Odd one out

In case you missed it, here is a peek at a delicious dish I tried at Le Normandie that appeared in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

Have you ever been out to dinner and spotted that one item that’s out of place with the rest on the menu? Wondering whether it’s worth it to take a risk and order something seemingly outside of the chef’s area of expertise?

The other night, I was reading over the evening’s offerings at Le Normandie. Amidst the menu of French favorites — duck leg confit ($27.95), filet mignon ($28.95), roasted leg of lamb ($27.95) — I spotted penne pasta with a housemade Bolognese sauce ($20.95).

Curious why this Italian dish was making a guest appearance on the menu, I asked owner Christine Richard for the scoop.

I didn’t expect to see pasta with Bolognese sauce on the menu at Le Normandie, but it was a delicious addition for the night!

Chef Francis Richard starts with leftover tail cuts of filet mignon, cooking them for five hours with fresh tomatoes until it reduces into a decadent sauce.

Christine’s description intrigued me. As tempting as the duck confit was, I decided to take a risk and try the pasta.

And I’m glad I did — that sauce was so decadent with the addition of filet mignon. There was a generous portion of meat, a welcome change considering many spots skimp on the meat and double-down on the pasta.

It was a good reminder that sometimes those seemingly out-of-place items on the menu might be worth a second look after all.

Le Normandie is at 542 Lighthouse Ave. in Pacific Grove. 375-5011. www.yelp.com/biz/le-normandie-pacific-grove.

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