"Adventures on the Wine Route," a Monday-night series at Bistro Vendome based on Adventures on the Wine Route, the 1988 book on the French wine country by Kermit Lynch, continues tonight with a new installment focusing on Languedoc, and featuring selections from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant of Santa Barbara. See also: Best French Restaurant 2013 -- Bistro Vendome There's a new adventure every month, starting on the second Monday, and usually featuring two dishes that pair with the wines of the region, offered during regular business hours (5 to 10 p.m.) every Monday. If diners order wine or food that's part of the promotion, they get their passport stamped; if they fill their passport over the course of the ten chapters, they will get the book, a Bistro gift card, and a bottle of wine from the route they prefer. Future months will highlight Provence, Southern Rhone, Northern Rhone, Beaujolais, Maconnais-Chalonnais, Côte d'Or and Chablis.
For the Languedoc adventure, Bistro Vendome is pairing three wines with two regular menu items. There's a rose (Fontsainte Gris de Gris 2013) by the glass or bottle ($9/36) that goes with the Chef's Charcuterie: a chicken liver/foie gras mousse with pickled onion/cherry compote and brioche for $12.50. For reds, there are a Fontsainte Corbieres 2010 by the glass/bottle ($10/40 and Chateau St. Martin de Lay Garrigue 2010 by the glass/bottle ($12/48) that can be paired with the menu's new Blanquette Printanièr d' Agneau: pan-seared leg of lamb, braised shank, crispy fingerling potatoes, braised pearl onions, English peas and micro salad for $24.
Overseeing those dishes is Adam Branz, the new chef de cuisine at Bistro Vendôme; he replaces Ben Davison, who came on board when Dana Rodriguez left to join the Work & Class venture. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis, Branz and his wife, Lauren, moved to Denver so she could attend the University of Denver law school. Branz has worked at all three restaurants owned by Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, with stints at Euclid Hall and Rioja before he settled in at Bistro Vendôme.
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