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Honestly my favourite thing in this whole world is a good charcuterie platter. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be assortments of charcuterie. When I choose restaurants to eat from, nine times out of ten I have picked it because it has a good meat selection.

I love charcuterie for so many reasons. The beautiful display; the way that the restaurant has chosen to lay out cuts of preserved meats, the slate boards, the old wood platter or sometimes a beautiful plate. I love charcuterie because of the attention to detail the restaurant has displayed. It’s not easy to cure meats and to see cuts of love displayed for me, shows a real sign of restaurants who get it, who get food. I love what has been preserved and the flavours they have used; boar, venison, pork, beef, brains, herbs, spices, beer and various salts. I love the smell, the way it melts in your mouth, the way it pairs beautifully with wine. I love what restaurants choose to accompany the meats; pickles, mustards, chutney, olives and sometimes bits of cheese.

If I go to a restaurant and they show that they love charcuterie as much as I do, they have a customer for life.

Here’s a list of my favourite places for charcuterie!

Paradiso 

Located both in the heart of Burlington (ON, Canada) and Oakville. This is my go to spot to eat. The charcuterie is always delicious and fresh. The addition of pickles, fresh bread and veggies make Paradiso one of go to spots to eat and recommend for others. I always sit in front of the kitchen, watching as the chef’s buzz around. If the charcuterie wasn’t amazing enough the show in the kitchen will blow you away!

Buca

You’ll find Buca in three convenient locations in Toronto (ON, Canada). What can I say about Buca? Except if you haven’t gone, you need to go! They cure all their meats in-house and it’s an experience you’ll talk about for months. I was fortunate enough to go for my birthday this year and it was outstanding. The sommelier at Buca knows how to pair meat and beverage beautifully, it’s like a perfectly timed symphony. The whole place has an old world feel and wraps you up and holds you until your very last bite.

Cibo Wine Bar

With four locations across North America and two more opening soon, you know they are on to something. I love this place. It’s exactly where you want to be after a long day of shopping or after the theatre or maybe you pop in before a big meal (or for a big meal) the whole place feels exactly like where you want to be. I always make sure to grab a window seat at the bar for optimal people watching. With an extensive wine list and impeccable service, I truly love this little gem. Whether I’m eating cheese or charcuterie, it’s always fresh and abundant pairing well with any glass of wine. I leave feeling my foodie cup running over.

Girl and the Fig

Oh this, this little sweet spot is an amazing find! If you ever find yourself in Sonoma (California), do not pass up the opportunity to eat at Girl and the Fig. It’s always packed, so do make reservations. Grab a local wine and do not eat anything until you’ve had their amazing charcuterie platter. House made everything taste like California sunshine in one amazing package. As you sit out on the patio, sucking in every last-minute of sun. As the patio lights take over and cast a glow over your meal. As you inhale the aroma of a restaurant passionate about the food they create. Your senses on complete over drive, you are treated to a charcuterie Michelin star worthy. I’m salivating sitting here thinking about it!

Terre Rouge Bistro

One of Charlottetown’s best kept secrets! Located in PEI (Canada) their whole place is charcuterie inspired. Even the meats they cure are for sale! Farm to table in its heart they really do inspire you to eat the best your province/country/city has to offer. Be sure to ask them lots of questions because they are passionate about the food that they put out and eating locally. It’s a lovely spot to sit nibble and watch the world spin around you.

If you haven’t sampled some charcuterie yet or haven’t dived into this amazing world, you’ve been missing something truly amazing. I can’t say enough about cured meat, it’s just one of those things that you need to try.

What’s your favourite places in this world for charcuterie?

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