Best Charcuterie - 2011
Restaurants often give a nod to charcuterie with a single entry; Mbar's tapas menu is a standout with its range of choice bits. First, we'll explain the tapas. Three categories of small plates are listed on the tapas menu at Mbar: pinchos (snacks), tapas de pescado (seafood), and caza menor, which means "small hunt." The dishes listed here include a variety of nose-to-tail treats: offal, small game, salumi, and charcuterie. Guided by Prado chef de cuisine Peter DeRuvo's commitment to carefully sourced ingredients and delivering delectable flavors, each dish is accented with fresh, local vegetables, house-brined giardiniera, heirloom legumes, or wild greens. The variety of dishes inspires sharing. Try the surprise flavor of "Zoe" salumi decocoa or more traditional "Redondo Inglesia's" Serrano ham, and follow with the Merguez lamb sausage, heirloom legumes, and wild oregano. The beef heart with pickled radish, arugula, and aged balsamic is as tender as the beef tongue and unctuous headcheese on the house charcuterie plate. Tripe lovers will treasure DeRuvo's treatment — "Fiorentina" style served with sofrito, polenta, and duck egg. In the tradition of the house, the menu changes with the seasons. In other words, you'll be back.