Classic charcuterie at The Pantry Restaurant | Rock Candy

Classic charcuterie at The Pantry Restaurant

by

3 comments

The Pantry Board

Despite being a state enamored of all things pork related, there aren’t many restaurants serving authentic charcuterie in Arkansas. While originally developed as a method to preserve meat, the art of charcuterie lives on in this age of refrigeration as a testament to all the delicious things that can be done with a pig. One of my favorite places to get a wide variety of prepared meats is The Pantry on Rodney Parham Road, because they combine bratwurst, smoked pork, prosciutto, and pork terrine, with bread, cheese, and olives to make a huge appetizer called “The Pantry Board.” The board is easily large enough for a table of four, but I’ve split it with a companion for lunch more than once.

Even though the items in the sampler are all pork products, the variety of textures and flavors is astounding. The thinly sliced prosciutto has a light, salty flavor and a slightly fatty texture that melts on the tongue. In contrast, the pork shoulder is deep and smokey with a more rounded flavor and a tender texture that makes a nice contrast with the ham. The bratwursts, while smaller than might be expected, are juicy with a spice that goes well with the tangy Dijon mustard served to the side. As a break from all the meats, I always enjoy the briny olives, salty feta and creamy chevre along with bites of crusty bread.

The star of the plate, however, is a fresh pork shoulder terrine layered with blanched asparagus and wrapped with bacon. As far as I’m aware, The Pantry is the only menu in Little Rock that features a terrine, and while I know that pork meatloaf flavored with liver isn’t everybody’s thing, this dish is worth a try. The texture of the pork is sumptuous and rich, seasoned lightly and brought to a state of perfection when sliced onto grilled French bread and topped with a crunchy cornichon. It’s an old-world taste that seems to work just fine here in Arkansas, and the freshness and quality of the ingredients are matched only by the Pantry’s excellent service.

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment
 

Add a comment

Clicky