When you scan a menu and see an $18 appetizer, you might hesitate to order it—I mean if it misses the mark you’re out twenty bucks and your entrée hasn’t even arrived. I’m here to tell you, hesitate not when you see the Pan-Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras on the menu at Shagbark. On a recent visit I asked owner Walter Bundy what I should eat and he said this was his pick, so I went for it.
Full disclosure, I’ve yet to meet a properly prepared foie gras I didn’t like, but this one earns a place near the top of my list. A base of Highland County maple syrup and blueberry gastrique is topped with two griddled slabs of brioche French toast, then that’s topped with the decadent, perfectly cooked slab of foie. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts and a few fresh blueberries. If you snag a proper bite with a bit of each flavor, you get the buttery bread, the earthy, almost creamy foie, the sweet sauces and the crunch from the nuts: all in all a wonderfully satisfying dish.