Laurent Halasz, owner of Francine Restaurant grew up in the Provence region of southeast France and knows the bounty that the land and sea can offer on a restaurant menu. The diverse landscape that borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea has inspired new seasonal dishes at the Scottsdale restaurant after Halasz and executive Chef Connor Harmon returned from a 10-day retreat to the region. During their visited they tasted numerous cuisines at local restaurants & markets and met with farmers, chefs and purveyors for the new dishes on the menu.

“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,” said 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.”

New dishes inspired in Provence

Chef Harmon has always enjoyed cooking French Mediterranean inspired cuisine like that found in towns and villages of Provence. On Wednesday, October 4th he will debut 4 new dishes he and Halasz agreed upon from their trip abroad.

“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,” said 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.”

Soupe Au Pistou ($16) is a light, vegetable soup and is considered the French version of Minestrone soup. Francine’s version will be without pasta making it gluten free and vegan.

Daube Provencal ($46) is a traditional beef stew from Provence. Braised short ribs highlight this dish that is served over potato gnocchi with carrots and other seasonal vegetables.

Escargot ($24) comes served with garlic parsley butter and the Parmesan tuile is a touch that gives it a crunchy salty bite.

Creme Brulee ($18) Harmon steeped it with lavender with an apricot gel to lighten it up.

The new dishes will be on the menu through winter daily starting 11a.m.

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