HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Fois Gras -what restaurant does it right?

uman Dec 1, 2006 02:05 PM

I am looking for a good fois gras experience here in Boston. I'm willing to check out the 'burbs as well. I've never had it and am looking to have a proper one before they outlaw it.
Any ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    jpeso RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 02:44 PM

    It depends on how you would like the foie prepared? It could be prepared many different ways such as a seared lobe or terrine or torchon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpeso
      uman RE: jpeso Dec 1, 2006 03:00 PM

      I guess seared...

    2. t
      twentyoystahs RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 02:48 PM

      I've tried foie gras once in my life and it made me understand exactly why it is so revered. It was at No 9 Park. Sublime.

      1 Reply
      1. re: twentyoystahs
        uman RE: twentyoystahs Dec 1, 2006 03:00 PM

        Do you know if this is a regular menu item?

      2. t
        twentyoystahs RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 03:05 PM

        Yes, it is one of their signature dishes. It's gnocchi w/ fig and seared foie gras. Served as an appetizer.

        1. Joanie RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 03:07 PM

          Mistral usually gets big props on that. A friend at work also loves it at Il Capriccio.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Joanie
            jfood RE: Joanie Jan 30, 2007 02:02 PM

            Nein. I bought that ad campaign as well. Not that great at Mistral. In fact the food at mistral is way over-rated.

            1. re: jfood
              tatamagouche RE: jfood Jan 30, 2007 02:03 PM

              I'm with you.

              1. re: jfood
                Dax RE: jfood Jan 30, 2007 03:34 PM

                I liked the foie with the duck confit at Mistral the one time I had it (there), but it's been about 3 years now.

            2. w
              WineTravel RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 03:11 PM

              Its rare to find decent foie gras in the US let alone Boston. The No9 park dish is a good dish, but not a good representation of what you are looking for. You really need to go to Europe (sad to say) to see what foie gras is all about.

              You must go to the highest end places in the US to check it out done right... try Per Se or Daniel in NYC... or Alain Ducasse before it closes at the Essex House in NY... but even in these places it doesn't compare to places in France. Figure that's too far to go, but if you need names there, just ask.

              1 Reply
              1. re: WineTravel
                sailormouth RE: WineTravel Dec 1, 2006 03:36 PM

                Montreal has fab foie gras (I think they must be extra cruel to the geese or something up there). The best I've had in Boston is at Troquet, (it was served two ways last I was there as one dish, seared with pineapple and in something like a cross between a mousse and a pate, which I preferred) I have been disappointed with the fig dish at No. 9, the foie gras part of it doesn't really stand out, IMHO. There is a veal and foie gras app there that is supposed to be sublime but I haven't had it. As an intro I would look for something like the Troquet dish as you can have it both ways. Petit Robert and Toro also have seared foie gras at a great price, but it's just seared in a little sauce, nothing fancy.

                I have yet to try Pigalle or Mistral for foie gras.

              2. c
                Caillerets RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 03:13 PM


                1 Reply
                1. re: Caillerets
                  MaggieMuffin RE: Caillerets Jan 30, 2007 01:57 PM

                  I also second Pigalle. It was an excellent preparation of seared fois gras.

                2. d
                  DoubleMan RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 03:39 PM

                  I haven't had it, but the foie gras dish on the new Gargoyle's menu sounds tasty and hilarious(?).

                  Foie Gras
                  raspberry streusel, smoked Dr. Pepper, whipped malted milk

                  A good starting point may be the duck, duck, goose entree at EVOO. You'll get the chance to have a tasty piece of seared foie gras without committing to a high-priced app or a plate you may not love---the rest of the entree is delicious for sure.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: DoubleMan
                    BobB RE: DoubleMan Dec 1, 2006 03:56 PM

                    I don't know about Gargoyle's approach. I'm a long-time foie gras fan, and spend a good deal of time in Europe, so I know how great it can be. The one time I had it at Gargoyle they did some kind of a hip-trendy foam thing with it, which basically turned one of the most sublime foods on earth into an awful-tasting mess.

                    That's my biggest complaint about trendy restaurants in general, they too often care more about this week's latest technique than about how the food actually tastes (are you listening, Mr. Schlow at Radius?). There's a very good reason that classics are classics - any time I want to really blow away my friends I make something like blanquette de veau absolutely by the book (the book in this case being the original edition of Julia Child) and they can't believe how good it is!

                    Sorry, you accidentally hit one of my pet peeves. Rant over.

                    1. re: BobB
                      sailormouth RE: BobB Dec 1, 2006 06:09 PM

                      If that type of thing is done right though it can really bring out some incredible flavors. I had a foie gras mousse that was first cooked in a double boiler in (port, bordeaux?), chilled and then moussed and it was out of this world, far better than a normal sear. I think a lot of these new-fangled preparations can be fantastic if the execution is correct. Do you think your foamy mess was an execution or conception problem?

                      1. re: sailormouth
                        BobB RE: sailormouth Dec 1, 2006 06:57 PM

                        Hard to say, but if I remember correctly it was something like "foie gras cappuccino." I just saw the words foie gras and jumped on it. Big mistake.

                        1. re: BobB
                          sailormouth RE: BobB Dec 1, 2006 08:30 PM

                          I do the same thing, I'm like Pavlov's dog. Foie gras cappuccino does sound quite "inventive" though.

