|Chinon from the Loire Valley|
|Chef Eric Algorri of Augustine|
If you want to sample this dish and avoid cooking altogether, go to Augustine (13456 Ventura Blvd, Tel 818 900 0938 although they only take walk-ins) in Sherman Oaks, CA where the dish was created by Chef Eric Algorri. Augustine, named by Food and Wine as one of America’s best new wine bars, features more than 50 wines by the glass. Chef Algorri’s task was the complement these wines with small plates. The chef has a compelling resume: he previously worked at New York titans Marea, Bouley, Union Square Café and Lupa. His pan European offerings include lots of exotic takes on bar food–tater tots(!) and spiced nuts tossed with pimento and brown sugar. Moving up in size is the duck and this recipe is an adaptation of the one Augustine serves with duck ravioli, date jus and rutabaga purée. For Food and Wine, the recipe was pared down to the Duck breast, date jus and a note that it was served with homemade cheese ravioli. I used fresh ravioli from Fairway. Since you can find fresh pasta in virtually every supermarket and that’s what to look for.
12 oz. Medjool dates, pitted and halved
12 ounces Medjool dates, pitted and halved 1 rosemary sprig
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup finely grated Piave cheese (about 1 ounce)
Pepper Two 12-ounce Moulard duck breasts *
and additional grated Piave if you like.