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Fait Maison

Written by: Greg Elwell

Stylish Eats reviews are brought to you by Steven Giles Clothing, the menswear store for those with discerning taste. Style extends well beyond the confines of clothing, so Steven Giles is teaming up with I Ate Oklahoma to bring you reviews of eateries with a refined palate across the state.

There are meals you will always remember. Maybe it’s the last time your grandmother baked a lasagna for the whole family. Maybe it’s your first Michelin-starred meal (I’m still waiting on mine).

I’ve had several indelible meals in my life, but the most recent came in an almost entirely empty restaurant—usually a bad sign—on a Tuesday night in Edmond, Oklahoma. 

Now, I grew up in Edmond, so I’ve had quite a bit of time to examine and understand the city’s cuisine. There are some great steakhouses in town. Some wonderful Mediterranean restaurants. More than our fair share of fulfilling breakfasts and Tex-Mex restaurants.

Good stuff. Some great stuff. But Fait Maison served me a dinner that I cannot stop thinking about, talking about, dreaming about. I went in expecting a lot. I left completely floored. 

The disconnect between the exterior and interior plays a part. Located in what used to be a menswear store…that I once modeled for, which is a fact even I have trouble believing, despite being there…Fait Maison lives in a very plain, white, one-story building. 

Open the door, though, and it’s a different world. Opulent. Plush. It’s so fancy, it almost demands the use of the modifier “schmancy.” There’s a small parlor to wait in befeore you’re seated. Beyond a small screen is the dining room, where cream-colored benches and tables are accented with pops of white and beige. It’s intimidating, in a way. As is the attentive service. But I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Dijon mustard macarons and savory cream puffs

There’s no dress code that I’m aware of, but it’s the kind of place where you want to dress up, if only to impress your server. A jacket and tie feels very right in Fait Maison. And pants. Look, you’re going to want to wear pants, or at least some kind of covering from your waist to your thighs—an area I call “your business.”

“Okay, but why was it empty?” you may ask. I’ll tell you: It’s expensive. High-end steakhouse expensive. Check your bank balance before you make a reservation expensive. If-this-wasn’t-sponsored-I-couldn’t-afford-it expensive. 

A Tuesday night in Edmond, Norman, Oklahoma City, Yukon, Del City, or anywhere else in the state is not necessarily prime time for people looking to drop serious cash on a serious meal. But if you’ve got the money, honey, hoo-boy: It’s worth it. For me, at least, it was a perspective-shifting meal.

The Food

Once you’re seated and presented with both the food and alcohol menus, a small tray makes its way out of the kitchen and to your table. Ours included a pair of small creampuffs (or what looked like creampuffs), two macarons, and a little dish of tiny olives. 

The creampuffs were filled with a creamy, savory cheese. The macarons were flavored with Dijon mustard. The olives had pits (we were warned). It was weird. And wonderful. And it was just the beginning.

I could have eaten, conservatively, 30-odd savory cream puffs. 

Pea soup with bacon fat whip

The macarons were straight-up bizarre and also perfect. Like, I haven’t had a mac that good since I visited Paris, even though the flavor went from sweet to Dijon mustard and back to sweet again. I’ve thought more about that macaron than I have any other meal I’ve eaten in the last year. 

The texture was everything. Literally, it had all the textures. Crispy on the outside, crackling as it touches your teeth, then chewy as you bite through, with a creamy center right in the middle. It was magical. I find my mouth mimicking the act of chewing as I type this, like the sense memory is trying to trick my palate into reliving the flavors.

We ordered starters and entrees and sides next. All at once. The server said that’s how they do it there, so that’s how we did it. 

What came out next was not our starters, but another amuse bouche (which quickly became Jess’s favorite dish of the night): pea soup with a whipped bacon cream and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Scallops

First you taste the soup, light green and creamy, like spring had arrived several months early and only on your tongue. Then a touch of the bacon cream, rich and salty and smoky. Then a bit of each, that insanely perfect balance of sweetness and vegetal flavors. Alone, each component was wonderful. Put together, I swooned. 

