So This Exists: Foie Gras Corn Dog at Urbana in D.C.


A trio of Urbana's foie gras corn dogs. [Photographs: Brian Oh]

For the non-initiate, foie gras isn't the most accessible dish. Most are familiar with it by virtue of the surrounding controversy; others know it as the French method of producing fattened duck livers (foie gras literally translates to "fat liver") for an especially rich and buttery flavor.

Could this be one of the most clever interpretations of foie gras around? Executive chef John Critchley of Urbana's latest creation is definitely one of the most fun. Wanting to create a summery dish, Critchley introduced the foie gras corn dog ($10). They start with housemade foie gras sausages made with a mixture of chicken breast, foie gras, and pork fat back, added to a lamb casing. Critchley takes the sausages and dunks them in his corn dog batter (made with white cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and buttermilk) and deep-fries them, serving the finished dogs with a cornichon relish, housemade cognac mustard, and espelette pepper.


A look inside the corn dog to the foie gras, chicken, and pork sausage inside.

Originally introduced on the bar menu this spring; the corn dogs were eventually added to the starters menu because of their popularity. They're served as three mini-dogs, each containing a third of a six-inch link.

Given how rich foie gras tends to be, the entire link might be too much for one person. Their size and the fact that the foie gras is cut with the chicken and pork produces a very mild foie gras flavor. Critchley describes it as a "beginner's foie gras experience." For both those new to foie gras and veterans, Urbana's foie gras corn dogs are a fun twist on a summer staple.

Urbana 2121 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20037 (map) 202-956-6650;