Taste Test: Celebrity chef Mark McEwan joined us to test the city’s top charcuterie boards
When it comes to this summer backyard favourite, McEwan says the selection is key — you want a variety of meats, a terrine or pâté en croûte, one cheese for contrast, the perfect bread and a fruit component. Who nailed it? Read on.
Winner: Selection of champions
Richmod Station, 1 Richmond St. W., $17
“This one has a very nice and broad selection. There are nicely pickled vegetables, and you can tell that they’re certainly making the terrine and the pâté en croûte. I suspect the salami [near the bottom of the board] is house made, and I like the croquettes,” says McEwan.
D Bar, 60 Yorkville Ave., $28
“When I look at this board, I can tell they put in some work on it,” says McEwan, noticing that the salamis, the headcheese, the pickled vegetables and the pâté en croûte all look to be house made. “The headcheese is tasty and the presentation is artful, nice and clean,” he says.
Thompson Lobby Bar, 550 Wellington St. W., $24
“This one is presented very well. I want to eat this one the most. It has fewer details, but it looks the most appetizing. It’s got caper berries, but it’s missing the pickling or olives. It’s got a nice cheese, but I’m not sure it’s the best choice, and the bread should be smaller,” he says.
Variety is key
Terroni, 1095 Yonge St., $23
“It’s a nice selection. So you have salami, one from the headcheese family, prosciutto, three variables on cheese and toast. The toast is a little bit generic for me, and I would prefer a combination of pickled vegetables and forget the arugula. This would also be great with a spicy mustard,” says McEwan.
Baro, 485 King St. W., $24
“The only problem here is the colour of the plate; it’s making everything look a little grey,” says McEwan. “The selection is good. They’ve got a triple crunch mustard that is heavy on the seed side, and they’ve added some pickled vegetables as well as the house-made olives.”
Barnsteiner’s, 1360 Yonge St., $18
“I like the fact that they grill their bread. They really nailed their bread. They have two mustards and an apple jam. It certainly has a very broad selection. It doesn’t have a terrine, but it has the liver. The grainy mustard is a great choice. I don’t think it needs the Dijon as well,” he says.