By Wini Moranville
“Sunday, March 27, 1977. Last night, my host family took me to a great restaurant, but the first thing served was that icky cold meatloaf the French are so fond of. …”
Fortunately my tastes have evolved since I penned those words in my journal of a highschool exchange trip to Burgundy. That “icky cold meatloaf” was actually pâté, a French delicacy that I’ve grown to adore—especially now that you can get great versions locally. Three favorites:
At The Cheese Shop of Des Moines, charcuterie pro Brett McClavy crafts his house pâté with pork shoulder, pork liver, pork belly and dried porcini mushrooms for “an hommage to pork.” No pâté enthusiast in this town should miss this take on pâté de campagne (course-ground pork pâté). Also keep an eye out for a rotating selection of specialty pâtés, such as goat meat pâté and rabbit pâté.
Chef Jerry Talerico at Sam & Gabe’s started serving pâté long before pâté was cool. His luscious Pâté Forestière brings a mix of meats and mushrooms, and is classically served with mustard, relish and toast points.
Also read about chef Tag Grandgeorge’s great ways with pâté, including his rabbit liver mousse, in my review of Le Jardin in the May/June issue of dsm.