The Best Housemade Charcuterie Plates in Wine Country
By Marcy Gordon
Forbes Travel Guide Correspondent
House-made charcuterie plates are trending in Wine Country. Creative sausage, cheese and meat selections are gaining attention for inventive twists on Old World standards from pâtés to condiments. Great for sharing and pairing with wines by the glass, charcuterie plates make for a tasty starter, or a meal on their own. Here are our selections for the top five charcuterie plates that feature outstanding quality and variety.
The Girl and the Fig, Sonoma
The charcuterie dish at The Girl and the Fig is a love note to the flavors of France with fresh and local ingredients that vary with the season. Plates are composed of shaved lonza, duck or pork rillettes, pâté du campagne with pistachios, cured pancetta, prosciutto or coppa cotto — all made in house. The condiments are also housemade and, depending on the day, you may find red onion confit, persimmon jam or tomato marmalade along with house-cured pickled onions, coriander carrots, pickled fennel and piquant caper berries.
Lucy Restaurant and Bar, Yountville
The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Lucy Restaurant and Bar at Bardessono Hotel and Spa (also a Four-Star property) offers Italian-influenced charcuterie featuring a housemade finocchiona sausage made with pork and fennel, prosciutto, bresaola and mortadella. Also on the plate, a wine-cured salami infused with wine and a lamb terrine flavored with fennel, garlic, mustard seed, coriander, lemon thyme and then wrapped in bacon. Complementing the meat selection are two mustards: whole grain and local apple and violet made with grape musk.
Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria, Geyserville
The folks at Diavola keep it all in the family with house-cured meats and an emphasis on cucina povera (cooking with basic, traditional ingredients) and other Italian traditions. As the menu states, the salami-and-cheese plate is a rotating daily selection of “what Nonno likes.” Expect to find items such as prosciutto cotto, salami, spicy Italian sausage with rosemary and garlic and gorgonzola on the daily plate — and if you are very lucky — paper-thin slices of the house-made lardo, an Italian specialty which deserves a fan club all it’s own. It does not get any more authentic than that. You will like what Nonno likes. No question about it.
Restaurant Charcuterie, Healdsburg
Restaurant Charcuterie, located just off of the square in Healdsburg, keeps it simple and classic with Rosette de Lyon salami, duck rillettes, pork-pepper pâté, garlic salami, olives and, of course, the must-have side of tart, vinegary cornichons.
Fatted Calf, Napa
Ready to create your own charcuterie plate for a picnic or romantic rendezvous? Then Fatted Calf is your one-stop artisanal charcuterie shop. Here you will find pâtés, salami, prosciutti, confits and a variety of sausages all made in small batches using organic and pasture-raised meats.