Every restaurant we reviewed was taking advantage of fresh duck foie gras now readily available from New York and California. Most often, the presentation consisted of a seared slice of the foie served with a pan sauce involving something sweet and something tart. La Toque put the foie gras on sweet potato puree with tart Jonathan apples and balsamic vinegar. Fleur de Lys combined it with preserved orange and juniper berry reduction. Patina paired it with a lively sauce based on Concord grapes. Le Cirque 2000 served it with huckleberry sauce and taro root, a powerful combination of sweet and earthy notes.
Some were weird but strangely wonderful. San Francisco's Fifth Floor crosshatched the surface (to add texture and promote more even cooking) and served it with grilled pineapple and a jalapeño jus, all garnished with fresh pepper cress and a sprinkle of ruby pomegranate seeds. It did wonders for sweet, silky, honeyed Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey 1989.
The classic cold terrine of foie gras has not disappeared either. Fleur de Lys made a fresh terrine with Gewürztraminer gelée, onion marmalade and brioche, baked in a flowerpot. The French Laundry served it on a pristine white square plate already prepared with a small mound of coarse sea salt and a dot pattern of aged balsamic.