In November, I was lucky to be invited to 39 Rue de Jean‘s Beaujolais Nouveau Day celebration. The event was a reflection of a French tradition. Every year at the end of the growing season, wine makers celebrate the end of harvest. The highlights of the night were the namesake Henry Fessy Beaujolais wine, hors d’oeuvres, and oysters roasting out on the terrace.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine. Included in the ticket price were heavy hors d’oeuvres, an oyster roast outside on the patio, and 2 glasses of Henry Fessy Beaujolais Nouveau. The wine was beautiful, supple, and complex. It’s fruitiness could not be disputed, and a second glass left everyone with a rosy, warm glow.
A Southern tradition made this French celebration truly Savannah-esque. An oyster roast, of course! Designated shuckers cracked open the shells for you while you decided which condiments suited your taste. Pickled onions, lemons, and cocktail sauce were at our disposal. A woman who was shucking urged us to use her hot sauce that she brought from home. You really can’t eat oysters without it, so thank you anonymous woman!
I’ll be honest. Oysters are not my favorite nor would I be one to request them. They’re rubbery, gritty, and slightly fishy. I can stand them roasted or fried, but raw… Oysters are incredible creatures though. They can filter on average 50 gallons of water a day, so I can definitely appreciate them. Maybe one of these days, I will find the right oyster connoisseur who will change my mind. I didn’t have to go hungry, though! There was a delectable assortment of other finger foods.
Bringing it back to Rue de Jean’s French roots, were the Goat Cheese and Peach Marmalade Crostinis, mini Beef Wellington and Roquefort Butter, and Beef Tartare with Hollandaise. My favorite was the crostini. They were the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and acidity. Just pop them in your mouth and enjoy. The Wellington was ambitious taking a 7 hour prep-to-cook dish and downsizing it to bite size pieces. I met a wonderful couple, ironically named Mary and Joseph (hi guys!), and Joseph loved the beef tartare. It was well seasoned and who doesn’t love hollandaise?
I did find a surprise while at the event. Did you know that 39 Rue de Jean has an amazing sushi chef? I hear it was incorporated into the restaurant per the request of the owners’ sushi-loving daughter. Well all I have to say is thank you to her! Savannah has its share of gourmet sushi. Using that point of reference, I would say that this Crab Crunch Roll could be served at some of the best. The sushi offerings were gobbled up quickly followed by rolls with fresh grilled eel and shrimp cocktail. What a treat!
Overall, this event was one to go to. 39 Rue de Jean hosts monthly events from “Love the Wine You’re With” with South Magazine to the upcoming “Whiskey Wednesdays” benefitting the Coastal Arbor Association. Some of them are free while others come with a ticket price that includes quality, regionally sourced ingredients, a knowledgable staff, and friendly company. I’ll be at the first Whiskey Wednesdays event in January, so see you there!