Meritage hosts Tour de France dinners

Having recently returned from a trip to Paris, the Kleins are serving a "Tour" of regional menus.
Having recently returned from a trip to Paris, the Kleins are serving a "Tour" of regional menus.

If you're wondering what to to with your newly free schedule after the World Cup watching dries up, check out Meritage's lineup of Tour de France-themed dinners, designed to "tour" the food and wine traditions of various regions of the French countryside. This Friday, and the seven following Fridays, Meritage will offer a special, three-ourse menu exploring the foods, wines, and cheeses unique to each region.

Hot Dish checked in with chef/owner Russell Klein, who had just returned from a trip to Paris with his wife/business partner, Desta, to get more details.

The tour dinners kick off with Languedoc-Roussillon, which is the region in which Klein spent almost a year training. The menu will include fois gras mousse, duck confit with duck fat potatoes, and a fig tart for a cost of $35.

Menu pricing may adjust slightly each week, and optional wine pairings for each region will be available. Klein shared a few tidbits on what to expect:

"In Alsace we will do a tart flambe," he says. [Ed. Tart flambe is like a French pizza, and if they're anything like the ones I've had recently at Pardon My French in Eagan, they should be delicious.] "In the Loire we will do quennells de brochet with crayfish. [Ed. Quennells refers to a food formed into a small, football shape and makes for an awesome Scrabble play! Brochet is pike.] In Brittany we will do a caramelized apple crepe with Devonshire cream, and when we get to Provence, we will take advantage of the one time of year Minnesota resembles Provence--if you squint hard and imagine--and make use of great vegetables."

Here's the lineup of regions. Check the website for more details on the weekly menus.

July 9: Languedoc-Roussillon July 16: Pays Basque July 23: Bordeaux July 30: Brittany-Normandy Aug 6: Loire Aug 13: Burgundy Aug 20: Alsace Aug 27: Provence

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