The ban is on. It’s being challenged in a federal court, but both the production and sale of foie gras remains illegal in California. There are a few ways around this, of course, one of which is to be on federal land and exempt from state law, and one of which is to give the luxuriantly fatty liver as a “gift from the chef.” (Some chefs have opted just to pile on the truffles and lobster in lieu of foie gras, but that’s no fun.) Below, please find our running list of places around the Bay, blind items included, where you can definitely and most probably find foie gras while the prohibition is still on.
We’ll be updating this list as more news arrives, rumors circulate, or as we discover new spots who are quietly flouting the law.
Confirmed Out-in-the-Open Spots
Chez TJ - Chef Joey Elenterio was the first Bay Area chef to announce that, in the mode of Chicago chefs during the two-year ban there, he would be offering foie gras as a complimentary gift. It’s kind of legal, you see, because he says he’s not selling it. But there have already been some protesters at his door.
Presidio Social Club - In honor of Bastille Day, and because they sit on federal land, Presidio Social Club announced that they would begin serving a foie gras slider. They were also serving a torchon. Update: They’ve actually taken the foie off the menu, in deference to their landlord, The Presidio Trust. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still ask for it!
Txoko - The North Beach restaurant, which hosted a number of foie dinners prior to the ban, is now going to be doing “Free Foie Gras Wednesdays” in which the first 25 people through the door, starting at 5:30 p.m., will get a ticket for a free foie gras pintxo from chef Ian Begg.
Blind Items - Updated Weekly
Duboce Triangle: This French bistro has long been a neighborhood favorite though it stays somewhat under the radar. They offered a simple foie gras mousse canapé as a “gift” during their Bastille Day celebration, and we suspect they will continue along similar lines.
Russian Hill: This well loved French fine-dining destination has a new chef de cuisine, and while they are not serving or selling foie gras (at least not to strangers), they have offered to prepare foie gras for any diners who bring their own. Is there something like a corkage equivalent for that?
Sonoma: The chef at this Michelin-beloved dining destination has been a vocal opponent of the ban, and has been quietly going through his foie leftovers since it took effect. He says he’ll stop after he runs out, but given the recently announced fate of the restaurant, he may not have much to lose in slipping diners some foie in the coming months.