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Cafe Pierre: Hogging the Jars

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Hand-cut Beef Tartar (Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)

Hand-cut Beef Tartar (Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)
Manhattan Beach's Cafe Pierre has been a local favorite for over thirty years, and they've welcomed Chef Remi Lauvand to the team, who is currently responsible for the restaurant's thoughtful French Bistro fare. Within a menu of options that include cheese and charcuterie plates, modern takes on classic entrees, and sumptuous desserts is a series of jarred meats that proved most noteworthy during a recent hosted dinner. Served in wide-mouthed, latch-sealed glass jars, the dishes each showcase a rich and meaty star component, often making use of centuries-old techniques to cook using the whole animal, which means offal offerings, like the Pigs Trotters ($8) or the Head Cheese ($8).

The Duck Rillettes ($10) is surprisingly mild, with hints of sweet and vinegary spices reminiscent of those tasted in a pulled pork dish hailing from America's South. The Hand Cut Prime Bavette Beef Tartar ($14) has a fresh, vibrant zip, though the meat was cut just a tad bit too loosely and largely for my liking. Not so successful were the sardines, which also suffer from the fate of sizing: too unwieldy to fish out and maneuver in polite company; despite their marvelous brine are laborious to eat thanks to many invasive bones that needle their way into the mouth.

But the standout of the lot is the Foie Gras Parfait ($7), a lush and more airy preparation of the intense and velvety fattened liver, which is better slathered on a piece of crusty bread from the table's bread basket and not the over-powering spiced dark bread with which it's served. Better yet, grab that jar and a spoon and run off like your sibling might have done with a new Christmas toy you were meant to share.

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Much like then, these jars are meant to be shared, but we won't tell if you get that Foie for yourself. Pair your jar-venture with one of their signature cocktails, or select from the voluminous award-winning tome that is the wine list.

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