L’Auberge Chez François Launches Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge

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New Brasserie menu offers traditional Alsatian dishes in a casual atmosphere at competitive prices.

Chef Jacques Haeringer is proud to announce the opening of “Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge,” beginning November 9, 2010. The new Brasserie menu will be served Tuesdays through Friday evenings in the large rear dining within L’Auberge Chez Francois.

“I was recently in Alsace and many of the restaurants we visited offer two dining experiences, a more upscale gastromonique dining room as well as a more casual, bistro-style dining room known in the region as a winstub,” Haeringer explains. “In a winstub diners can enjoy a traditional Alsatian meal accompanied by a local wine, in a casual, more relaxed atmosphere.”

“When Papa first opened Chez Francois in 1954, the menu was very much in the winstub style. As a special tribute to my father and our rich Alsatian culinary heritage, I want to bring this dining experience back to Northern Virginia. Many of the dishes we will serve come from a handwritten notebook of recipes my father brought with him when he came to the United States after World War II.”

The casual a la carte Brasserie menu will include dishes such as:

  •     Tarte Flambée (Alsatian-style pizza)
  •     Charcuterie
  •     Fresh oysters and mussels
  •     Organic Chicken in Riesling
  •     Traditional and Fish Choucroute
  •     Pinot Noir Braised Ribs

A selection of Alsatian wines will be offered with the Brasserie menu.

The main Prix Fixe menu will still be available as always in the main dining rooms.
Reservations for Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge may be made by calling 703-759-3800. On line reservations for the Brasserie will be available soon.

Creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere among the towering trees and rolling hills of Virginia, L’Auberge Chez François brings the Alsatian countryside to America. For Alsatians, great food should be served in an intimate setting along with beautiful scenery. The restaurant’s sylvan backdrop makes a drink or meal under the stars a special occasion and the perfect summer setting for any event. Guests are served in a warm, congenial and inviting atmosphere reminiscent of the little family inns -- or auberge -- that dot the Alsatian countryside. The menu changes with the seasons, using the best ingredients available.

Host a Memorable Special Event

L’Auberge Chez François is available for weddings and special events Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Parties can range in size from 40 - 80 guests and weather permitting; the garden terrace can be used for the ceremony and cocktails, prior to moving indoors for a sit-down luncheon.

The restaurant also provides outstanding and attentive service for corporate and private dinners Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. A private dining room is available for groups of 25 - 45 guests, after 5:00 PM. On Monday nights, L’Auberge Chez François can host private parties from 60 to 100 guests.

L’Auberge Chez Francois is open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Sundays from noon until 3:00 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesdays through Saturdays, 5:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Reservations can now be made online through OpenTable.com or by calling 703-759-3800, or visit http://www.LAubergeChezFrancois.com.

The traditional Alsatian tarte flambée (also called flammekueche) is made with a thin crust, and covered with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions, and bacon or lardoons. Think of it as an Alsatian pizza. Tarte flambée was originally a simple dish prepared at home, in a wood-fired oven. Here is the recipe for tarte flambée that I developed after my most recent trip to Alsace; you’ll find this version on the menu at Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge.

Alsatian Tarte Flambée

Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

FOR THE CRUST:
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
3/4 to 1 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 teaspoon honey
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

FOR THE CHEESE TOPPING:
1/3 cup ricotta cheese or large curd cottage cheese
1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

FOR THE ONIONS AND BACON:
1/3 cup thinly sliced onions
1/3 cup thinly sliced smoked bacon

TO PREPARE THE CRUST:
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the honey and allow to stand for 5 to 7 minutes. Put the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with a stainless-steel blade. With the motor running, add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Process until the dough forms into an elastic ball.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in size. Once the dough has doubled in volume, punch the dough down and knead it on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute. Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll them into tight balls. Place the dough balls on a tray, cover with a damp towel, and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to use, remove from refrigerator and allow the dough to come to room temperature, approximately 1 to 2 hours. Turn one of the dough balls out onto a cutting board and dust the dough with flour. Pick up the dough and, keeping both hands together, grasp it lightly at the top of the edge. Letting gravity do the work, start rotating the dough as though you are turning the steering wheel of a car. This will stretch the dough without the risk of thinning out the center too much. Roll and stretch the dough out very thin to form a 10-inch circle.

Prick the dough all over with a fork. Then, place the crust onto the heated pizza stone and bake in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

TO PREPARE THE CHEESE TOPPING:
Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

TO PREPARE THE ONIONS AND BACON:
In a large frying pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and slowly sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and just beginning to color, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sauté the bacon strips in the same pan used for the onions until lightly browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Combine with the cooked onions and set aside.

TO MAKE THE TART FLAMBEE:
Spread the cheese topping evenly over the surface of the pre-baked dough. Scatter the sautéed sliced onions and bacon evenly over the topping. Bake the tarte flambée in the center of the oven until the crust is golden brown, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Remove your tarte flambée from the oven, cut into slices and transfer to a serving dish. Serve at once.

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