No matter what you're having for lunch today, there's a good chance it involves bread, meat and cheese. (Unless, of course, you're gluten-intolerant, vegetarian or kosher, in which case, two out of three ain't bad.)
There are more ambitious preparations on the menu at Le Pichet, Jim Drohman's revered homage to French countryside cuisine. But the restaurant's raison d'être is what folks on the other side of the Channel would call a ploughman's platter: Crusty baguettes, generously slathered with salty butter; curvy cornichons; slices of slightly funky cheese and housemade charcuterie.
The charcuterie selection changes according to the season and customer demand - it's not unusual for a popular pâté to be scrubbed from the specials board before dinner - but it's reliably terrific. For its rustic preparations, Le Pichet does very little tinkering with its satiny pork fat and rich duck livers. Or, more accurately, the tinkering is admirably discreet: As the recipes on Drohman's blog illustrate, these skillfully seasoned sausages and rillettes don't make themselves.
Perhaps you'd rather reach your bread, meat and cheese quota with pizza slices or burritos. That's fine, but you'll be missing out on the depth of flavors and infectious Francophilia that elevate a simple meal at Le Pichet. And if you'd like to add wine, the restaurant's by-the-glass pricing is wonderfully fair. Your call.