Given the choice between steak and duck breast, I'll always choose the latter. Cooked medium rare, each has that chewy, knife and fork necessity mouthfeel, but when I get a hankering for gamey richness, nothing else will do. And now that I know I can get it with a peppercorn cream sauce at Le Bouchon, the choice just got infinitely easier.
The Magret de Canard au Poivre ($23.00) arrives to the table with its skin lightly rendered and its center just warmed through. Bits of heat pop here and there when your teeth settle on a peppercorn, and you'd be remiss to ignore the slightly bitter bits of green chard peeking out from underneath it all. But as great as the duck is, it's hard to forget the show-stealing cauliflower, its toothy, vegetal crunch still intact after a nice charring. Everything about this plate makes bidding beef adieu a no brainer.