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In praise of…the Meat Board
Ebbitt Room chef Anthony Micari designed his meat board with a summer evening in mind. ”It’s the perfect dish to share with friend at the bar or on the front porch, especially with a sea breeze and a punchy glass of wine,” he said. Originally intended as a way to preserve meats in the days before refrigeration, the charcuterie style of cooking-salting, curing and smoking-has earned a place on gourmet menus for the intense flavors it produces. At the Ebbitt Room, the Meat Board comprises various “aggressive” flavors, meaning your palate won’t grow bored after only a handful of bites. The components change frequently, but there are a few staples Anthony depends on, including prosciutto di Parma, an Italian import aged for 14 months so that the flavor is sweet and rich; the Rosette be Lione, a French duck sausage; and Bresbola, which is like a high-end, supercharged beef jerky. But what diners comments on most, says Anthony, are the 100 percent house-made accoutrements, loike the pates and lards. This season, one of Anthony’s goals is to do even more of his own smoking and curing, using the pork raised on Beach Plum Farm, so that the dish becomes entirely local and sustainable. Add a few olives, almonds, cornichon pickles and maybe a deep cabernet to wash it down and you’ve got the makings for the most savory of summer appetizers.