at Jacky's (2545 PRAIRIE AVENUE, EVANSTON) Its a daily preparation i guess and the day i had it it was served as part of a 3 phased system. It came with confit duck that was rolled up tightly, it was kind of bland and a little dry so i didnt care for it. The middle part was a thin creme brulee that tasted awesome and the bruled(sp?) top gave the rest of the dish some interesting contrast, but i felt like their wasnt enough. and the third part and probably the most important part was little seared puck of foie on the end. I really cant think of anything that was special about it except that it was a seared nicely and the foie was nice. Definitely not worth driving out your way for, but if in the mood and at Jacky's id certainly give it another go.

    The Second place i went to was stained glass 1735 Benson Ave Evanston, IL 60201, and i havent been back there after many years. but i was pleasantly surprised this time around with all the dishes that i tried. I couldnt resist ordering the foie gras, which was a Foie Gras “BLT” seared foie gras, toasted brioche, apple wood smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, micro greens and white truffle mayonnaise...... Very very tasty dish, The description does a good job explaining the dish my only comments would be to cut the brioche a little thinner, I personally was looking more for the foie and it seemed to get to into the brioche. minor minor complaint tho. Whole thing tasted great and got me super excited for my next dish. Now ill have to go back and try the sweet breads or the tart flambe
  • Post #14 - November 14th, 2010, 8:23 am
    Post #14 - November 14th, 2010, 8:23 am Post #14 - November 14th, 2010, 8:23 am
    notob6 wrote:The Second place i went to was stained glass 1735 Benson Ave Evanston, IL 60201, and i havent been back there after many years. but i was pleasantly surprised this time around with all the dishes that i tried. I couldnt resist ordering the foie gras, which was a Foie Gras “BLT” seared foie gras, toasted brioche, apple wood smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, micro greens and white truffle mayonnaise...... Very very tasty dish, The description does a good job explaining the dish my only comments would be to cut the brioche a little thinner, I personally was looking more for the foie and it seemed to get to into the brioche. minor minor complaint tho. Whole thing tasted great and got me super excited for my next dish. Now ill have to go back and try the sweet breads or the tart flambe

    That's funny, because I too ate at the Stained Glass a couple of nights ago after an absence of about ten years. I thought everything was very good, and the menu seems a lot more creative than my distant memories from my last visit.

    I had the "Foie Gras BLT" and I agree with everything you say about it. The only thing I would note is that if the brioche toast were sliced thinner as you suggest, there's a good chance the "BLT" would fall apart when you pick it up.

    I had the sweetbreads and tried the tarte flambe, so I can give you feedback about both dishes. I love sweetbreads, BTW. The Stained Glass gives you an unusually large portion for an appetizer. They're served on a skewer and are just sweetbreads, without any breading like some places use when cooking them. They were quite good, although slightly bland; they benefited from dipping them into the slight amount of vinaigrette at the bottom of the dish. The accompanying savory bread pudding with a tiny bit of greens on it was also delicious. I tried the tarte flambe and it was very good too; the balance of flavors was somewhat biased towards the cheese (but maybe I just feel that way because I'm a big fan of caramelized onions).

    One other comment. They were jam packed on Friday night around 7:30 pm, so I strongly recommend making reservations in advance.
  • Post #15 - December 10th, 2010, 12:19 pm
    Post #15 - December 10th, 2010, 12:19 pm Post #15 - December 10th, 2010, 12:19 pm
    bkim wrote:If you really want foie gras, go to avec. They have a whole roasted Sonoma Valley foie gras served with roasted pears, walnuts, and herbs. It's been on the menu since they reopened. The menu says market price (~$85). It's meant to feed around four people. I'd have to say it was one of the best things I've eaten all year: Image


    Has this last night and it was truly marvelous. Ours had more of the pan glaze than is shown in bkim's picture, and our walnuts looked more candied than that. I'd say it served 4 people nicely. We did get other dishes, too :) You could probably get away with sharing among 5 people, but 6 people would feel skimped.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #16 - December 10th, 2010, 2:12 pm
    Post #16 - December 10th, 2010, 2:12 pm Post #16 - December 10th, 2010, 2:12 pm
    leek wrote:
    bkim wrote:If you really want foie gras, go to avec. They have a whole roasted Sonoma Valley foie gras served with roasted pears, walnuts, and herbs. It's been on the menu since they reopened. The menu says market price (~$85). It's meant to feed around four people. I'd have to say it was one of the best things I've eaten all year: Image


    Has this last night and it was truly marvelous. Ours had more of the pan glaze than is shown in bkim's picture, and our walnuts looked more candied than that. I'd say it served 4 people nicely. We did get other dishes, too :) You could probably get away with sharing among 5 people, but 6 people would feel skimped.

    Here's the foie from last night, but I did a bad job with picture-taking:

    Image

    The walnuts were definitely more candied last night than the foie I had at Avec before Thanksgiving, though I thought the glaze was less sweet than I remember from last month. I took a better picture then:

    Image

    Funny, from the little bit of label at the right edge of bkim's photo, it looks like you might have had the same wine from the Canary Islands that we did (though we had a white wine with the foie and that red later on in our meal). It was delicious.
  • Post #17 - December 10th, 2010, 11:04 pm
    Post #17 - December 10th, 2010, 11:04 pm Post #17 - December 10th, 2010, 11:04 pm
    Wow, the foie gras from avec looks incredible.

    Carlos' in Highland Park does a lovely seared foie gras.

    Le Titi de Paris has a nice seared foie gras.

    Or you could just hire Patrick Chabert (formerly of Le Français) to cater a party. His foie gras is brilliant. He does a hot and cold preparation that I first had while Le Français was still run by Jean Banchet. Glorious.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #18 - December 11th, 2010, 11:17 am
    Post #18 - December 11th, 2010, 11:17 am Post #18 - December 11th, 2010, 11:17 am
    Can't say where it ranks among all available foies, but I enjoyed the one I had at Bistro Bordeaux in Evanston last night.

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