The arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau happens every year on the third Thursday of November. That’s when the wine made from the Gamay grape in the Beaujolais region of France is released the same year of its harvest. I’m a big fan of Beaujolais Nouveau, as are Seattle’s French restaurants. Here’s what four of them are planning for the annual event on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.
Le Pichet ~ The restaurant’s Fete de Beaujolais Nouveau begins on Nov. 17 at 6 PM. The best of the Beaujolais en Primeur has been secured, along with other wines from the region, all available by the glass, pichet or bottle. The menu is being kept under wraps until that evening, but will focus on street food and house made sausages. Music by Eli Rosenblatt at 7 PM and The Djangomatics at 10 PM. No reservations, no cover, everyone welcome.
Bastille Cafe & Bar ~ Ballard’s French restaurant is toasting the New, the Cru & the Gang of Four on Nov. 17 from 4:30-10 PM. They’ll be pouring Beaujolais Nouveau ($3 taste, $6 glass, $10 carafe) and the wines of the Gang of Four (some of the best producers in Beaujolais who are all proponents of natural wine making). They’ll also feature the producers of Cru Beaujolais, which comes from the ten best villages and is “full of mineral essence and great structure.” Executive Chef Jason Stoneburner will prepare selections of charcuterie plus other inspired Nouveau treats.
LUC ~ The Chef in the Hat’s second restaurant, just down the street from big brother Rover’s, is welcoming the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 for three days, Nov. 17-19. In addition to LUC’s regular dinner menu, there will be French Classics to select from, too. The three-course menu is $30, with Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais Nouveau for $12 a glass or $40 a bottle. For reservations, call 206.328.6645 or book online at the link above.
Maximilien ~ This Pike Place Market resto is holding its first Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Concert on Nov. 17 from 6-9 PM. Maximilien and the musical group Rouge have paired up for an evening cabaret, with music from Edith Piaf to Pink Martini. The venue is outdoors, under a heated tent, with large, communal tables. Appetizers start at $4 and Beaujolais Nouveau is available by sampler, glass or bottle. Admission is $5 or $19 with a Beaujolais Wine Sampler. Tickets available online at Brown Paper Tickets (not available by phone or at the restaurant). Chef Potvin is also offering a special 3-Course Menu for $39 in the restaurant that includes a sample of various Beaujolais Nouveau. Free access to the concert tent and music of Rouge before or after dinner is included. Two seatings at 5:30 and 8:30 PM, reservations available online at OpenTable.