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May 18, 2008 05:17 PM

Chicken Liver Salad and Beignets at Eccolo

I love going to Eccolo for lunch, because the food is always outstanding. Today's offerings were incredible.

The chicken liver salad ($12) may be the best dish I have ever had there. I'm a bit biased, because I adore chicken livers, but still. There were two generous skewers of wood grilled chicken livers, wrapped in pancetta, nice and rare with a beautiful char. The skewer also contained a few delicious, soft croutons infused with liver juices. The skewers were served on top of a simple salad of frisee and mache with a light vinaigrette. The greens served as a perfect counterpoint to the rich livers. As with all of Eccolo's ingredients, the livers were incredibly fresh and of the highest quality - I'm assuming they come from the Soul Food Farm birds which Eccolo uses for chicken and eggs. None of the overly bitter or harsh metallic flavors I associate with sub-par liver.

As if this wasn't decadent enough, I finished things off with a cone of beignets ($9) with chocolate espresso sauce. The beignets were perfect - light and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside. The sauce was not too sweet and had a clean chocolate/coffee flavor with a nice bitter edge. The cone contained six beignets.

These are outstanding additions to an already wonderful menu. I hope they continue to serve them.

1820 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

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  1. I had lunch at Eccolo on Thursday and also had the chicken liver salad, and I completely agree. Mine were not wrapped in pancetta -- at least it didn't say so on the menu and I sure hope I would have noticed it! Interestingly, when I had checked the menu online the day before, the chicken liver was not listed, so it may be a new and evolving dish. They did not have the beignets on Thursday.

    1. I haven't tried the one at Eccolo yet, but the chicken liver salad at Le Charm is just delicious. I can't order anything else.

      Le Charm French Bistro
      315 Fifth St., San Francisco, CA 94107