Monday, September 24, 2012 at 12:11 p.m.
Signs of fall: turning leaves, pop-up Halloween stores, and Barbette's new menu.
This spring, after holding the position of head chef at Barbette, running the kitchen at the prestigious Porter & Frye, and stints cooking at Restaurant Alma and Spoonriver, Minnesota native chef Sarah Master returned to take the helm at Barbette once again. Chef Master has a new fall menu and a new prix fixe deal happening on Monday nights.
Here are some of the highlights from the new menu and details on Barbette's weekly specials:
Leveraging her background in French-Caribbean (she started her career at Martinique Bistro in New Orleans), the "nose-to-tail" cooking approach she adopted when working under James Beard Award-winning chef Susan Spicer at Bayona, and her intimate knowledge of local tastes, Master is working with several smaller organic farms to create some late summer and early fall-inspired dishes. For dinner, there are some richer comfort-food type plates like braised beef short ribs with bacon, Brussels sprouts, cornichons, and horseradish. Others have a lighter touch, like grilled quail salad, or the chicken roulade, which uses the last of the summer sweet corn in a succotash served with crawfish sauce. Brunch showcases buckwheat crepes with ham and brie; poached eggs with lardon and frisee salad; smoked chicken hash with fall veggies; and elegant truffle scrambled eggs.
Masters keeps up Barbette's tradition of offering French flavors that are suitable for vegan and vegetarian diners. The new menu's vegetable tasting includes a cauliflower fritter, roasted squash, grilled carrots, and dinosaur kale. There's also a particularly intriguing-sounding dish of smoked tomato ravioli with ricotta, zucchini, and caramelized onion.
In addition to the new brunch and dinner menus, from 5 to 10 p.m. on Monday evenings Masters will offer a four- to five-course rotating menu prixe fixe dinner for $32 that includes a dessert or cheese course. Early evening and late-night happy hours will also stick around for fall. On Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Sunday to Thursday from 10 p.m. to closing, select taps are $4 and PBRs are $3. There's also $4 house wine and sparkling options and $5 small plates, including mussels, pommes frites, fruit and cheese plate, oysters, warm olives, and terrine.