01 February 2012

The Liver Test, or, Best Rabbit Ever

A measure of a restaurant for me is if I trust them enough to order the liver. I really like liver, but I'm particular, and it's one of those things I don't bother with cooking at home. As much as I loved Frock's before it closed shop, they overcooked their liver to my chagrin, and that by itself always made me cast a critical eye down the menu, ruling out the dishes that required too much finesse and attention to detail to get right enough to enjoy. Liver is why I'll not return to Bistrotheque. Veal sweetbreads were good, liver was bad. They just whacked a big chunk off a liver and fried it up, skipping the part about carefully trimming and removing any gristle. Which is why I don't bother at home, except on occassion. Which is why I do bother to order at a restaurant. Bistrotheque came through on the veal sweetbreads, but failed so disappointingly on the liver they lost my business, and that was a couple years ago.

Boundary, on the other hand, has never let me down. Went there (Shoreditch) tonight for the first time in nearly a year. Excellent. Native oysters followed by foie gras followed by duck leg confit and the Best Rabbit Ever. Confit is easy to make well at home but I still will order it in restaurants just because I love it. The rabbit, though, exceeded all expectations. Luxuriously tender, with a wasabi crust and served with a mustard sauce. I'm not sure how they did it. The only method I could think of as working that well would be to cook the rabbit sous vide, then finish it with the wasabi crust and a very quick roast. If they did it some other way, I have no idea how. Very impressive in any case. And worked really well with the aligot. Aligot is like a cross between fondue and mashed potatoes. Like an upmarket version of tartiflette, it's roughly on the order of 1/3 cheese and 2/3 potato, with butter and other top-shelf dairy contributors in there somewhere, pureed and blended to a decadent satiny creaminess.

Well, that was nearly it. Of course the St. Emilion au Chocolat was good, but then, of course it would be.


JustJoeP said...

I love Rabbit. Can be so delicious when prepared correctly. Wonderful to hear you enjoyed it.

My wife, the good doctor, has planted the seeds of doubt in my head concerning liver's healthiness in the long term. (I know You love it... I am just not sure I can have it without incurring spousal disdain).

St.Emillion au Chocolate? I've had some disappointing chocolate wines before, but never a St Emillion. Qui s'appelle cet chateaux? dit moi la nom, svp.

pyker said...

St. Emilion au Chocolat is a dessert, not a wine. Very chocolatey.

What's wrong with liver? It is possibly the world's most nutritious food.

JustJoeP said...

You'll have to ask the good Dr Traci.

Thank you for the clarification on the dessert. I've yet to find a delicious, high quality chocolate wine, as most chocolate flavored are just too sweet & syrupy.

pyker said...

Chocolate wine sounds gimmicky and to be avoided. Not tempting at all.

My Minimal Liver Consumption Hypothesis: eating good-quality liver once/month is healthier than not eating liver. I think more often is probably better, but the MLCH is clear. Just don't eat polar bear livers or seal livers unless you want to relearn the vitamin A toxicity lessons that eskimos already know.