If you're the sort of person whose idea of a fun time is curling up with a mug of Armagnac and a sauce-spattered vintage edition of Paula Wolfert's 1983 classic The Cooking of Southwest France, then you might want to make reservations at Bistro LQ next Tuesday or Wednesday night. Both nights chef Laurent Quenioux will be serving a cassoulet dinner. Cassoulet is a signature dish of southwest France, in which Tarbais beans and duck confit and sausages are transformed by slow cooking and French alchemy into a sublime dish that bears about as much resemblance to casserole as, well, an art student's earnest sketches bear to all that stuff cluttering up the Louvre.
Quenioux' dinner will start with a first course, a salad of mache with smoked duck breast
in pistachio oil vinaigrette, followed by the cassoulet (Tarbais beans, duck leg confit, saucisse de toulouse, saucisson a l'ail, confit pork ribs, and lamb shoulder, all baked for five hours), then a dessert and mignardises , all for $40.
When Quenioux was at the Los Feliz bistro Vermont, Jonathan Gold described his cassoulet as follows: "the best cassoulet I have ever tasted in America. It's the real thing: Tarbais beans cooked to a consistency both firm and creamy, walloped with garlic and garnished with first-quality house-made duck confit, braised pork belly and Toulouse sausage so abundant that the meat almost crowds the beans out of the ceramic tagines being used as crocks." Okay, then. For more information on the dinner, check out Bistro LQ's Facebook page.
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Bistro LQ: 8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 951-1088.