Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
On a very cold winter day recently I met two friends at 50th and France for lunch. I was very surprised to see how quiet this area was at this time of day, but it was cold. 50th and France is a chic area of Edina to shop and eat. I teach cooking classes at one of the stores is the area, Cook's of Crocus Hill(www.cooksofcrocushill.com) and was amazed during the holidays at how busy the area always was. You could never find a parking place, the streets and stores were crowded and there was a great deal of activity from reindeer rides to carolers singing in the streets.
But on this Feb. day it was dead! Finding parking was no problem, but the walk to the front entrance of Beaujo's was long especially when you are dealing with wind chill. Apparently in an effort to cut their heating costs this small cafe has closed off their entrance near the parking lot and directed their customers around the block to their front door. I am all for exercise and normally would not have minded the walk, but it was freezing! BRRRRRRR.
We were having a late lunch, but I was still surprised to see so few tables taken, maybe there were three other parties in Beaujo's at the time. I have been there however on a summer night and the place was packed.
Beaujo's is known as a wine bar and bistro, and whenever I have been there or driven by in the late afternoon or early evening it has been quite busy, so I think this day was just an exception, or maybe the economy has hit this little corner of Edina as well.
I was the first to arrive so looked at the menu and specials of the day and decided that the mussels were what I was going to order. When my dining partners arrived we looked over the wine list and I decided to have a half glass of wine, after all I had to get back to work and it was a Tuesday afternoon. Offering half glasses is a nice way for customers to try several wines if they like.
My friends decided on salads and soup of the day. The soup according to my dining companions was spicy and hot and the salads crisp and dressed perfectly. My mussels were among the largest that I had ever eaten, and I try mussels everywhere I go. The broth was a little unusual, most often mussels are prepared in a light wine broth, these however were prepared with coconut milk and with just a hint of cilantro. Different and delicious. The two pieces of French bread were perfect to sop up all of the liquid. The bowl was loaded with mussels and priced at $8.99 this was a lunch bargain.
Beaujo's at4950 France Ave. in Edina is a great place to meet for lunch or a late afternoon glass of wine, they serve mostly salads, sandwiches and soup, and are open daily, but times vary. Go to their web site at http://www.beaujos.net/ for more information or phone them at 952-922-8974.
Carmela Tursi Hobbins