I feel bad for the bread. Not that the several varieties of freshly baked rolls and miniature baguettes and salted sweet cream butter were bad—quite the opposite, actually—but next to the soup they were an afterthought. 

Next came the starters. For the lady, sea scallops atop a saffron-potato emulsion with a green onion, apple, and hazelnut crumble ($29). There were two very large scallops, absolutely lovely big fellas, with seared tops and a pile of those perfectly cubed veggies and fruits and nuts on top. The saffron-potato emulsion was whipped up and frothy and smooth, only interrupted by those crunchy bits of crumble that fell off the scallops. 

I love scallops. I love how easy it is to tell when a chef knows how to work with them, knows how to choose quality specimens, and when they don’t. I’m not sure if it was chef/co-owner Olivier Bouzerand or chef Derek Courtney who prepared our meal, but whoever was back there knocked these scallops out of the park. 

Turbot

Much as I love French onion soup ($12), I wasn’t enamoured with this version. Usually, I’m jonesing for more bread and more cheese, but this soup just needed more soup. The baguette croutons and Comte cheese are great, but they took up so much room (and absorbed so much liquid) that I didn’t get as much of that dark, caramelized onion flavor as I wanted. 

Turbot is a fish I’ve only ever known because Gordon Ramsey was yelling about it. I would also like to yell about this turbot filet ($45), so here it goes:

I WOULD LIKE TO EAT MORE OF THIS TURBOT! I WANT IT SEARED IN BUTTER, BATHED IN A CREAMY CHAMPAGNE SAUCE, AND SERVED WITH THINLY SLICED PIECES OF ASPARAGUS AND MUSHROOMS! 

If you’re afraid of fish, you will love turbot. It’s mild, it’s firm, and it is the perfect base on which a chef can craft delicate flavors. Also, the portions are small—not great for me, but nice for people who are still getting used to fish.

Roasted duck

My dinner date always outdoes me when it comes to ordering and this time was no exception. The duck ($38) was exquisite. Roasted with a red wine and black currant reduction and served with root vegetables, it was spot on, but then there was a small dish on the side full of some of the best duck confit I’ve ever had. I want that confit everywhere and in everything. It’s just…wow. WOW! Creamy and savory and richer than a Powerball winner who got in (and out) of Bitcoin at the right time—utterly magnificent.

But, as good as the duck was, I thought the buttery mashed potatoes (French style) for $12 and the French ratatouille for $11 were essential sides. I mean, I want to go back and try everything. All of it. But those potatoes were…something else. 

I love mashed potatoes. I made five pounds of them for Thanksgiving and it wasn’t enough. But this little copper pot filled with the creamiest, butteriest, best-all-around-est mashed potatoes I’ve ever tasted nearly stole the show. It was potatoes and salt and butter and cream and, most importantly, technique. Somebody back there knows how to cook. 

Mashed potatoes

The ratatouille was, well, it looked like what Remy served at the end of the movie “Ratatouille” and it tasted like what I imagine he served to Ego that made him weep with joy. Tender, fresh bites of spring in a mild pesto with bites of olives. I wanted more, even though my body was telling me I couldn’t handle much else.

So, of course, I ordered dessert. Because a French restaurant that serves a bourbon vanilla bean creme brûlée ($11) must know what it’s doing and, boy howdy, it really does. The bottom of the bowl was almost completely black—a sign that the chef used a lot of real vanilla beans—and, beneath the gorgeously crispy sugar shell, the custard was immaculate. Every bite jiggled and swayed as I lifted it to my mouth and then, BOOM!, a rush of dark, vanilla sweetness cascading over my taste buds. 

I couldn’t eat any more, but I finished the bowl. The pain of being stuffed beyond belief was worth every bite. 

Ratatouille

And Fait Maison, the extremely fancy, very pricey, almost completely hidden French restaurant in Edmond was worth every minute and every dollar I spent there, and then some. Save up for something special and try it yourself. 

