BEST RESTAURANT TREND
Has the foodies' fascination with animal flesh finally peaked this year, what with Baconnaise showing up on Target's shelves and the New York Times chronicling the urban hipster's paleo diet? In some ways the millennium's "more meat" mantra has led to such malaise that even the sight of a bona fide bacon bikini might hardly set off our salivary glands. But one big upside to the recent porcine obsession is the increased ubiquity and raised caliber of charcuterie plates. Clancy's Meats & Fish offers a wide assortment of take-home options, and many restaurants that do some of their own butchering are converting leftover scrap into the amazing pâtés, rillettes, and headcheeses we've eaten at places like Heartland, Nosh, and Victory 44. Our favorite among all these charcuterie platters is the one at the Craftsman, where chef Mike Phillips serves his house-cured spread of copa, pancetta, salami, and the like, served with homemade sauerkraut and crackers. When painstaking, old-world artisanship meets local ingredients, it's as good for our bellies as it is for our economy.