Affectionately dubbed "a little piece of France" by Christina Rowland of Real Frisco, Cafe Trottoir et Patisserie transports taste buds with Parisian-style bistro fare for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Dishes feature simple, elegant preparations, with numerous sauces and vinaigrettes drizzled across seared tuna steaks and roasted duck breasts. Mimicking money-booth contestants, pear and goat cheese step into a salad arena, where they compete to snatch the most pecans out of a slippery shower of lavender-honey vinaigrette. The steak frites' Black Angus terres major is pan-seared with red-wine pan jus and laid on a plate of pommes frites and baby greens.
Indoor meals unfurl under brass chandeliers bearing clusters of golden lamps. In fair weather, the sun-dappled outdoor terrace surrounds tables in tall trees bookended by stucco walls and a large outdoor fireplace.
Crepes for U dishes out pancake-like delights oozing with sweet and creamy fillings. The Chocco Rocco, for instance, is a clinic in decadence: scoops of vanilla ice cream wedge within a chewy crepe shell as a hazelnut-chocolate spread provides a creamy bed for crunchy chocolate sprinkles. Other crepes incorporate fresh fruit, butterscotch sauces, and fresh cream into the equation, resulting in indulgent desserts that could sweet talk their way into the most exclusive of CIA headquarters. Customers can even customize their crepes with extra scoops of butter pecan, Kona coffee, and double caramel dulce ice cream.
Rustic charm meets opulent décor inside The Old Warsaw, where white tablecloths and burgundy drapes mingle with chandeliers and grand paintings, setting the scene for decadent plates of French continental cuisine honed over six decades. Dishes range from classic French fare such as escargot and chateaubriand to braised pheasant and roasted duck, all of which can be paired with any of 460 wines procured from regions such as Europe, North America, and South America. As diners sample rich seafood crepes and lobster bisque, live musicians tickle eardrums with soft melodies, special songs for birthdays and proposals, and occasional legal advice.
Thanks to ovens imported from France, Rise No. 1’s chefs bake soufflés to a perfectly fluffy texture every time—and it only takes about as long as cooking a steak to medium. But what lies within changes with each soufflé—fillings span the savory, including jambon and gruyere or escargot, and the sweet, such as fruit, bread pudding, or notes of affirmation written by the in-house mom. No matter which side of the spectrum you land on, rest assured that the ingredients hail from local and organic vendors whenever possible, and the herbs are cut fresh from an on-site garden. That extends to the non-soufflé menu items, such as marshmallow soup, artisanal cheese platters, and petite asiettes (small plates of French cuisine). The staff’s commitment to sustainable practices doesn’t end with the menu. Drinking glasses are crafted from recycled wine bottles, bookshelves that hold used French and American classics were once mere sawdust, and many of its doors guarded the entrances to temples or houses in their former lives. Authenticity abounds in equal measure to eco-friendly practices, as well. Antique European silver-plate flatware adorns tables, hand-embroidered French linen serviettes protect laps, and an 18th-century desk serves as a private dining table.
Fine dining doesn’t have to be stuffy. Take the interior of Bijoux: lots of windows and a white-and-grey color scheme give off an airy feel, while soft carpets and chenille chairs were clearly designed for comfort. And being at ease is exactly how you should approach the French-inspired food, which spans from the playful (duck schnitzel) to the just plain decadent (slow-braised veal cheeks). As for dessert, each plate comes with a heaping of artistry, as seen with the flourless chocolate cake served with a single, neat scoop of Chambord ice cream. The concept comes from the husband-and-wife team of Scott and Gina Gottlich—the former is a chef who occasionally hosts classes; the latter, a sommelier who recommends knockout wine pairings.