Stylish Eats are sponsored by Steven Giles Clothing, a high-end men’s fashion store in Classen Curve providing expertly tailored suits, timeless casual wear and everything in between. Visit them online at stevengilesclothing.com to schedule a fitting or stop in at 5850 N. Classen Blvd. to browse their selection in person.

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Fall 2019 Photo Shoot

We always enjoy sharing our behind the scenes pics of our photo shoots.  We recently completed our Fall 2019 shoot with the talented Charlie Neunschwander.  Unlike his long challenging last name, Charlie is one of the most delightful, unassuming photographers… quiet but determined to get the correct shot.  Please enjoy a few of our favorite behind the scenes pics.

Check out more of Charlies’ work

https://www.charlieneuenschwander.com/

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Ranch Steakhouse

Written by: Greg Elwell

Stylish Eats reviews are brought to you by Steven Giles Clothing, the menswear store for those with discerning taste. Style extends well beyond the confines of clothing, so Steven Giles is teaming up with I Ate Oklahoma to bring you reviews of eateries with a refined palate across the state.

There are certain insights to which one becomes privy when one dines out as often as I do, like which days sushi restaurants get their fresh fish shipments in and why stealing a server’s pen is often much worse than leaving a crappy tip. 

But I was as puzzled as anyone when I pulled up to Ranch Steakhouse on a Tuesday night and had to look…HARD…for a place to park. 

Which isn’t to say that I was surprised to see a crowd at Ranch, which calls itself “Oklahoma City’s finest restaurant since 1999,” and has a pretty solid claim. But a Tuesday night is not a particularly busy night for most restaurants, especially a fine dining spot. I would certainly anticipate Friday and Saturday nights are packed to the gills, but think about your normal Tuesday: Does it usually include a USDA-certified Prime steak and a team of highly skilled servers who seem capable of anticipating your every need before you know you have it? If so, you’re living a better life than mine.

After we were led through the packed dining room to a quiet table near the back, I asked our server (Ashley, ask for her by name) if there was a special event or something I didn’t know about.

“No. I think we have a few birthday parties in the private rooms, but this is about right for a Tuesday,” she said. “But we usually have a lot of pharmaceutical reps in here.”

Pharmaceutical reps. I’m not saying that the presence of reps is the mark of a great restaurant, but when you’re taking doctors out for a meal that will wow them and Pfizer & Johnson is picking up the tab, you tend to go for the good stuff. Ranch is definitely the good stuff.

And Ashley was definitely the good server. Take note of folks like these, because they are the key to fine dining. Yes, the food has to be wonderful, but even the best food stays locked in the kitchen without a server who connects you to it. 

The Food

For instance, we were looking over the list of appetizers and, frankly, struggling to choose one. That’s when Ashley told us about an off-menu app that’s almost always available: rock shrimp ($19). 

She spilled the tea and we slurped it up. In a few minutes, she brought by a plate of glistening, lightly battered and fried shrimp in a sweet and spicy sauce. And, while it’s not a challenge to capsaicin addicts, I will admit that it had a really nice low-level heat that built up to a pleasant tingle. 

I mean, I love shrimp and it’s a pretty great time to be an enjoyer of shrimp in Oklahoma City, because we have a lot of chefs who know just how to cook them. These were tender and juicy, but with a nice snap. I’ve had enough overcooked shrimp to last a lifetime. The chefs at Ranch are making sure I don’t have any more.

It doesn’t seem fair how simple, and yet how tasty, the heirloom tomato and burrata salad ($14) is. Similar to a caprese, the famous Italian salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, this salad comes with thick slices of ripe tomato, still juicy and sweet from the summer sun, and an orb of burrata—a cheese made from the combination of cream and mozzarella for a creamier, richer bite. The outside is mozz, while the inside is buttery and creamy. 

(For reference, the photos are of a split plate, since we were sharing the salad. Hey, there was a lot more food coming and we were trying to save room.)

