Dinner in Les Pays Basque, May 29 & 30, 2013
The Basques are an ethnic group that inhabits an area traditionally known as the Basque Country (Pays Basque), a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the Atlantic coast and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France. The language is unique and has no relationship to other Indo-European languages.
The robust Basque cuisine is influenced by the abundance of ingredients from the sea on one side and the fertile Ebro valley on the other. The mountainous nature of the Basque Country has led to a difference between coastal cuisine dominated by fish and seafood, and inland cuisine with fresh and cured meats, many vegetables and legumes, and freshwater fish and salt cod. The French and Spanish influence is strong also.
After the discovery of the New World, Basques embraced chilis, used in hams, sausages and many other recipes and celebrate them with pepper festivals. Pays Basque has its own unique wines, and cider is popular as well.
—Chef Peter WOOLSEY
Four courses, $35; with wine pairnings, $50. We thank Bob Barrett of Winebow for sharing his knowledge of Basque Wines to create our wine parings for this dinner.
Moules aux Amandes Mussels, almond stuffing
Pousse Rapière Marquis de Montesquiou Napoleon Armagnac, sparkling wine, orange
Chiprons en su Tinta Squid stewed in its ink, tomatoes, potatoes
Castillo de Monjardin Tempranillo, Navarra, Spain
Merlu Braisé aux Coquillages, Sauce Verte Fish poached in stock with clams, herbs, roasted red peppers, tarbais beans
Itsas Mendi Txakoli Berezia Hondarribi, Pais Vasco, Spain
Pastiza Basque style cake, pastry cream interior, strawberry jam
La Tour Vieille Banyuls Reserva Grenache Gris/Grenache Noir/Carignan, France
French Movies Under the Stars, Summer 2013
We are starting up our summer program of French films in our garden courtyard. Movies are Monday, Thursday and Friday, with 8:30 show times on Monday and Thursday and 9:30 on Friday. If you want to do alfresco dinner and a movie, we suggest a dinner reservation at least a half hour before show time. Or perhaps you would like dessert, drinks and coffee wiith the film. The whole idea is to relax and enjoy some great French films.
Here are the films for May. I'll be getting the whole summer program together soon. We hope to show films through September, but, as you may know, the building next door (the former synagogue), from which we lease the courtyard, has been sold and the developer may start work at any time. We're hoping that the usual construction delays will allow us to do the whole season. I'll keep you posted.