DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Cadot, Far North Dallas Restaurant

TRAVEL HERE: A BIT OF PAREE, RIGHT HERE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Shortly after Cadot opened, I visited for lunch a couple of times, but that was before I started blogging. Somehow Bill and I never got around to eating there together, until recently.

Our Neighborhood French Restaurant

The truth of the matter is, that for the most part, “French restaurant” is synonymous with swanky and expensive.  OK and sometimes pretentious.  If your bestie tells you that the guy she’s dating took her to a French restaurant, you assume he paid out the wazoo to impress her.  Maybe that’s why Bill was so eager to stay away.

There are pretentious and expensive French restaurants around, but Cadot is not one of them. The decor is simple.  White tile floors, white sheer curtains, tables and chairs of blonde wood, white tablecloths and white walls.  And there was nothing pretentious about the staff or the menu, either.

We were there on a Monday night, so it was pretty quiet, but we chose that day because we were celebrating our wedding anniversary.  They greeted us warmly at the door and showed us to a nice table.  Crystal and flatware gleamed on the crisp linen. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

The selections are classic old favorites.  No nouvelle cuisine here.  Bill chose Coq Au Vin and I picked Veal Scallopini. Both entrees hovered around $25, as do most, but they go up to $44 for rack of lamb. Both entrees were also delicious.  My husband moaned his pleasure all the way through his Coq Au Vin and they didn’t have to wash my plate when it got back to the kitchen.

Because it was a special occasion, we had a chocolate mousse. (Looooong pause.) Excuse me.  I was savoring the memory of the mousse.  So fresh, so hot, so yummy.

Another French Option in the Neighborhood

Bill enjoyed the evening so much he promised we’d be going back – that’s high praise from him.  I enjoyed it very much too, but I’ve got to admit, my favorite neighborhood French restaurant is still a few blocks up PrestonLavendou’s.  Like Cadot, Lavendou is completely unpretentious and totally delicious.  As I’ve said in previous blogs, it’s my go-to pick whenever someone wants to meet me for lunch or dinner.  Bill on the other hand much prefers Cadot.

One of the reasons I prefer Lavendou over Cadot is the decor.  Lavendou’s interior vibrates with bright colors and brick.    Maybe that’s because their theme is Southern France. Just walking in makes me feel happy.  Cadot is all-white with blonde wood, which, to me, feels cold, but is very much like a restaurant I visited in Paris.  Though both Cadot and Lavendou have great food, I prefer Lavendou’s menu.  Their crepe of the day and their bisques are at the top of my favorite foods in the world.

The fact that Bill prefers Cadot just means I’ll get the best of both worlds.  I’ll continue to meet the girls at Lavendou’s for lunch and then go to Cadot with Bill for dinner.  I can’t lose.  Neither can you, at either restaurant.

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Love Me Some Lavendou’s

TRAVEL HERE: LAVENDOU’S – A LOCAL FAVORITE

Last week I told you about my love affair with Gordon Biersch and since then I’ve been thinking about delicious places to eat in Dallas which I’ve failed to share with you.  At the top of that list would be Lavendou. It’s been around forever and there’s very good reason.  The website doesn’t mention how long, but I know it’s been around for a long time, because when I first visited (at least seven years ago) my friend couldn’t believe I hadn’t eaten at this neighborhood tradition – and I didn’t even live in the neighborhood, yet.

Near to Delicious

Now, my favorite thing about Lavendou is that it’s virtually around the corner from my house.  It’s so close I can be running late and still get there on time.  It’s rare for me to be in the car and not pass their perky yellow awning – and when I do, I always smile.  I promise I didn’t choose my house based on the restaurant’s location, but it sure didn’t hurt.

Unique

My other favorite thing is that it’s not a chain.  There is no place else in the world that you can go and enjoy their salmon bisque or their crepes or their…but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Lavendou is a quaint and cozy place to meet the girls for lunch, but somehow in the evening, it turns into this incredibly romantic venue for dinner.  I don’t exactly know how they manage it, but they do.

The yellow awning covers a small patio, but as much as I love al fresco dining, this is one place I usually sit inside.  The location just does not do the restaurant justice.  The patio is just a few yards from a very busy thoroughfare and one of the prominent stores in the strip mall is Condom Sense.  However, once you pass through the multi-paned door, you’re in the South of France.  There’s brick and wood and brightly printed textiles in dark blue and sunny yellow.  I’m always greeted by a smile and ushered to a table that feels like the best one, no matter where it is.  There’s no smell of lavender in the air, but with the aroma’s drifting in from the kitchen, you don’t really care.

There’s one guy that’s been a waiter there for many years and I always love it when they seat me at his table.  I think the professional restaurant critics would call the service at Lavendou uneven, but I’m there so often, that if they were going to have a bad day, I’d catch it – and there have been some bad days, but never bad enough to keep me from wanting to go back again and again and again.

As soon as you sit down they start feeding you.  They bring out perfect slices from a baguette, often still warm, with rock hard unsalted butter.  They’ll also drizzle some oil in a plate with pepper, but I’m a big fan of butter.  I’ll confess that I often arrive early so I have a good excuse for eating so many slices.  I’ll also confess that I usually get a glass of wine, even if it’s lunch.  I mean, if you were in the South of France, wouldn’t you get a glass of wine?

The meals are truly out of this world.  I’m not a big soup fan, but I adore their bisques – both salmon and lobster.  Their cream of asparagus is also wonderful.  If one of these three soups is not available, I’ve been known to eat the escargot.  In fact, I’ve been known to have soup and escargot and go right to dessert.  But that means I have to forego the entree and I hate to miss their du jours – quiche du jour, crepes du jour, les pates du jour (pasta) or The Chef’s Menu, which starts soup and ends with dessert du jour.  Another reason I go early and get a glass of wine is to give myself time to decide which I want, even though I’ve usually been thinking about it since the moment we decided to go there – whether that was hours or days ago.

And dessert?  Oh my – dessert!  L’Assiette Des Trois Tartes – can you say died and gone to heaven?  That’s what I get when I go for lunch, but if it’s for dinner – Soufflé au Chocolat.  They do have Grand Marnier and Raspberry Souffles, but I always say, why waste the calories if you can get chocolate.

If you can imagine it, dinner is a grander, more elaborate, affair than lunch.  Sometimes they even have special meals like Bastille Day Dinners, Mother’s Day Brunches or something for Valentines Day, but it doesn’t have to be a special event to get a special dinner at Lavendou.  Every meal there is special.

If you’re not a Dallasite, do you have a little neighborhood treasure like Lavendou?  If you live in Dallas, you probably already love it.  If you haven’t been, get there!