Cured meats are damn near the perfect food. They were created out of a need to preserve meats before refrigeration, but today there's almost nothing better than standing in front of a case of salami, prosciutto and spicy coppa just waiting for your mouth to love them. The only thing that surpasses that experience is going to a restaurant where the chef has cured delicious meats of all kinds and serves them to you on a gorgeous platter.
Loving charcuterie means that you’re probably going to have to be a little adventurous. The offerings generally change from day to day, and you might not get that familiar proscuitto every single time. Still, you should keep your mind open — you might just love prosciutto made from duck breast or become addicted to pork liver terrines.
Charcuterie never goes out of style, but now is a particularly good time for the swanky meat plate in Dallas. If you haven’t experienced Dallas’ foray into house-cured sausages and luxe terrines, you absolutely have to check out these five excellent charcuterie boards.
Of course, because this is Dallas, there has to be some kind of Texas-inspired twist on traditional charcuterie and salumi. At CBD Provisions, chef Richard Blankenship’s Texas charcuterie is a sort of blend between old-school charcuterie technique and Texas flavors, and the result is delicious. A generous smear of pimiento cheese, “urban BBQ” tri-tip and garlicky sausages combine to make a brilliant appetizer and an even better dinner for one.
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Misti Norris is one of Dallas’ most inventive young chefs, and the charcuterie board is perhaps the best place to see her creativity on display at Small Brewpub. Everything on the board is made in-house, and you can guarantee that Norris butchered, cured and babied your cured cabrito throughout the entire process. Best of all, the beers brewed here generally make an appearance on the charcuterie board.
The charcuterie board at Hibiscus, led by chef Graham Dodds, is sort of what would happen if Beyoncé and Prince went on the same tour — no one would be able to determine the headliner. At Hibiscus, the cured meats are stellar, like Dodds’ goat chorizo and thinly shaved lardo from locally raised pigs, but the house pickles are equally good. Arranged in an artful display that you and your dinner companions will quickly destroy, this board looks as good on your Instagram as it tastes while you shovel it into your face.
Proof + Pantry
There technically isn’t a charcuterie board at Proof + Pantry, but the ham tasting is excellent enough to be included on this list. The regular listing of hams from both the United States and afar is an impressive array of delicious pork, but the supplement is really where it’s at. You’ll pay close to $20 extra for a pile of shaved ham from Appalachia or Italy or Spain, but trust us — it is entirely worth it. Modern touches (lime gelée) combine with traditional charcuterie staples (grainy mustard) for a result that is meaty heaven.
Lucia is an obvious choice, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go there as frequently as possible, even if only to grab a seat at the bar and indulge in a little charcuterie. The offerings here change as frequently as the chefs' desire, and you’re likely to find an entirely different plate from one reservation to the next. At Lucia, David Uygur and sous chefs Justin Holt and Mike Gibson make charcuterie a pretty damn transcendent experience, even if you’re not sure what any of those delicious meats you just inhaled are actually called.