Sunday, June 21, 2009

Charcuterie from patio to balcony

Murray Street's charcuterie on Flickr by beFOODled.

beFOODled's charcuterie on Flickr by beFOODled.

S and I recently discovered Murray Street, a restaurant in the Byward Market that serves upscale Canadian comfort food. Since the Ottawa Foodies have already done a great job of reviewing it, I'm going to tell you about how a recent visit there reaquainted me with a timeless French classic, the cheese and charcuterie sharing plate.

The chefs at Murray Street buy artisanal cheeses and make their own pâtés and terrines using locally sourced meats. For $30, you can order a combination of either three meats and two cheeses, or the reverse. The charcuterie, pictured above, comes with crostini in a cute burlap bag and three sauces: one with plumped-up raisins, an apple jelly, and a cranberry and orange compote. With two glasses of wine, the cost is closer to $42 plus tax and tip.

We ordered three meats — keilbassa from the Elk Ranch, a thick slice of country terrine with smoked pork tenderloin, and a pork rillette (in the photo, it's the white spread in the jar and the best value because you get quite a bit). My favourites were definitely the cheeses because they had the strongest and most robust flavours. We chose a sharp seven-year-old Pine River cheddar (delicious with the apple jelly) and the Fritz Kaiser Le Douanier, an ash-coated cheese from Quebec.

The Murray Street charcuterie is nice for a special occasion when one is feeling decadent (and solvent), but on Sunday, S and I made our own version at home for less than one-third of the price.

Our Sunday balcony charcuterie, also pictured above, included genoa salami and spicy soppresata, an Italian dry-cured salami. We also had sliced baguette, olive tapenade, bristling sardines and a small plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping bread. Not forgetting two cheeses — gouda, my favourite Dutch cheese, and Rouy, a mild-tasting, orange, soft surface-ripened cheese from Bourgogne, France, which comes in an orange cardboard box (and was on sale for $3.99 at La Bottega!).

I love eating this way because of the tapas-like variety of choice, and the big, strong flavours. It also always brings back fond memories of similar meals — of lunch with my aunt and uncle and then-little cousins in Edmonton, and with S's parents in the Rockies, crowded around the tiny convertible table in their Westfalia camping van. And most recently, of France, when S and I made this for dinner one night in our room with cheeses bought from the sweet little market at La Bégude-de-Mazenc. Ah, memories with food!

Murray Street Kitchen | Charcuterie | Wine
110 Murray St.
Ottawa, ON K1N 5M6‎

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Anonymous said...

Hi Asha:

Wow, charcuterie...not many blogs about that! I'm in culinary school so when I saw that it reminded me of my time on the garde manger station...all new stuff. I just started an Italian food blog at

Come check it out!


p.s. love the pic in your profile...too funny.

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