I recently discovered Chez Nous, an excellent French bistro in Lee, Massachusetts (a quick 20 minute drive from the inn). On Thursday nights in the off season, they offer a fun evening called “Manger! Boire!” which means eat, drink in case you have forgotten your high school French! For $30, you can join a group of friendly foodies for an evening of food demonstrations, discussions and wine tasting in a private dining room. I recently attended one about the technique of braising. Chef/owner Franck Tessier demonstrated braising chicken and vegetables, and we were then served a three course meal which included the dishes he had demonstrated: braised baby artichoke ragout, coq au vin, and braised endive. We tasted two red wines which Franck and his wife Rachel had carefully chosen for the meal, a French and a Californian wine, and finished with a delicious Chocolate Pot de Creme (Rachel is the pastry/dessert chef). Is your mouth watering? Book a Thursday night stay at the inn during the off season, now through April excluding March when the restaurant is closed, and I will include the cost of the Manger! Boire! for one person.

French Cooking Classes at Chez Nous

Also, consider getting together a group of your friends for a Sunday morning cooking class in the Chez Nous Restaurant kitchen with Chef Franck. The class runs from 11 am to 1 pm. You will don an apron, be given the recipes, and participate in making the lunch which you will then enjoy. Wine is included. Recent classes have included seasonal French cooking, cassoulet and sausages, pies and tarts, and gratins. Also, your group can choose the theme of the class. The cost is $75 per person, with a minimum of 6 people. So bring some friends, book a weekend at the inn, and I will arrange your group’s cooking class. Available in January, February and April, 2011.