After weeks of behind-the-scenes maneuvering to get his importer license and divest himself from French restaurant Bistro Provence, owner Jean-Philippe Guy is switching from one French venture to another.
Guy owned Memorial-area Bistro Provence with his wife, Genevieve, for 15 years and the couple have now decided to divide and conquer: Genevieve will continue to run Bistro Provence, while Jean-Philippe is now the wholesale manager at French Country Wines -- the winery-cum-tasting room near Rice Village which has recently been hosting another of the Guy's projects: the L'es-Car-Go truck.
The escargots and other French fare aboard the L'es-Car-Go truck were a natural match for the French wines sold by French Country Wine's owners Phyllis and Tim Smith, who opened the winery in 2006 as a means of working directly with small, family-run vineyards and wine producers in France.
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As you may imagine, TABC laws make it difficult for restaurant owners to own businesses which make or import alcohol (this is the same reason the Eatsie Boys don't sell their own 8th Wonder Brewery beers at their Montrose cafe).
Genevieve laughingly admits that she'll still be allowing her husband to eat for free at the restaurant they founded together in 1998. And the L'es-Car-Go truck will continue its stops at French Country Wines, where you can find both escargot poppers and frites as well as new manager Jean-Philippe on Wednesday nights.