For those on the go, Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro began offering four of its stews at half the price this month.
"The season is a little bit weak compared to what we did last year, so we tried to diversify. A couple customers came in and asked for some stew (to go); it was for a small group. They really liked it and they especially enjoyed not having to cook," said Christian Vivet, chef and co-owner of Bleu Rendez-Vous.
For $15 per person, individuals have their choice of coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, lapin au vin blanc and cassoulet au confit de canard. Each soup comes with potatoes and bread.
Mari and Christian Vivet, co-owners of Bleu Rendez-Vous.
The coq au vin soup is a chicken stew cooked in red wine, with mushrooms, lardons and pearl onions.
"The word-to-word translation is actually rooster and wine. Nowadays, we don't use rooster, we use chicken. By marinating the rooster, and then cooking it over a long period of time, it would break all the fibers in the bird and make it tender. It's still the same idea with the chicken, it still gets cooked over a long period of time but not as long of a period as rooster. It's much tender by nature than the rooster," Vivet said. "Our serving is two thighs per person."
Their boeuf bourguignon is a slowed cooked beef stew simmered in Burgundy wine.
"Bourguignon comes from the word burgundy. That's where some very famous French wine comes from. Part of my roots are in Burgundy. To make a beef stew, you don't use beef tenderloin or the rib-eye, you use the tougher cut of meat," Vivet said.
The lapin au vin blanc is rabbit stew cooked with white wine and mushrooms with a hint of mustard.
"My mom used to cook a lot of rabbit. Rabbit is an excellent meat that's lean and fairly tender but it can dry out very easily. By cooking it in sauce, it prevents the rabbit from drying out," Vivet said.
Their last offering, cassoulet au confit de canard, is a duck stew.
"Cassoulet is a traditional dish from the Southwest region of France and it's a bean stew with smoked sausage and a leg and thigh of duck. But it's not just regular leg and thigh of duck, it's a confit. It's a duck that's cooked in its own fat for several hours so the meat is falling right off the bone," Vivet said.
Vivet said that the stews may be picked up either cold or hot.
"Say they have a dinner party at 6 p.m., they can pick it up before we even open at 4 p.m. if they arrange that ahead of time and that way, it's not disruptive to them or us and they have it ready whenever they want it ready. It gives them flexibility," said Mari Vivet, co-owner of Bleu Rendez-Vous.
To order a stew, call Bleu Rendez-Vous at (239) 565-1608. The stews will only be available to-go for a limited time.
For groups of four or more, calling ahead of time is recommended.