Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Chicago's Foie Gras Deadline

Just a reminder to get thee to Chicago for the last of the foie gras before their city-wide ban on the luscious treat goes into effect, August 22. (I've been meaning to mention for weeks that the ban was moved out by the City Council from the original June 26 date.)

At a recent city council meeting, chefs discussed options to get around the ban. Some suggested they might give it away for free, serving it as a complimentary appetizer, or they might include it on the side with a wildly overpriced side item (such as a $20 plate of lentils). In the meantime, restaurants have been having foie gras dinners to celebrate its demise. Many diners have been paying $100-150 a head for full foie gras tasting menus at some of the best restaurants in town. (As one columnist noted, Apicius must be spinning in his ancient Roman grave.) By the way, it's a $500 for any restaurants found violating the ban.

Foie gras is the most recent ban by a city council seen as a self-proclaimed protection police. In the past year, they also banned transfats, cigarettes and use of cellular phones while driving.

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