Every month, the cozy French bistro in Queen Village, Bistrot La Minette, offers a prix fixe meal that highlights the cuisine of a different region of France. For November, they’re taking fondue to the next level with their Menu Mont d’Or, which focuses on the cuisine of the Jura region (located in the eastern part of the country), which isn’t often featured on menus in French restaurants.
“The cuisine is not so much ‘special,’ per se, as it is rare,” explains owner Peter Woolsey. “Juracienne wines take more effort to track down, as do some of the region’s cheeses (like Mont d’Or). On the other hand, some Juracienne foods are all over France (for example, the world-famous Comte cheese).”
Woolsey adds that Jura’s most famous dish can be found throughout most of eastern France: Bresse, which is chicken cooked with morels, cream and vin jaune.
“But as a region without any large cities, sandwiched between Bourgogne and Switzerland, it’s far enough off the beaten path that much of its cuisine never makes it very far afield. That’s why we’re so excited to celebrate it with this menu,” he says.
The indulgent four- course meal is recommended for groups of four and revolves around a wheel of Mont d’Or cheese, which is baked in its balsa wood container, taking fondue to the next level.
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“As we move into the holiday months, we’re always looking for ways to share a meal among friends, and the regional tradition of sharing a wheel of Mont d’Or immediately appealed to us,” he says. “For this meal for four, we’ll prepare two starters, followed by a traditional main dish of Mont d’Or with saucisson Marteau and potatoes, and a lavish dessert — perfect for sharing among friends and family.”
Having experienced the meal myself, it is the perfect way to bring your friends and family together for the holiday season, and considering how much food you get, the value is well worth it. For $160, a party of four is served the following four courses:
Salade Jurassienne: frisee, escarole, red leaf lettuce, walnuts, cured French ham, Comté cheese and Jurassienne-style vinaigrette
Potée Jurassienne: soup of cabbage, white beans, smoked pork belly, carrot, leek and potato
Fondue de Mont d’Or: a whole wheel of Mont d’Or cheese (a creamy, bloomy-rind cheese), baked in its balsa wood container and infused with a bit of white wine, served warm with Saucisse Morteau, a traditional juniper-smoked sausage, plus potatoes and mushrooms.
Gateau Arboisien: almond, hazelnut and cocoa cake with vanilla ice cream
It’s hard to pick a favorite out of the menu, because every dish shined brightly on its own. (I’m hoping the Salade Jurassienne and Potée Jurassienne become Bistrot La Minette regulars, because making a light meal out of that would be a delight in itself.) The Fondue de Mont d’Or was absolutely decadent and fun to share, especially with the perfectly prepared mushrooms, potatoes and smoked sausage. Be sure to save a few bites for dessert because the Gateau Arboisien is a sweet treat you won’t ever forget. (And you literally get a sheet cake of it! There's no shame in taking leftovers home.)
There are also featured wines that are recommended for your meal and they include:
Domaine Rolet Père et Fils Vielles Vignes Arbois Poulsard Jura (red wine) for $63/bottle
Jean Rickjeart Arbois Chardonnay Jura (white wine) for $57/bottle
Domaine Rolet Père et Fils Macvin du Jura Savagnin-Chardonnay (dessert wine) for $13/glass
You can also get a carafe of Bistrot La Minette’s house wine if you’re on a budget.
The Menu Mont d’Or is available all November long. If you have a party that is larger than four people, be sure to make a reservation in advance. The restaurant’s intimate dining room can even sit up to 20 people if you’re looking to book a holiday dinner for your company, family gathering or other special event.
For more information, visit: bistrotlaminette.com.