What goes with everything? Foie gras, apparently. Alba Osteria, the recently opened Piedmontese Italian restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle, lets diners add a duck liver to any pasta, entree, antipasti, or pizza for an additional $12.
Foie gras—which involves force feeding a duck or goose to fatten up its liver—has “kind of gotten, obviously, a bad rap lately,” says chef de cuisine Amy Brandwein. “It’s for everybody to decide whether they want it or not, but we’re going to offer it for everybody who loves it.”
Brandwein says she and head chef Roberto Donna initially planned to only add foie gras to the Piedmontese beef filet with porcini mushrooms—”a classic dish.” But then inspiration struck: Why limit it to that? Why not put it on everything? “A bunch of dishes are designed for cold weather and the winter season, and foie gras is super rich and yummy and fatty so it marries very well with some of the dishes that we have on the menu,” Brandwein says.
Some dishes are better suited for the Hudson Valley foie gras than others: Brandwein recommends it on the braised duck with cabbage, the cotechino sausage with potato puree, pretty much any of the pastas, or one of the white pizzas. She even suggests liver on liver, adding the foie to an antipasti with sauteed chicken livers, porcini mushroom, and polenta.
But, let’s be real, there are some limits: “I don’t know that I’d necessarily put beets with foie gras,” Brandwein says.
Photo by Jessica Sidman