It seemed an odd restaurant to be opening in downtown Covington. Not that Covington is behind the times. Rather, we have some world class restaurants. It’s just that a place built around charcuterie seems so Freret Street, not Columbia Street. But there it was, a tiny place that was formerly an organic food store, and something tells me there is still a connection.
But Cured On Columbia is missing the shelves and the aisles, replaced by small tables and some sofas, all occupied. There are people on computers, a few ladies at lunch, but mostly working guys. The counters are filled with desserts and breakfast items, since they start here at 7 am, and oddly end at 7pm.
True to its name, the big memu item is charcuterie, offering three sizes: for 2, $18, for 4 $36, and $52 for a grazing affair. One of the things about a charcuterie platter, for me at least, is the visual array of the items on the board, as well as the selections. The complexity of items, colors and textures and the way they are assembled is equally important to how they taste. We chose the smaller board, because at the counter I noticed a menu with a lot more choices than just charcuterie boards. My eyes fell on a club sandwich, because if a club is on the menu I have to get it. These two things made for a lot of food. We skipped the soups and salads on the menu, and passed on the desserts and pastries in the case.
It’s a fast casual set-up, and Tom’s cappuccino was made at the counter. There’s a spiffy machine that makes lattes, cappuccino and espresso. Tom was a little underwhelmed by his cappuccino, but it looked the part to me. The food was delivered quickly, almost as soon as we sat down.
The smaller board came on a nearly circular slab from a tree, It was a lovely and interesting presentation with considerably more cheese than meats. One slice of Cotto salami, a slice or two of pepperoni, and a pile of paper-thin chorizo were the meats. There was Bleu cheese, two small slices of hard gouda, some Havarti, and two or three slices of Brie with a drizzle of honey on each. The rest of the platter was an eclectic mix of incongruous items. Five or six slices of crostini, some pickled peppers, a pile of mixed greens with a light vinaigrette dressing, and assorted nuts. There were some sunflower seeds, and an assortment of hot, crispy mixed nuts, some dry-roasted, and some candied spiced and sweet. Most unusual in this array of legumes, etc., was a sprinkling of boiled peanuts, with what looked like corned beef seasonings. I don’t understand the appeal of boiled peanuts, and these did not convert me. There was a tiny pile of roasted garlic and another of chutney. All of this was very filling but there was also the club sandwich.
This was an unusual version of a club sandwich, which I always think must be the traditional kind. This was warm, which I never like. Warm sandwiches don’t make sense to me. The bread was also a little odd. It seemed like it was sliced from a loaf of brioche then toasted. The ingredients were blue cheese, Havarti, bacon, perfectly roasted turkey, some ham, and lots of greens, including microgreens.
It was a really tasty sandwich, enough to make me purge all of my club sandwich biases. I still don’t consider it a club, but it was very enjoyable. I got coleslaw with it and that too was very good, but different.
What made me think there is a connection between Cured and the former organic market is the greens. These are unusual greens. Organic, thick, bitter, and an extremely interesting mix, in the coleslaw, in the salad on the charcuterie board, these turned up everywhere. Baby kale and beet greens and other obviously healthy greens, exactly as you would find in an organic food market.
I only went to the organic food market once, but I will definitely be back at Cured again.