Tag Archive | "Le Midi"

Beaujolais Nouveau Is Coming!

Perhaps second only to Bastille Day in importance to the French is the release date of Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of November. It might have started as a marketing campaign, but it’s now certifiably fun for lovers of this wine around the world.

Thursday is the date for the release around the world of Beaujolais Nouveau, a red French wine made from the Gamay grape.

As the release approaches this week, places around San Antonio are making plans to pour this fruity, young red wine made from the Gamay grape.  One of its popular features is its low tannins (tannin being a substance that makes your mouth feel puckery and dry). For some, Beaujolais Nouveau is also a favorite Thanksgiving wine choice.

Here are some places to join the fun on Thursday and through the weekend:

Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro

5-8 p.m. Thursday.
18402 U.S. 281; 210-491-4480

Frederick’s Beaujolais Nouveau dinners

Thursday-Saturday at both locations: Frederick’s Restaurant, 7702 Broadway, 210-828-9050; and Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., 210-888-1500 . The cost is $34 a person, plus tax and tip. Call for reservations.

Tost and Le Midi:

Taste the new wine with French dishes or by itself. The wine is priced at $6 a glass or $20 a bottle until the last bottle is gone. Tost Bistro Bar is at 14425 Blanco Road, 210-408-2670; Le Midi is at 301 E. Houston St., 210-858-7388. For more information visit: Le Midi or  Tost Bistro.

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Cuisine, From Texas to French Provenςal

MidiTwo cuisines tempted our palates recently, though in very different ways.  At Jean-Francois Poujol’s new Le Midi, downtown, we sampled dishes from the Provenςal region of France, and popped the cork on an excellent Côte de Beaune Burgundy. My favorites were a country paté made in house and served with the requisite cornichons, a sleek consummé and perfectly roasted chicken.

While companions enjoyed their bacon-wrapped monkfish, good steaks and more, we also were anticipating a look at the Provenςal-accented lunch menu. We’ll have our chance this weekend, as the restaurant celebrates its grand opening from 6-9 p.m. Sunday.  Le Midi is at 301 E. Houston St.  The restaurant will begin serving lunches on Monday.

Things turned to the wild side on Friday. A wine dinner served at Westin’s Palmer Course Club House, way up north on Babcock Road at Camp Bullis, was purely Texas. We tasted wines from Jim Johnson’s Alamosa Wine Cellars, including three sturdy reds paired with executive chef John Armstrong’s entrées:  The winery’s renowned tempranillo, El Guapo,  Texacaia (a blend of syrah, sangiovese and tempranillo) and its Palette, a blend of Rhone varietals.  Johnson’s winery has distinguished itself as the only winery in Texas “dedicated exclusively to warm climate varietals.” (www.alamosawinecellars)

Axis chops, robust and well seasoned, came out stacked on large platters for passing.  Buffalo brisket was dished atop a very spicy jalapeño crouton, and baked whitefish came topped with creamy kernels of corn drizzled over freshly popped popcorn.  Popcorn? Yes, and it worked. The creamed corn enhanced the slightly different taste of its cousin, popcorn. The texture of this game-snack food held up surprisingly well as a different and enjoyable garnish.

In addition to the food, wine, and company, we also applaud the different way that the dinner, hosted by Westin La Cantera’s sommelier, Steven Krueger, was served. All of the wines were poured at the place settings, and food delivered on dishes, family style. These stayed on the table. This made it easy to mix and match — try one dish with all three wines instead of the usual way, “held hostage,” as one of my companions described it, to one wine and one dish.

We hope this style of service, which seemed to go easier for servers and diners alike, will catch on at some of our other venues.

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Daily Dish: Openings and Closings

A new French restaurant will open next week downtown; a North Side Italian restaurant with a long history has closed. Here are a more changes on the San Antonio food scene:

  • Green Fields Market will open Sept. 29 in the Shops at Stone Oak. The shopping center is at 19239 Stone Oak Parkway
  • The  Sandbar will move to the Pearl Brewery during the third week of October.
  • La Scala, 2177 N.W. Military Hwy., has closed.
  • A second Gourmet Burger Grill will open soon. It will be at 11224 Huebner Road.
  • Martha’s Mexican Cuisine will open another restaurant at 13259 Blanco Road, the home of a number of restaurants over the years including El Callejon, Matisse and Gaucho’s.
  • Le Midi, a French bistro from the people behind Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar, opens Wednesday at 301 E. Houston St.

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Daily Dish: Le Midi, A Taste of Provencal Downtown

Dishing up the latest food news in San Antonio:

Jean-Francois Poujol, owner of Soleil Bistro & Wine Bar, 14415 Blanco Road, will open a new restaurant, Le Midi, on Houston Street in September.  The name refers to the region in the South of France as well as noon-time. There will be French wines to choose from, as well as Mediterranean style fresh seafood dishes, Poujol says.

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