What You'll Get
The French have given the United States many tremendous gifts, such as the Statue of Liberty and the current Statue of Liberty, which subdued the first one after lightning made it evil. Enjoy French culinary contributions with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of food and drink from Au Midi Restaurant & Bistrot in Aptos.
Au Midi simmers up the cuisine of the French Riviera, and bolsters their comestibles with locally grown produce and an engaging wine list, serving the lot in a cheery dining room decked out in hues of buttery yellow. Give in to the tempting menu with a helping of Mue's mussels ($11.50 at lunch; $20.50 at dinner), the dish of choice for French consuls, French food critics, and confused Popeye impersonators. Dinnertime brings out chef Muriel Loubiere's twists on French dishes like the cassoulet of beans, duck comfit, and savory French sausages ($25.50). Match dishes with a complex soul mate of one of 20 local and imported wines ($8 by the glass or $29 by the bottle) for pre-, peri-, or post-prandial potation. The Bergamote dessert curtsies in at the end of the meal, clad in a layered petticoat of orange crème brulee, Grand Marnier ganache, chocolate biscuitry, and Bergamote-flavored chocolate, a concoction so sweet and elegant that you'll take either its hand in marriage or devour it with due expediency.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires May 19, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person, may buy 1 add'l as a gift. Limit 1 per table, 2 per table of 4+. Must buy 1 food item. Not valid for special event and Prix fixed menu. Must use in 1 visit, no cash back. Tax and gratuity not included. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Au Midi Restaurant & Bistrot
Some years ago, Muriel Loubiere was building an enviable career around New York City as the creator of a menu that had received the New York Times's coveted "Excellent" rating. And though she uprooted everything to relocate to California, one can't really blame her—she was in search of warmer climes, and Aptos's location beside Soquel Cove was a welcome reminder of her upbringing on the French Riviera. It was there that she opened her own restaurant, Au Midi, where she prepares dishes that elegantly fuse French and Californian flavors.
Parts of Au Midi's menu are steadfastly French, including a cassoulet made from Toulouse sausage and duck confit. But other dishes balance Pacific and Mediterranean elements, such as Californian mussels cooked with fresh tomatoes, brandy, cream, and garlic. Many of the dishes are made with organic produce from local farmers. Naturally, the wine list is split between French and Californian varietals.
Even after swapping coasts, Muriel's hardly lost any steam. She's currently listed in the Best Chefs America directory, a list that's compiled from interviews with other chefs and nominations by various culinary professionals and the raccoons that eat from the restaurants' dumpsters.