Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Chicago Bans Foie Gras. Is New York Next?

April 28th, 2006 · 3 Comments

The Chicago City Council voted unanimously yesterday to ban the sale of foie gras as reported in an amusingly written story in the Sun Times and related by A Full Belly. If the “City of broad shoulders! Hog butcher to the world!” can do it, can the Five Boroughs be far behind?

This is significant in that New York State is one of two states in the U.S. with farms that feed ducks and geese to produce foie gras and New York City is one of the nation’s centers of foie gras consumption. There are two farms in New York and one in California. Animal rights activists really dislike foie gras because ducks and geese are force fed (with very nasty looking long plastic tubes) to enlarge their livers. Bills that would ban the industry have been introduced and died in Albany. (The anti-foie gras line is available at nofoiegras.org, farmsanctuary.org and others.)

While only a handful of retaurants in Chicago, the city of stockyards and steak houses, dish out foie gras, New York City boasts one of the longest lists of foie gras serving restaurants in the U.S. There are at least 29 restaurants in New York offering foie gras, according to stopforcefeeding.com, which apparently keeps track. The list includes some of the best known restaurants in town, including 5 Ninth, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, Alain Ducasse and Per Se.

Midtown (no surprise) leads the list, with 7 foie gras serving restaurants. Tribeca, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side are tied for second place with three each. Brooklyn comes in third, with two restaurants–Moutarde on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, which offers Sauteed Duck Foie Gras with Xeres Vinegar & Prune Compote, and River Cafe on Water Street, which serves Terrine of French Foie Gras with Port and ginger poached plum, cracked pepper brittle and brioche melba toast. (Does Marty Markowitz know?)

Two centers of duck and goose torment emerge, with multiple pins on a google map (foie gras and New York City map mashup, anyone?): West 58th Street and, yes, the Time-Warner Center on Columbus Circle.

Mayor Richard M. Daley’s reaction to the Chicago ordinance, which he opposed: “We have children getting killed by gang leaders and dope dealers. We have real issues here in this city. And we’re dealing with foie gras?” Hizzoner also said he didn’t want City Council members reaching into his fish tank for sushi. “That would really bother us,” the Mayor told the Sun Times.

No word on where Mike and Christine Quinn stand on the issue, or whether Chicago’s Aldermen will next move to ban veal.

Cafe Steinhof on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope take note: We know all about your Wiener Schnitzel.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Candy Minx // Apr 28, 2006 at 11:31 am

    Hey hi, your blog is going great and its so new, nicely done. Love the photos. I’m in Chicago and really into food ethics so it was interesting to hear about this story via your blog. I guess I miss a lot of the news in amongst all the corruption stories here in Chicago.

    I don’t eat foisgras and I am dead against totalitarian agriculture so I find this story of value.

    I also really love looking at urban life so am excited to follow your blog.

    Hope you drop by to visit me in blogland.

    Have fun,

  • 2 John // May 2, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    If duck mousse pate is banned in NYC I will boycott. Everything.

  • 3 jess // Jan 6, 2009 at 2:05 am

    I found a really funny blog on freedomhaters.org that really nailed the fois gras argument and pointed out how stupid and cruel it is. The blog is called something like Fois Gras for the Holidays.
    You got to check it out: