Encore une foie

In case you missed it, here are my thoughts on the next indulgent offal dish in line to replace foie gras that appeared in last Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

It’s been a little more a month since foie gras became an illegal indulgence in California. Foodies of all sorts have been searching for the next foie gras — a guilty pleasure that’s just as luxurious and decadent. I’ve spotted a couple potential contenders on local menus myself.

Sweetbreads seem to be making a splash on local menus in the absence of foie gras.

Sweetbreads have quickly become one of my guilty pleasures. One of the best dishes with these offal meats came from L’Escargot (Carmel) — veal sweetbreads served with mushrooms in a creamy Madeira sauce. My mouth still waters thinking about this dish!

I also enjoyed a tasty bite of pan-roasted sweetbreads at Restaurant 1833 (Monterey). The sweetbreads were ever so slightly crispy, elegantly plated with black lentils and a vibrant green spinach puree.

But bone marrow is probably the one ingredient that truly comes closest to the rich indulgence of foie gras.

Once a rarity in town, four local restaurants now serve bone marrow: Cachagua General Store (Carmel Valley), Lokal (Carmel Valley), Restaurant 1833 (Monterey) and The Bench (Pebble Beach).

Most serve the marrow roasted and ready to eat from the bone — a fatty treat to spread over crostini.

Bone marrow is a buttery indulgence.

Some diners are reluctant to try bone marrow, but I guarantee that after that first buttery bite, all trepidation will melt away!

What’s your foie gras replacement, readers? In the mood for marrow now? Craving quail? Ravenous for rabbit? Email me at offthemenublog@gmail.com or tweet me @offthemenu831.

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