by Erin Chambers - 9246 Reviews - 161 List
Cheese plates are so 2006. Today, with the explosion of farm-to-table food, charcuterie plates are all the rage at San Diego's best restaurants. Charcuterie (a French term) simply refers to any sort of prepared or cured meat products, from house-cured sausages and ham to bacon, pate, salumi and more. Chefs usually serve a charcuterie plate with a few different mustards for dipping or spreading, pickles (or pickled veggies) and bread or toasts. Here are a few of our favorites in San Diego.
Updated: May 27, 2009
We love Chef Christian Graves' charcuterie plate because it's filled with his own house-cured salami and other accompaniments. We also love that it's only $9 for the plate during happy hour. If you prefer the lounge setting up on the roof at Lounge Six, you can also order the charcterie plate to share (should serve 2-4 people) for $20.
Regarded as one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the country, A.R. Valenitn is home to an exquisite selection of charcuterie, including house-made chicken liver pate served with cornichons and whole grain mustard, a divine short rib terrine served with radish and dijon mustard, or, if you can't decide, try ordering the platter of three terrines with house-made pickles and mustard to share.
Starlite's slow food-focused menu is always full of seasonal surprises, and their charcuterie plate is always different, too. They actually call theirs a "sausage board" and lately, we're loving the house-made provolone cheese sausage with smoked landjager. They also often add in some Knight salumi (a local producer) and house-made pickles and toast points.
Chef Ryan's "cutting board" at Whisknladle is full of house-cured meats, salami, sausage and sometimes a pate or two. One thing is constant: the fact that the selection is always changing. No matter the meat, though, it always comes with at least 3 kinds of mustard and a few pickles. Ask their expert mixologist at the bar for a fun drink pairing to go with the charcuterie. We had him whip up an artichoke concoction that rocked!
The linkery's house-cured meat & pickle board ($12.50 at our last visit) includes Hungarian salami (with locally raised pork from Kelly Biensen's farm), pepperoni (made with beef from Spanish Oak Ranches) and a slew of house-pickled vegetables. But beware that the menu (the entire menu) changes daily here, so charcuterie selections are always a bit different.