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Side Dish 

Heeding the call of the wild at Fio's La Fourchette

Fair warning: The annual five weeks of "game menu" at Fio's La Fourchette (7515 Forsyth Blvd., 314-863-6866) begins Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Last year's game menu (I quote from our review) included "a miniscoop of the delicate but richly condensed liver flavor of foie gras; thin slices of duck breast, feeling and tasting something like gamy lamb loin; and a more full-bodied loin of rabbit, lightly flavored with the vaguely licorice taste of tarragon."

Also on the menu were "caribou egg roll, pheasant custard and antelope pâté over a softly sweet sherried veal glaze. The caribou, captured in bite-size form over cabbage inside the egg roll, was probably the densest texture of the evening; conversely, the pheasant was ultralight and airy, with a pronounced fowl flavor but an almost ethereal texture. The antelope pâté came across in both flavor and texture like a finely ground, finely spiced meat loaf."

Another dish was "partridge, venison sausage and wild-boar bacon arranged consecutively across a puff pastry, a small assortment of greens vinaigrette positioned at the top of the plate. The partridge was moist and very subtly flavored, the oval of venison sausage much more powerful, and the boar bacon tasting almost as if it had been cooked into a reduction of itself -- a double-barreled boar, if you will."

You get the idea. And to really put a bug in your ear, note that Fio promises again to offer optional exotic-insect creations. Last year's, which we had the good fortune not to hear about, included fritter of Arizona scorpion and Oaxacan grasshopper with wild rice and herbs. Expect to spend about $55 for a five-course prix-fixe and $65 for six courses.

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