Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Classic charcuterie at The Pantry Restaurant

Posted By on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 9:04 AM

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.

Tags: , ,

Speaking of...

  • An odd meal at the Faded Rose

    May 27, 2014
    A recent trip to the Faded Rose has us wondering just exactly what the hype is all about. Does the restaurant live up to its reputation and price point? Not hardly. /more/
  • Middle of the road Chinese at Forbidden Garden

    May 15, 2014
    Sometimes, trying a new restaurant brings a revelatory dining experience that changes lives and brings joy to all who experience it. This isn't one of those times. /more/
  • The Top 10 Sandwiches in Little Rock

    May 14, 2014
    There are few foods as convenient and satisfying around the lunch hour as an exceptional sandwich. Nearly every civilization on earth has their own unique take on the sandwich, filling sliced bread with practically any ingredient under the sun. Little Rock is no stranger to great sandwiches, indeed it's one of the strongest aspects within our culinary scene. Here we present the 10 best sandwiches we've eaten around town...dig in, folks. /more/
  • Tradition still strong at Mike’s Place

    April 29, 2014
    At Mike's Place, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. The atmosphere is comfortable for everything from a casual meal to a date night. The people have spoken loudly for the last 10 years that this is the best restaurant in Conway and we certainly saw why. /more/
  • Confidently Cajun at Boudreaux's Grill & Bar

    April 15, 2014
    Boudreaux’s Grill & Bar has been doing a steady business for eight years in the same location, catering to sports fans of both the Razorback and the Tiger persuasion. The food is always good to great. The staff is cheerful and prompt with a drink refill, something we always appreciate. We will definitely head back when football season starts. /more/
  • More »

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation