Published on : Saturday, October 14, 2017
Eat as the French do this fall at ENO Wine Bar with a new seasonal menu featuring comfort foods from the Basque region of France. Inspired by ENO Wine Director Hugo Lefevre’s family traditions and recipes, four key ingredients drive the rustic menu: duck, fig, cheese and Malbec.
Originally from Cahors, France (a small city just north of the Basque region), Hugo grew up eating long, drawn out meals with family and friends that often included these foods. During the cooler months, he associates one dish in particular with these leisurely gatherings: parmentier de canard confit.
Georgetown locals and travellers alike can now enjoy the dish as the signature item on ENO’s fall menu. Meaning “to be served with potatoes,” ENO’s cast iron duck parmentier priced at USD 18 is a take on a warming savoury pie that is traditionally served family style. The pie is adapted from Hugo’s mother’s own recipe, and has a rich base of duck confit that is topped with whipped potatoes and parsnips and then baked at a high temperature giving it a golden brown crust on top.
“Parmentier is a dish that brings people together,” says Lefevre. “Growing up, I remember my mom would start preparing the duck confit on Saturday for us to eat at Sunday dinner. My dad would then get up really early on Sunday morning and head to the local farmer’s market to make sure he got the best parsnips for the topping. We would all sit down at the table around 4:00 pm and eat, drink wine and talk for hours. It’s the one meal I ask my mom to make when I go home to visit! I’m very excited to share a little piece of home with our guests.”
Other items on the new fall menu feature flavours from Hugo’s hometown, but with an ENO twist. The fig, Basque cheese and walnut bruschetta priced at USD 8 is a play on a favourite flavour combination from the region. According to Lefevre, nearly every home in Cahors has a fig tree in the yard, including his own. Sweet fig paired with a savoury cheese makes for a warm, rustic dish perfectly suited to the season. ENO patrons can also indulge in a new Basque-inspired seasonal flatbread with a roast onion jam, goat cheese, mushroom and bacon priced at USD 12.
All of ENO’s French fall flavours are crafted to pair perfectly with Cahors’ most predominant varietal, Malbec. ENO-goers can sip on the Chateau Haut-Monplaisir, 2014 by the glass or by the bottle, priced at USD 11 and USD 48 respectively.
ENO’s seasonal menu also features other new dishes inspired by regions both near and far from home. Patrons can enjoy:
ENO’s local crab cake with pecan-orange aioli and ginger sweet potato puree (USD 14)
Pimento cheese deviled eggs with crispy prosciutto (USD 11)
Thai spiced chicken meatballs (USD 13)
All of ENO’s menu items are sourced locally wherever possible. In addition to the wine bar’s larger bites, guests can enjoy an extensive list of wines by the glass, flight and bottle, local cheeses and charcuterie and artisanal chocolate. Patrons can enjoy complimentary three-hour valet parking at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC.