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October 12, 2009

Local charcuterie

ClementineCharcuterie.jpgWhen I first published this photo maybe a couple of years ago, I vaguely remember some readers wondered what it was. Now if I published it without comment, I think people would say, "Wow, that charcuterie looks great" and want to know the particulars and where it was from. For the record, it's Clementine's charcuterie sampler: (clockwise from the bottom) pork garlic green onion lager sausage, tomato ginger marmalade, house-cured duck breast ham, chicken liver pate with rye whiskey, and coriander honey red cabbage jam. ...

Clementine wasn't the only restaurant offering its own charcuterie, but it was the one that made a big deal about it (and rightly so). Now several places that have open up since then have chefs who are interested in making their own sausages, pates and house-cured meats.

B & O American Brasserie and Alizee come to mind immediately.

Feast@4East in Mount Vernon had what it called simply "charcuterie" on the menu when I ate there. It turned out to be a delicious homemade pate. Chameleon in Lauraville had a fabulous charcuterie plate.

I haven't been to Miss Irene's and Pure Wine Cafe in Ellicott City, but I've heard they have very nice charcuterie and cheese plates.

I'm not saying charcuterie is new around here -- Cafe Normandie in Annapolis has been serving it forever -- but it seems to me chefs are more interested in creating their own and offering customers a range of selections than they used to be.

If I could come up with 10 examples...

(Andre F. Chung/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:22 AM | | Comments (23)


Petite Louis has a great charcuterie platter

Is Cinghiale's charcuterie still as good as it was months ago? I hope so

can I just say when I went to Clementine and had their charcuterie plate early on after they had opened, it did not look even the least bit as elegant as in this photo. Presentation is everything with meats and gelatinous things. The pic makes it look much more put together.

I had a very good one at Woodberry Kitchen on Saturday.

I like the appetizer charcuterie plate at the Chameleon Cafe. Petit Louis has some interesting offerings in that area too.

Which restaurant was offering charcuterie in place of dessert? That's just wrong, to my way of thinking.

Volt, in Frederick, has had a charcuterie tasting on their appetizer menu. Haven't tried it though.

In place of dessert? You mean as in AFTER the meal of duck confit and foie gras? Like a cheese plate? That would be strange.

Cinghiale's charcuterie is still good. What's Italian for charcuterie?

Laura lee--I had to look it up to make sure I did not imagine it, but it was the B&O, reviewed by our own EL: The end of dinner here isn't necessarily dessert. Other possibilities are a charcuterie plate with fig jam and an artisanal cheese plate.

Well, a cheese plate after the meal isn't so crazy -- in fine dining the cheese course comes immediately before dessert.

In Italian, it's salumi. In my mind the first place that pops up is Mario Batali's dad's place, Salumi, in Seattle.

Currently we make guanciale and we smoke our own salmon; our sausages come from Binkert's.

turkeybone, yes, I can get behind a cheese plate at the end of a meal, but I don't want charcuterie at that point. But maybe that's just me!

Chameleon Cafe has by far the best charcuterie plate in town! They took it off the menu because it was so labor intensive. Too many people were upset, they returned it! Thanks Chameleon :)

turkeybone, I'm waiting to hear about the rumored Binkerts chili dog. That sounds amazing.

Cinghale- very good salumi from top sources in Italy. As far as I know nothing homemade.

Volt- tremendous home made charcuterie plate with pork rillet and iberico pig head cheese. (Top vote for being homemade)

Petite Louis has house made pate de compagne (not nearly as good as it used to be) but no real charcuterie plate.

Tersiguel's in EC offers both homemade pate and sausage but as seperate appetizers not a platter.

Many wine bars are now offering charcuterie plates. Pure Wine Cafe in EC has one of the better because of the availability of smoked duck. Grand Cru offers the smoked meats from Neopol Savory Smokery also in Belvedere Square. 13.5% has a pretty standard antipasti plate as does Victoria Gastropub. V-No in Fells Point serves many of Clementine's products as they don't have a kitchen

Finally I know Pazo is starting to cure it's own chorizo.

Sorry, I forgot the Wine Market which has a very good plate as well as a housemade terrine.

Jon Parker, I'd really like to know more about an alleged Binkert's Chili Dog. I can't imagine them doing something so ... un-European. Of course, if you meant serving chili on one of their lovely sausages, well, that's another story. Any thoughts? Thanks.

We (Brewers Art) picked up where Hamilton Tavern left off, and in some friendly rivalry put a chili dog on our bar menu (using a Binkert's debrinziner as the hot dog). I don't want to be too shill-y (they make fun of me when I post), so all I will say is that it's served with "traditional garniture".

Trip, good call. The Wine Market plate is fabulous, and Pazo's chorizo is also beautifully done.

Traditional garniture...onions and yellow mustard?

tb,it's not shilly if I'm asking you about it, and I don't work there. A friend of mine mentioned it on Facebook and I want to see what the scoop is.

I love chili dogs, Binkerts, and the BA bar menu, so this sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

Link spam at 6:14 PM!

That always makes me hungry. There's link sausage, there could be link spam. In fact there should be. That unholy slab of frankenflesh is unwieldy. Spam links! Oh wait, I'm thinking of scrapple. Wow, I am really hungry. Time to go eat.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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