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Arnaud Erhart’s last meal | Village Voice


Arnaud Erhart’s last meal


Arnaud Erhart, who owns 360 in Red Hook, would go out with a diverse feast that, like the food at 360, is simple but also special. Too bad you have to go France, or at least Canada, to experience the delicacy he says is much better than foie gras. By the way, 360 is currently renovating so be sure to call before trekking to Red Hook.

So, your last meal. It would be heavy on liquid, and reflect my diverse background. The Alsatian part is white asparagus, just steamed, from the backyard when I was a kid. I’d drink a Pierre Overnoy, like 50, 60, 70 years old. Then, something with white truffles, but again, the simpler the better—just shaved over steamed potatoes. And I would drink a wine from the Slovenian
border of Italy. Radikon’s “Ribolla Gialla,” which is made the old-fashioned
way—pressed with the skin, so you end up with a white, intense flavor. My mom’s from Algeria. I would have her couscous and mutton tripes with coriander and paprika. It takes a lot of cleaning, but it’s delicious. It’s not like when you buy them in Chinatown and they look like they’ve been bleached. She used to bring tripes home when I was a kid, and I would have to clean them. I hated that.

I would imagine. You boil it in a boullion with sweet paprika for a few hours, then crush some garlic and hot paprika, and cook it with a little of the boullion. The couscous is a coarse semolina grain called barbouche, and she’d serve steamed zucchini. I would drink an old Syrah from Dard et Ribo. Of course, all these wines are natural—no chemicals, or sugar. No nothing.

Of course. Next would be roasted woodcocks—not exactly legal here. The beauty of these birds is, you roast them whole, with the guts inside. Afterward, you have this delicious guts, and you spread it on toasted bread. It’s much better than foie gras.

What’s the meat like? Very gamey, like wild squab, but a lot more tender. For this, Burgundy is the only way to go. A Philippe Pacalet with a few years on it would do this justice. And then I’d go out on a Madeira—an old, dry one; a Sercial, like from 1845—and certainly a Cuban cigar.

Any sweets? I’m not much of a sweet tooth. I would have a very old, aged goat cheese, which shrinks a lot, loses its water and gets hard, but gains incredible complexity. Also, raw milk cheese, maybe Hooligan from Cato Farm. I’d rather have the liquid sweets than the solid kind though.

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