Burrata is a really decadent cheese, but it gains even more life with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and the sweetness of tomatoes alongside it. There aren’t many salads that get me to close my eyes in enjoyment, but this is one of them.

Fancy steakhouse, have to get a fancy steak, right? Well, yes and no. I should probably just write an entire post about this at some point, but I am obsessed with sirloin: the forgotten steak. 

There are a couple of benefits to choosing sirloin. One, it’s generally a less-expensive cut…probably because so many people never consider it. Everyone goes for cuts with cachet—your filets and ribeyes—while discounting the powerhouse that is a sirloin. Secondly, a great chef can do great things with any steak. I’ve had terrible filets and amazing flank steaks, all due to the skill of the chef. So, to judge a steakhouse’s acumen, I tend toward sirloins. 

Ranch Steakhouse didn’t let me down. I ordered a 12 oz. Prime-graded sirloin ($38, plus $3 for garlic whiskey au poivre sauce) cooked medium-rare and what arrived at the table was like a child’s football made of beef. The outside had a lovely, rich sheen and a crisp crust hiding a center of medium-rare steak from top to bottom. 

(Tip: For large steaks, I always order slightly less done, because if you take home leftovers, you can reheat it without cooking it to death.)

Sirloin isn’t as beefy as a ribeye or as tender as a filet, but it’s an incredibly balanced cut of meat and Ranch prepared it to a T. 

Much like shrimp, Oklahoma is in a scallop (and oyster and mussel) renaissance. Refrigeration techniques are better than they’ve ever been and shipping is more reliable than ever before, which means when you order pan-seared scallops ($40), you’re getting thick, meaty bivalves with no grit and a smooth, supple texture that you can slice through simply by letting the knife rest on top of the butter-seared top of each one.

Granted, you’re also getting a lot more than scallops. This dish begins with a bit of a southwest flair—orzo cooked with garlic, corn, and asparagus, with cherry tomatoes and chili butter, and finished with a splash of habanero vinaigrette. 

Oh, and lump crab meat. Silly me. I always forget about delicious, lightly sweet crab. Lord have mercy. If you’re not getting steak at the Ranch, you definitely need the scallops.

Fun fact: high-end steakhouses generally sell their side dishes…on the side. Which means you have to pick and choose, which isn’t always easy. Ranch does make it a touch easier with the side sampler ($20). It’s the cost of two sides, but you get smaller portions of three sides. I was kind of let down by the onion rings, but the macaroni and cheese was a blend of creamy and stringy (my fave) and the bleu cheese and bacon Brussels sprouts were tender and packed with big flavors. 

Ranch Steakhouse is not my every night or every week or even every month stop. But that’s absolutely a function of my bank account’s paucity. If I could afford to throw down this kind of money more often, I’d be there in a flash. This is a proper steakhouse and they know, oh boy do they know, how to cook the beef. If you’re of a mind to get dressed up and show yourself to a night on the town, it’s hard to beat Ranch Steakhouse. 

Stylish Eats are sponsored by Steven Giles Clothing, a high-end men’s fashion store in Classen Curve providing expertly tailored suits, timeless casual wear and everything in between. Visit them online at stevengilesclothing.com to schedule a fitting or stop in at 5850 N. Classen Blvd. to browse their selection in person.

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Oso on Paseo

Written by: Greg Elwell

Stylish Eats reviews are brought to you by Steven Giles Clothing, the menswear store for those with discerning taste. Style extends well beyond the confines of clothing, so Steven Giles is teaming up with I Ate Oklahoma to bring you reviews of eateries with a refined palate across the state.

It’s been a minute since we last checked in on OSO on Paseo, last featured in First Looks, and that seems like the right time to see if it’s living up to the hype.

Yeah, the hype kind of nailed it. OSO is great and it’s great in different ways for different customers.

