In the most inimitable style, Charracate, the new wine bar next door to Barbara’s Bazaar, is a dining phenomenon of sorts – offering a charcuterie menu.
The venue is French in its food and wine presentation, eclectic in its ambiance and as cozy and intimate as an illicit rendezvous. Except when visitors and patrons are strolling about browsing the “for sale” items and the art decorating the walls and some of the furnishings.
Charcuterie is a branch of dining devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines (pâté with coarsely chopped ingredients), pâtés, confits and other ready-to-serve foods. Your menu order comes to the table on a wooden board with appropriate condiments and sides. The board was invented as an easy, crowd-pleasing presentation of hors d’oeuvres aimed at stimulating the taste and readying it for the real treat, the finely-vinted wines.
The Charracate menu is an approximation of the original French charcuterie offerings, with a variety of cheeses from the Eurozone, and cold, cured meats such as thinly sliced smoked duck on a bed of arugula, freshly-carved baked ham, and a dry sausage from Catalonia served on a molten golden Mexican apple. But it is the escargots in garlic butter (Escargots à la Bourguignonne) that is the Eiffel Tower of any such charcuterie menu. Tom Thompson, the owner and manager, also plans to add French onion soup to your selections.