"Tawla does Provence" Dinner I
"Tawla does Provence" Dinner I
Thursday September 7, 6:30pm | The Tawla Cellar
To celebrate the rich history of the intricate spice routes and their impact on the regional cuisines that make up Tawla’s menu, we are excited to debut our “Tawla does _________.” Dinner Series this August. We will explore the ingredients and preparation techniques whose history is rooted in the Eastern Mediterranean countries that inspire our menu - Greece, Turkey, the Levant, and Iran - but are now mainstays in cuisines across Europe, Africa, and beyond.
Tawla will highlight a specific region and dive into each region’s dishes and flavors through the Tawla lens. Known around the world as the symbol for community, dining, and coming together, the act of breaking bread will be key to each of these meals. As with Tawla’s house-made bread program, each dinner will revolve around a bread from that region in focus with Eastern Mediterranean roots.Every meal will be served in Tawla’s signature family-style format.
September will shine a spotlight on Provence the southern region of France! Tawla’s Executive Chef, Joseph Magidow, is incredibly knowledgeable in the rich histories of ingredients and preparation techniques and is excited to explore these flavors with you!
Bread and accompaniments
FOUGASSE | Rosemary and olive stuffed flatbread
PISSALADIÈRE | Savory flatbread with anchovy, caramelized onions, olives
Both these flatbreads with savory fillings or toppings trace their history to the lahmajoun of Turkey and the man’oushe of Palestine and Lebanon.
RATATOUILLE | Eggplant, tomato, zucchini, sweet peppers
The most famous Provencale addition to the global pantry, ratatouille depends on eastern Mediterranean sensibilities on the nightshade family, and bears a close resemblance to the classic Levantine dish, imam bayildi.
TAPÉNADE | Crushed olives, garlic, olive oil
One of the culinary trinity of the mediterranean, olives are ubiquitous both on the Provencal and eastern Mediterranean tables.
CAVIAR D’AUBERGINE | Burnt eggplant, pomegranate
Burning whole eggplant in their skin and scooping out the contents to make a smoky dip or salad is an iconic technique of Arab cookery, and lives on in this typical Provencal recipe.
“LE GRAND AÏOLI” | Assorted crudites
Aioli is a cousin of various sauces from the eastern Meditteranean such as skordalia in Greece and thoum in the Levant. It has a prominent enough place in the ranks of southern French culinary tradition that it is celebrated as the centerpiece of an array of raw and cooked accompaniments for dipping.
SALADE TIÈDE DE FOIE ET GÉSIERS DE CANARD | Duck giblets, frisee, mustard
From Languedoc, this salad is traditionally served as part of a mechoui, a festival dinner held during times of celebration. Its root is meshwi, Arabic for “grilled,” referring to a feast revolving around a spit roasted whole lamb or goat.
“POUMO D’AMOUR” À LA PROVENCALE | Baked tomatoes, herbs, breadcrumbs
Upon their introduction in Europe from the Americas, tomatoes were viewed with suspicion due to their leaves’ resemblance to deadly nightshade. It was not until Arab cooks seized on them and spread numerous recipes that they entered the mainstream diet.
SEICHE AU SAFRAN | Cuttlefish, saffron, creme fraiche, almonds
Albi, in Languedoc, is the only center of saffron production in the western Mediterranean outside of Spain, where it arrived from central Asia via the Levant. It is used to flavor stewed meats in inland recipes and seafood nearer the coast.
TIELLE SÉTOISE | Octopus tomato pie, white wine crust
A classic flaky pastry with a seafood and tomato filling, closely related to brik, phyllo, and borek from the Levant and Turkey, this comes from the tiny fishing village of Sete, on the Languedocois coast.
GARDIANE D’AGNEAU | Red wine-braised lamb, red camarguais rice
The Camargue is a breathtaking sweep of salt marshes forming part of the Rhone delta, where colorful plankton in the water produce pink salt, flamingos, and rice, a product introduced to Europe by the Arabs. This dish is similar to maqluba, a Levantine baked casserole with rice and meat, as well as rabo de toro, a Moorish braised beef dish.
CAILLES EN FEUILLES DE VIGNES | Quail wrapped in grape leaves, fennel
Although in France this was most likely an independent discovery rather than an import, the technique of wrapping meats or vegetables in aromatic leaves demonstrates the common ingenuity of generations of Mediterranean cooks.
The experience wouldn't be complete without Wine Director Shaundon Castonguay pairing wines from our cellar that go perfectly with every bite!
Tickets are $96 per person (includes service and tax). Space is very limited.
** The menu may have some slight changes because our farmer friends and California may bring us some different things the day of the event!