As predicted, the bar program has continued to evolve and grow, and it’s really become a big driver in the afternoons for happy hour. It’s not hard to see why, either. The drinks at OSO are absolutely geared for sunny, fruity, summer feels and the windows keep everything bright without blowing out people’s eyes. It’s a great way to be in an Oklahoma summer without having to actually experience the misery and brutality and humidity of it all. 

It is a beautiful restaurant, though laid back as all get out, which makes it a perfect choice for Stylish Eats. One thing I love about places like OSO is you are welcome no matter what, but nobody wants to ruin the view by coming in like a slob. A nice linen shirt, a lightweight pant or shorts, maybe even a hat! It’s a quality place. It’s nice to look like a quality person when you’re there.

Chicken nachos (jalapenos on the side)

There are certainly restaurants where the bar gets all the love and the menu suffers, and vice versa. OSO on Paseo is not one of those places. As good as the drinks are, the food is right there with it. 

As chef de cuisine Chris McKenna said when OSO first opened, “We’re just two white guys making tacos.” They’re not worried about authentic; just good. And they’re better than just good. 

The Food

You are not immediately served chips, salsa, and queso upon being seated. Instead you get these crunchy fried pasta wheel things in a tangy chili powder. I dare you to not fall in love with these. I dare you. 

There are chips. There are salsas. There is queso. You will have to pay for these things and I don’t want to hear a word about it. 

For $4 you can pick two varieties of salsa and I promise you, they’re better than the quasi-Pace picante sauce you’re getting for free. The queso is $5 (or $9 for a large) and you can add chorizo or spinach and mushroom to it for $3 extra. The queso is made of real cheese. It is worth paying for. And the chips are thick and crunchy and they make them fresh all day because people keep eating all of them. 

Queso

Honestly, if this is the thing that bothers you, I don’t know how you plan to deal with the rest of the menu. 

Street corn ($8) is a must. I wish they served this in little shot glasses at the bar, because I would be corn DRUNK right now. The corn is roasted off the cob, mixed up with chipotle-infused crema, and sprinkled with cotija cheese and crushed Takis chips. It’s high-class redneck elote and I love every single thing about it. 

OSO has three subsets of tacos: OSO tacos, street tacos, and vegetarian tacos. I do not (despite the rumors) have three stomachs, though it would have helped with the taco-eating, because I had a lot of work in front of me.

Brisket burnt end taco

Under OSO tacos you’ll find two of my favorites. The Brisket Burnt Ends taco ($5) is served with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, thinly sliced radish, pepitas, and the piece de resistance: a fried pickle spear. 

This is a barbecue taco that I didn’t see coming, but I was blown away by every bite. It’s not too sweet. The crunch of the pickle gives it great texture and the tartness of the brine balances the BBQ sauce perfectly. It’s an altogether lovely taco and I miss it deeply.

Why? Because I keep trying different tacos. That’s the job. For instance, I wasn’t initially overjoyed by the idea of the Cheeseburger taco ($4) with ground beef, cheddar and jack cheeses, shredded lettuce, tomato, and onion. And it tasted like a cheeseburger. But it also reminded me how close American-style tacos are to cheeseburgers, vs. some of the other tacos on this menu.

Chorizo taco

Of the street tacos, I found the chorizo ($4) and carnitas ($4) were the standouts. The shredded pork was both crispy and creamy in a really delightful way, and the salsa verde gives it a bit of a vinegary bite and holds the fatty deliciousness of chicharrone crumbles to the rest of the taco. 

The chorizo doubles down on the pork-y goodness by adding bacon to the mix with the Mexican chorizo. To provide relief from that extremely heavy duo, an avocado crema keeps everything rich but cools it down. Then finely diced onion and chopped cilantro add a hint of sharp green needed to lighten everything up. It’s a rollercoaster of a taco and yes I am aware of how lame that makes me sound.

I really respect OSO for giving Vegetarian tacos their own spot on the menu and making sure there was a real variety there. I know McKenna loves his meat, but he brings that same level of detail and flavor to non-meaty dishes. 

