Come dinner, start with appetizers—steak tartare and escargot are bistro classics that will you make you feel like you're dining in Paris; if you want something lighter, vegetable soup and are all warming and hearty. If you've still got room for dessert, try an apple tart, This braised chicken recipe, adapted from chef Sébastien Gravé, is emblematic of the Basque region's affection for colorful, peppery stews.
Our version honors Calvados country with a schmear of apple butter and a splash of apple brandy added to the traditional frangipane cream.
A generous layer of toasty almonds balances the soft and squishy filling below.
This recipe is adapted from the cake at Buck's in Louisville, Kentucky.
Get the recipe for Mocha Dacquoise Cake » This dessert—a fudgy, frozen or semifrozen chocolate mousse that's sometimes coated in ganache, then sliced—likely came from the 17th or 18th century, when royal pastry chefs lived large.
Pack into jars the night before entertaining—the flavors improve with time.
Get the recipe for Salmon Rillettes » These are dream cookies…literally.
Get the recipe for Cinnamon Apple Bostock » This riff on Basque pipérade, a classic dish of stewed peppers, incorporates seafood from the region. Get the recipe for Basque-Style Fish with Green Peppers and Manila Clams » The signature dessert of the region, gâteau basque is made by sandwiching a layer of jam or sweet pastry cream between two shortbread-like rounds.
Hake is traditional, but mild, white-fleshed fish like striped bass or haddock make fine substitutes. Cherry preserves are a classic filling—choosing a good-quality jam makes all the difference—and the dough itself resembles a cookie dough, with additional eggs lending a cakier texture.
Get the recipe Chicken Basquaise This winey chicken braise dotted with pearl onions and button mushrooms is the first French dish many cooks outside France make, and no wonder: It's as simple to prepare as it is elegant to serve.
Bostock is a sweet and crunchy breakfast pastry with roots in Normandy.
Make sure the lentils are fully cooked , says Boulud, “otherwise, they don't absorb the seasoning.” Make sure to taste a few minutes before they are drained: They should be creamy with just a slight bite.