Moveable Feast: Vive la France

by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
July 11, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — For our weekly feature, "Moveable Feast," Rachel Hutton of Minnesota Monthly joins John Birge to talk about where to go and what to eat in Minnesota.

This week, with Bastille Day approaching on July 14, John and Rachel talk about French food.

Time was when the default for gourmet food had always been French food, but does fancy, haute cuisine French fare still exist?

Rachel believes the dining scene has broadened. One can find upscale Mexican, upscale German, but fine French dining can still be found, too.

The fanciest French-influenced spot is La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. It serves French-inspired dishes and it draws its influences from across the Mediterranean region as well.

In terms of more classic French fare, Vincent and Meritage are the most traditional, although they have American influences, too, of course.

Vincent's "bistro" section of the menu has frog legs, moules frites, escargots, etc. But of course, he also has "le Vincent burger" — it's also delicious, and it's served stuffed with gouda cheese.

Meritage, too, has an oyster bar, steak frites, cassoulet, but there's also a great Matzo ball soup that's chef Russell Klein's family recipe. And Meritage — decor-wise, in its century-old building with the penny tiles and large windows — feels as if one has been dropped into Paris.

Alors, là! Vive la France!

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