The wildest flavor by far is the cauliflower picadillo ($4) which mimics a classic ground beef taco in texture—kind of meat enrobed in sauce—but with cauliflower adding the weight and tons of flavor coming from tomatoes, olives, onions, and golden raisins. Pepitas and cilantro add a little crunchy contrast to the otherwise smooth texture. 

Mushroom taco

Mushroom ($4) has that meaty umami flavor with the pop of roasted corn, the bite of salsa fresca, and a sprinkle of cotija and radish on top. It might come off as chewy or spongy for some, but mushrooms are, y’know, mushrooms. That’s the texture. 

When I took my kids to OSO, they were deeply enamoured with the idea of an entire platter of nachos ($10) for dinner. And I can’t blame them, especially when you see these nachos. We added chicken for $4 and it was super-duper worth it. The chips are firm and crisp and can hold SO MUCH STUFF. They’re amazing nacho chips, especially with a blend of liquid queso and shredded cheese melted all over them, providing a foot hold for the other toppings: black beans, jalapenos, chicken, big piles of sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo.

If you or the kids are spice sensitive, ask for the jalapenos and pico on the side, but definitely get these. They’re a great big appetizer or a kids dream meal come true.

Left Coast Burrito

Reading the description of the Left Coast Burrito ($14), I knew it was a trap set specifically for my kind of people: dumb gluttons. And I hope that doesn’t come off as a bad thing, because I loved this weird mish-mash of foods. You get a big tortilla stuffed full of grilled shrimp, skirt steak, tater tots, cheese mix, and pico. It’s a wild mess of a thing and I really dug it. The shrimp are especially spot on, texture-wise.

OSO is such a magical little drop of happiness in the Paseo. It’s not that the area is lacking in tacos or great food or tasty drinks or much of anything these days, but there’s something about OSO that just makes me smile. It’s the little touches on the drinks. It’s the bright and airy dining room. It’s those patio seats that I am very eager to try out once the sun stops trying to roast us all into piles of ash. 

So, on the off chance you haven’t heard of OSO, you should get to it. Tasty tacos. Excellent cocktails. A lovely place in a district that is absolutely flush with lovely places. 

Stylish Eats are sponsored by Steven Giles Clothing, a high-end men’s fashion store in Classen Curve providing expertly tailored suits, timeless casual wear and everything in between. Visit them online at stevengilesclothing.com to schedule a fitting or stop in at 5850 N. Classen Blvd. to browse their selection in person.

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Cafe Cuvee

Written by: Greg Elwell

Stylish Eats reviews are brought to you by Steven Giles Clothing, the menswear store for those with discerning taste. Style extends well beyond the confines of clothing, so Steven Giles is teaming up with I Ate Oklahoma to bring you reviews of eateries with a refined palate across the state.

“I never like when a restaurant closes,” my friend Karlie said, upon hearing of yet another local restaurant shutting down. 

While I mostly agree, the last few meals at Café Cuvée in the Ambassador Hotel in Midtown have convinced me that there are silver linings even to those dark clouds.

For instance, I was a big fan of The Viceroy, which used to be on the ground floor of the Ambassador. I didn’t eat there frequently, because I run a website about food for a living and I have to eat lots of other places and the pay is hahaaaaaa. But when I did, I loved it.

So, to be fair, I went in to Café Cuvée with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. But then I found out that Kurt Fleischfresser’s team was handling the new restaurant and I suddenly got very interested. 

Shrimp and tomato crepes

French cuisine is painted all over Fleischfresser’s culinary history, from Montrachet through The Coach House. Cuvée is, in a sense, a return to form.

Much as I wrote about The Viceroy years ago, I am equally intrigued by Café Cuvée’s ability to stay focused on being a restaurant in the midst of a hotel. 

Maybe in larger cities, hotel restaurants still stand out as paragons of flavor, style, and elegance, but Oklahoma City’s hotel-restaurant scene has not had the same prestige. The dishes at many hotel restaurants might be expensive, but they fall short of being essential. 