                      2. re: BobB
                        yumyum RE: BobB Dec 1, 2006 09:35 PM

                        Jason's creative attempts can be really hit or miss. For example, the truffle ice cream is unbelievable. The celery foam served with lobster ceviche just got in the way. I like my foie simply prepared so I'd never go for Smoked Doctor Pepper. Ugh.

                    2. heathermb RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 04:04 PM

                      I had a lacquered foie dish at Clio a while back, not sure if it is still on the menu but wow was it heavenly.

                      1. bitsubeats RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 04:37 PM

                        I like it at eastern standard, because it's approachable and not expensive. The first time I had ever had it was there and that's the only time I have had it. It's too expensive of a delicay to partake in on a regular basis. Now if you want it in pate form, then that's obviously easier and cheaper to come by.

                        Anyways... the foie gras at eastern standard is an appetizer and sits on a bed of lentils. Of course there is a sweet component, but I forget what it was.

                        The foie gras at gargoyles sounds awesome, has anyone tried it?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bitsubeats
                          hadsbc RE: bitsubeats Jan 30, 2007 07:36 AM

                          I had the foie gras at Gargoyles this past weekend and I enjoyed it. I can't say I'm an "expert" on foie or anything, but it was nicely paired with a perfectly seared scallop on top of the raspberry streusel and smoked Dr. Pepper (didn't know what that was until I saw the description here). I'd reccomend it and would be interested to see what others thought.

                          1. re: hadsbc
                            WineTravel RE: hadsbc Jan 30, 2007 08:28 AM

                            For those watching their calories, wonder if they can do it with Diet Dr. Pepper?

                            1. re: hadsbc
                              gini RE: hadsbc Jan 30, 2007 08:33 AM

                              What exactly does the smoked Dr. Pepper consist of?

                              Hardy, har har.

                          2. tatamagouche RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 04:41 PM

                            I recently mentioned having an exquisite lobe at Aujourd'hui, over lentils with sherry gastrique; I kind of liked that there wasn't the ubiquitous fruit.

                            1. h
                              HeelsSoxHound RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 07:05 PM

                              second the troquet rec... i've had some pretty kickass foie there. having had it in hundreds of places both in france and here, i have to disagree that you have to go to Europe to experience first-rate foie. as an overall trend, europe's may be better, but there are plenty of places stateside that do really excellent renditions.

                              1. j
                                JMT123 RE: uman Dec 1, 2006 09:03 PM

                                L'Espalier, Spire, Clio. If you're going to try it, splurge. And ask questions. You want fat, buttery, luxurious foie gras, not the scrawny, fibrous innards retrieved from the duck-of-the-night (which is what I was served at Catch last night, and I'm still really ticked off about it).
                                Here's a link to Wikipedia's article about foie gras:

                                1. j
                                  jcanncuk RE: uman Dec 2, 2006 10:46 PM

                                  L'Espalier. Foie gras is only worth it in an excellent resto with cooks who understand French cooking in the most traditional sense and where freshness and quality matter. Otherwise, it's really, really, gross.
                                  BTW - the best I've had in N.A. were in Montreal (Au Peid du Cochon, Chez l'epicier, Brunoise, & Les Chevres to name a few places with great foie gras) and NYC: Cafe Boulud (Daniel Boulud's less "fancy" place).

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: jcanncuk
                                    sailormouth RE: jcanncuk Dec 3, 2006 09:35 PM

                                    I've had it several different ways at Chez L'Epicier, is au pied du cochon better?

                                    How is it typically done at L'Espalier?

                                    1. re: sailormouth
                                      jcanncuk RE: sailormouth Dec 3, 2006 10:40 PM

                                      Au Pied du Cochon has a few different foie gras options, but their "classic" is poutine avec foie gras. It's outstanding and has firmly put them on the map of "must have" cuisine. Awesome.

                                      At L'Espalier, I had it simply seared with crusty bread & I think a dense fruit compote of some sort- traditional & yummy.

                                      I LOVE foie gras with rhubarb jelly and have had it at Chez l'Epicier and Les Chevres like this. Mmmmmmmm.

                                      1. re: jcanncuk
                                        yumyum RE: jcanncuk Dec 3, 2006 10:51 PM

                                        oh my god. poutine avec foie gras! how long is the drive (I'm a lead-foot) from BOS to Montreal?

                                        Seriously, I love poutine and I love my foie. How do they combine a homey gravy-soaked french fry dish and delicate goose liver? I've got to know!

                                        1. re: yumyum
                                          jcanncuk RE: yumyum Dec 4, 2006 02:55 AM

                                          Crispy fries, perfect gravy, cheese curds, and a couple of chunks of perfect foie gras. Supposedly an app, but seriously, you can't fit much in afterwards.

                                          PS - Montreal is about 5.5 -6 hrs away, max :-)

                                          1. re: jcanncuk
                                            HeelsSoxHound RE: jcanncuk Dec 8, 2006 05:24 PM

                                            dude... that sounds f'in righteous. i'm going. that's all there is to it... i'm f'in goin.

                                  2. wittlejosh RE: uman Dec 3, 2006 10:14 PM

                                    I actually think the Radius version is very nice.

                                    Show Hidden Posts