Potts Point’s Bistro Rex has created a menu in homage to the world’s most well-known bike race, the Tour de France, pairing food and wine to reflect the route this year’s 176 contenders will take through the picturesque French countryside.

The 105th tour begins on Saturday July 7, a gruelling race that starts on the sea shores of Vendée, in western France, and ends on July 29 on the Paris streets.

Inspired by the countless times he’s sat down to watch the tour, Rex’s general manager and sommelier Josh Dunne says the bistro’s menu will “follow the tour with the stomach.”

It consist of five dishes, which can be ordered individually, starting in the north-west of the country with a coquilles Saint-Jacques, a classic French dish of scallops served in their shell with a creamy sauce. It’s paired with a glass of 2016 Pierre Luneau-Papin Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine.

The southern leg of the tour has inspired the cassoulet of confit duck, Toulouse sausages and pork belly. This will be paired with Chateau du Series Lirac 2014, a wine made from the grenache grape, the main red variety grown in the south of France.

“As the cyclists are travelling from the Rhone Valley across and down to Languedoc we thought we would match a dish and a wine that encompassed both regions, hence matching it with a Lirac from the Southern Rhone Valley,” says Dunne.

For dessert, you will travel to the Champagne region of France with a tart made with cheese from Langres, served with honey roast pears and appropriately paired with a glass of bubbly, the Andre Jacquart Blanc de Blanc NV. “This meal is designed to really celebrate all things French,” says Dunne.

Dishes start at $15 for dessert and range from $26 to $52 for savoury. Glasses of wine are $12 to $28.

The Tour de Rex menu will be available from 12pm daily throughout the Tour de France, July 7 to July 29, at Bistro Rex.

bistrorex.com.au

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