Baru 66 Chef David Baruthio and Wini Moranville, Des Moines cookbook author and freelance food writer, are teaming up the month of October to offer menus based on cuisine de bonne femme. Bonne femme literally means “the good wife,” but in French, cuisine de bonne femme refers to the simple but splendid meals that French people enjoy on a day-to-day basis, whether at home or in casual bistros. The menus will change weekly, and most of the recipes will be from Moranville’s cookbook, “The Bonne Femme Cookbook.” You can expect to find some classics, like Beef Burgundy or Basque Chicken, but other dishes will focus on everyday French food created largely from in-season ingredients.
Baruthio and Moranville not only want to provide diners with a taste of everyday French cuisine but also tap into the convivial spirit of some of France’s more casual bistros. To that end, you can choose to sit at a “community table” with other diners. Moranville and Baruthio will make frequent visits to the community table to chat and answer questions. If group dining doesn’t appeal to you, though, don’t worry: You can choose a traditional private table and dine with your own party.
Priced at $35 per person, the prix-fixe menus will offer three courses, with options available in each course. The special menus will be offered Oct. 3, 10, 17, and 24, with seatings available anytime from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dinner at the community table will begin at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are strongly advised; call 277-6627. When making reservations, specify whether you’d like to sit at the community table or separately with your own party.
Copies of “The Bonne Femme Cookbook” ($24.95) will be available at Baru 66 for sale and signing.