Here’s the menu for our French Wine Dinner!

We’ve got our French Wine Dinner menu for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, all planned. These five courses (some of which may remind you of our Julia Project), paired with six French wines, are sure to be très magnifique!

Cremant de Loire

First Course
Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup)
Wine: Chateau L’Hoste-Blanc Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course
Cured Salmon in a Jar
Wine: Domaine du Pere Caboche Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc ’93

Third Course
Coq au Vin
Fingerling Potatoes
Wine: M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage La Petite Ruche Rouge

Fourth Course
French Green Salad
Brie and Pear Beggar’s Purse
Balsamic Reduction
Wine: Simonnet-Febvre Sauvignon Blanc de St. Bris Burgundy

Dessert Course
Apple-Apricot-Marzipan Tart
Soft Whipped Crème
Wine: Sauterne Chateau Rieussec

Cost of this dinner is $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. For a taste of France at the end of your November, call 216.481.9635 and save your place at our table!

White Wine Dinner and Beer Dinner coming up!

Bistro 185 has not just one, but two special dinners on our schedule in the near future — one for wine lovers and another for beer aficionados. Whatever your taste (or if you like both) you’ll want to mark your calendar for these events!

“SPRING INTO WHITES” MARCH 24: Springtime is the time when our thoughts turn to wearing white (and not the snow on our boots!) and drinking white — those delightful white wines that so well complement the light, fresh flavors of spring. We’re celebrating with a “Spring Into Whites” White Wine Dinner on Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., highlighting a variety of the finest in white wines.

Here’s the menu:

First Course
Sea Bass Veronique: Pan-Roasted Sea Bass with Chive Beurre Blanc and Green and Red Grapes
Wine: Scharffenberger Brut

Second Course
Lollipop Lamb Chop Milanese with Peach-Ginger Chutney
Wine: Conundrum White Blend

Third Course
Grilled Pineapple Carpaccio with Fresh Raspberries and Arugula Salad in a Champagne Vinaigrette
Wine: Yalumba Viognier

Fourth Course
Chicken Wellington with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach in an Herb-Crêpe Beggars’ Purse with Leek Ribbon, Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Sauce
Wine: Cloud 9 Pinot Gris

Fifth Course
Thai Seafood Coconut-Mango Curry
Wine: Filadonna Pinot Grigio

Phyllo-Wrapped Roasted Banana and Caramel
Assorted Chef’s Whim
Wine: Valley of the Moon Chardonnay

Cost of our White Wine Dinner is $60 per person, gratuity and tax to be added. Call now to make your reservations at 216.481.9635 and get ready to “Spring Into Whites”!

If you need any further persuasion to join us, take a look at our latest wine dinner video and the accompanying review from our “Passport to Romance” event February 15.

NORTH COAST BREWING COMPANY BEER DINNER APRIL 14: One of the pioneers of microbrewing in 1988, North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, California is famous for its Red Seal Ale and many other craft beers that have won more than 70 awards in national and international competitions. Now, you can enjoy a variety of North Coast brews, selected to complement a six-course chef-driven menu, Wednesday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. Cost of our beer dinner is $50 per person, gratuity and tax to be added. Seating is limited, so make your paid reservations now at 216.481.9635. We’ll be posting a menu soon!

What makes a great French dish a great French dish?

How can you make your own attempts at French cooking stand out with that deep, rich flavor that puts it above the rest? Two of the keys are how you treat the vegetables in your dish and how you infuse your sauce with herbs.

Our chef Todd Mueller, for example, who prepared our Chicken Fricassee Tuesday night, took special care with the mushrooms to ensure they tasted as fine as they did. First, they get a treatment with lemon juice to retain their white color; then they receive a bath of flavor from the white wine and chicken stock. Although Julia Child recommends either dry white wine or vermouth, Todd likes to use a combination of both for more richness of flavor; a dry Chardonnay is an especially good complement to the mushrooms.

For our Potage Parmentier, potato-and-leek soup, texture was important. Mashing the potatoes with a hand blender provided a more rustic consistency than would pureeing them in a food processor, leaving small pieces of potato and leek intact for a more interesting feel and taste.

As for flavor infusion, the key to depth of flavor in a slow-cooked dish like our Chicken Fricassee is the bouquet garni: a gathering of herbs, spices and other aromatics tied together into a bundle of cheesecloth. (At Bistro 185, of course, Todd can gather fresh sprigs of thyme and other herbs right from our rooftop garden.) The bouquet garni is submerged in the pot while the dish cooks and removed before serving, by which time it’s permeated the sauce with a tremendous depth of flavor.

Of course, the alternative to cooking these dishes on your own is enjoying them with us. (Then again, we may just serve as your inspiration!) Come by tonight and taste for yourself.

Potage Parmentier is a sensation!

We are pleased to report that Bistro 185 has just served our first Julia Child Project dish: our soup of the day, Potage Parmentier. And it is delicious — thick and rich with flavor and garnished with herbs, garlic croutons and just a touch of sour cream. Julia Powell used a potato ricer in her efforts, but we blended our potatoes using a hand blender to get just the right kind of not-too-smooth, not-too-chunky consistency. If you chose this for your appetizer this evening, you enjoyed a treat indeed.

Everyone in our kitchen is excited about our project, which is why Potage Parmentier turned out not to be the only Julia Child pleasure available at the bistro tonight — the apple turnover, light, flaky and full of apples with a wonderful touch of lemon, is as delightful a dessert as any you’ll find at a sidewalk café in France.

Our Julia Child-inspired offerings, of course, share the menu with many of our guests’ perennial favorites, as well as some newer offerings that take advantage of the summer bounty that is hitting its peak of flavor right now. Our rooftop garden is full of heirloom tomatoes and wonderful herbs that you can taste in dishes like our Caprese Salad, starring our own basil and organic tomatoes; the Bruschetta Quartet, a selection of tapenades served with toasts; and Pasta in the Pink, featuring our tomatoes, basil and herbs tossed with shell pasta and baked with fresh mozzarella and cream.

On Tuesday night’s menu, our special Julia Child dish is Fricassee de Poulet à L’Ancienne — Chicken Fricassee with Wine-Flavored Cream Sauce, Onions and Mushrooms, also from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.

But whatever you choose — whether you stop by to enjoy a classic Child masterpiece, an old favorite, or the latest produce fresh from our rooftop to your plate — as Julia would say, Bon Appétit!