Italian-restaurant Locanda del Lago on the Third Street Promenade continues its monthly series called “Morso della Bestia,” which translates to “Bite of the Beast,” on Thursday, Oct. 30 featuring an all-natural Muscovy duck menu.
The series is a five-course dinner that highlights the use of the whole animal for cooking, not just the best pieces or cuts where the rest of the animal is trashed.
General manager Megan Heritage said Muscovy duck was from Grimaud Farms in California.
“The Muscovy duck is a breed apart from the rest,” Heritage said. “It is by far the leanest domesticated duck breed. The birds are barn-raised without the use of steroids, antibiotics, or growth hormones. Muscovy duck has lots of flavor, great value, and little fat. It has a unique taste: lean, meaty, tender, and flavorful.”
Heritage said chef Gianfranco Minuz loved using Muscovy as it’s a long-standing tradition in Europe.
“His mother often cooked with the Muscovy,” she said. “Also duck goes very well with the flavors of autumn found at the Farmers Market currently.”
She said the appetizer of marinated duck breast with housemade saurkraut was always a favorite.
“In Veneto where chef Gianfranco is from, pickling vegetables and saurkraut are very popular so it reminds him of the mother land,” she said. “Also the main course of slow cooked, Applewood smoked duck thigh with market kabocha squash and market Granny Smith apples is a wonderful combo of the flavors of the season working harmoniously.”
She said the most unique dish of the evening would be the fregola course.
“Fregola is from Sardinia and they are little pasta pearls,” she said. “This is served with a Barolo wine, chestnut, and duck ragu. Chef is using the duck wing and leg for this ragu.”
The monthly dinner generally sells out with a maximum of 30 guests.
“Most of our guests prefer communal seating, so it turns out to be a wonderful culinary experience in conjunction with social aspects,” Heritage said. “Our most popular dinner that sells out twice annually is the suckling pig, which we serve in March and September. Also delicious and fun are the Durham Ranch Wild Boar, Santa Barbara Halibut, and Niman Ranch Lamb.”
As Thanksgiving is the last Thursday of November, Lago is celebrating turkey all day. There will be no Bite of the Beast dinner in December, but the 2015 series will include Venison (January), Wild Boar (February), Pig (March), Lamb (April), Halibut (May), Rabbit (June), Buffalo (July), Tuna (August), Pig (September), Duck (October), and Turkey (November).
Locanda del Lago is located at 231 Arizona (at Third Street Promenade) in Santa Monica.
For reservations or more information, call 310.451.3525 or visit www.lagosantamonica.com.