Locally, we’re lucky to have spots like Flint in the Colcord Hotel and Park Ave. Grill inside the Skirvin Hilton, but it’s a hard sell to get non-guests to eat at most restaurants in hotels. That is the fate I think befell The Viceroy and it’s a fate I’m hoping Café Cuvée can avoid.

The Food

I’m not sure at what age it become normal to love country pate, but I am very that age right now.  

Country pate ($8) consists of a plate with big slices of country pate, lovely little toast points, caper berries, and Cumberland sauce. The goal, I assume, is to smear the pate on a piece of toast, top with a caper berry, and drizzle with sauce. And let me tell you, I scored that goal again and again and again. 

Country pate is almost like meatloaf, but all the meat is pork and the texture is a blend of sturdy and creamy. It’s extremely fatty, but that’s why we’re eating French food: to indulge. It’s incredible decadent, which should distract you from the fact that country pate is kind of a cold lunch loaf that you as a kid would likely have made a barf face when served.

Country pate

Cumberland sauce is this delightful British condiment that is usually purple, likely from all the red currants and port wine, and has a lovely tartness that really plays well with the ultra-rich pate. Ditto for the caper berries, which have that funky, briny taste I love.

I’m a sucker for a soup du jour ($5 cup, $9 bowl), especially when it’s something like vichyssoise—a chilled potato soup. The one I got was vichyssoise violet (aka purple potato soup) and it had a cilantro oil on top. The presentation was lovely, but the flavors of the oil were so overpowering I couldn’t really taste the potato. I ended up not eating much of it, though that was probably because my moules frites ($16) arrived shortly after.

Moules frites are mussels and fries, which is a dish I am deeply excited about every time I see it. The mussels were meatier than most I’ve had, and while I missed the more delicate, chewy mussels I’ve had elsewhere, these big guys were full of flavor—especially when dipped in that gorgeous wine broth they were steamed in. 

Moules frites

Food is funny. The things we think of as “fancy” or “high class” are peasant food elsewhere and vice versa. 

Take frisee aux lardons ($12), which is a salad made with frisee. You know that fuzzy looking lettuce that comes in your bag of salad sometimes? That’s frisee. It’s a type of chicory and it has a nice bite to it. Lardons are pretty much fried cubes of bacon. 

So it’s a warm salad, topped with crispy/chewy bacon, dressed with sherry, and topped with a poached egg. And if that doesn’t sound wonderful to you, I think you might be in the wrong place.

Or maybe not, because there’s still the bistro burger ($12) that needs your attention. Cooked to your temp of choice (I prefer medium, bordering on medium rare, because I’m like the Andre Agassi of eating food) the beef is topped with a Stilton bleu cheese, more of those fried lardons, and a few pieces of arugula for a pop of bitterness. This thing hits every flavor zone. It might not be the burger you think of most often, but it’s a burger you’re sure to remember.

Bistro burger

Speaking of remembering, you should remember to make reservations for brunch. The crab cake benedict ($17) I had was rich as all get out and topped with gorgeous poached eggs where the white is set and the yolk can run for days. It’s like magic. Delicious magic. Do yourself a favor, though—get some hot sauce. I promise you, the added pop of heat cuts through some of that luscious richness and prepares your palate for the next bite. 

The shrimp and tomato crepes ($15) are a very savory crepe option (get the crepes suzette if you’re feeling a sweeter dish) and I thought the shrimp was particularly well cooked. The crepes were thin, tender, and still had a little chew to them. 

Crab cake benedict

I’m eager to see where Café Cuvée goes next. I know there have been some turnovers in the kitchen, but after tasting so much of the menu, it seems like they’re on a winning track. Honestly, if all they served was that country pate, I’d still come back on the regular.

Stylish Eats are sponsored by Steven Giles Clothing, a high-end men’s fashion store in Classen Curve providing expertly tailored suits, timeless casual wear and everything in between. Visit them online at stevengilesclothing.com to schedule a fitting or stop in at 5850 N. Classen Blvd. to browse their selection in person.