Saint Street Inn to become Café de Paris two weekends only

by Elizabeth Rose

Take a trip through time at the Saint Street Inn's Café de Paris. For two weekends only, Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6, Saint Street Inn will be transformed into a Parisian bistro straight from the 1920s, a time when ex-pats Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein roamed the cobblestone streets and made Paris the envy of every other city in the world.

"Our menus change with the season," says co-owner Mary Tutwiler. "We were getting ready to move with the seasonal menu and decided to have fun with it."

On that menu will be absolute French classics, including appetizers such as escargot, champignon en papillote (Breaux Bridge shiitaki, oyster and crimini mushrooms, baked in paper pouches with herbs and butter) and duck three ways. For entrées, choose from poulet roti, boeuf bourguignon, pasta provincal, Tornado Henri IV, poisson meunière or porc au fruit.

Et pour dessert, French staple mousse au chocolat is the first offering listed, along with tart tartin (upside down carmelized apple tart), lemon tart, or crêpes maison (buckwheat crêpes with Cointreau sauce).

In true French fashion, there is also a seven-course prix fixe menu with all-French wine pairings for $100. On the menu are brandade de morue (puréed salt cod), choupic, mussels, duck, beef bourguignon, a salad and the lemon tart.

Rio Luminoso will provide the live music to set the mood, and Tutwiler says the wait staff will be in period costume to allow guests to "pretend they're in Paris for a night.

"Nobody is doing classic French food - I don't think you can find this in Paris," says Tutwiler. "It's a very retro menu - something Julia Child would do."