Francine Restaurant in Scottsdale has rolled out a new fall menu, allowing guests to savor the season with four, locally-sourced dishes inspired by Executive Chef Connor Harmon and Owner Laurent Halasz’s recent trip to the Provence region of France.
Known for its diverse landscapes that range from the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to rolling vineyards, Provence is located in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea and offers an abundance of olive groves, pine forests and lavender fields. Each dish on Francine’s new seasonal menu incorporates flavors and ingredients of the Provence region to transport guests to the rustic charms and tastes of the South of France throughout the coming months.
Dishes include the Soupe Au Pistou, a light, vegetable-based soup seasoned with an herb pistou that Francine prepares without pasta to keep it gluten free and vegan ($16) and the Daube Provencal, a traditional beef stew from Provence that Francine has refined with braised short ribs served over potato gnocchi with carrots and other seasonal vegetables ($46). Guests can also enjoy two takes on French classics, including Escargot served with garlic parsley butter and a parmesan tuile for a salty, crunchy bite ($24) and the new fall dessert, Crème Brûlée, which is steeped in lavender and features an apricot gel that adds acidity and a light effect. ($18).
“At Francine we want our dishes and our cuisine of the sun to truly be influenced from this beautiful region and to do that properly you must visit this area often to get new inspiration,” says Halasz. “This is where all the beautiful and seasonal ingredients thrive and we wanted to get fully immersed in the olive oils, the wild herbs, tomatoes, garlic and the other flavors of the sun.”
Halasz grew up in the Provence region and still gets his inspiration from the dishes his mother would serve around the table. This past summer, the restaurateur and Chef Harmon went on a 10-day retreat across the region, where they tasted various cuisine at restaurants and markets and spoke with local purveyors, farmers and chefs. Upon their return, Halasz and Harmon prepared four of those Provenca- inspired dishes for diners to enjoy in Scottsdale.
“This was an incredible hands-on opportunity to really get up close with some of the greatest chefs in the region and to taste the flavor profiles that would help us really develop our dishes this season,” says Chef Harmon. “These dishes are meant to showcase the provencal flavors of the season and transport our guests to a region that incorporates lavender, and fresh vegetables into almost every dish.”
The French-inspired fall dishes are now available at Francine and will remain on the menu through the winter months. To make a reservation, visit francinerestaurant.com.
Photos courtesy Francine Restaurant