Tuesday, October 20, 2015

LaRue

Back in February, I got a sneak peek into LaRue, the new French-inspired restaurant in downtown Greensboro. I couldn't wait for it to open. Several visits later, I continue to be thoroughly impressed. Chef Trey Bell and his team are doing a fabulous job of making French food accessible, not allowing their customers to be intimidated by their menu. And of course, not to mention the professional, knowledgeable and courteous servers, and their wiz of a mixologist, whipping up dueling cocktails each night.

Following the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, Chef Bell invited a few blogger friends and me over to LaRue to sample some items from their new menu (running through November 2) and I cannot stress enough how quickly you need to get there. Though their wine list is a winner, their mixologst is so fab that you can suggest he make you something spicy with gin, or combine ginger and tequila and he'll hook you up.

Chicken Liver Canoli, Foie Bread Pudding, Frog Legs
The Chicken Liver Canoli is one of the most inventive dishes I've ever seen. Not to mention one of the tastiest. A perfectly crisp shell encases buttery, velvety Chicken Liver Mousse. This would taste good on tree bark. Literally, feed me anything covered in this mousse. A whimsical green herb gelee brings a nice tartness to cut through some of the richness of this dish. LaRue's Bread Pudding is decadence at its finest, combining Foie Gras, Pear and Maple. This should be on their brunch menu, as it combines that sweetness you get in a French Toast and the savory richness of the Foie. It's sensational.

My first Frog Legs ever remind me of - you guessed it - chicken! Except they're tender, and pack much more meat on the bones than I expected. What they're paired with though, makes the dish. A Black Garlic and Parsnip Puree is a beautiful dark gray, while a bright green Parsley Chip sticks out, bringing a fresh, salty bite. I'll have a basket of these, please.

Thai Noodles with Quail
The Surfs and Turfs on the dinner menu is a spin on what Chef Bell presented at the March of Dimes dinner event. Sweet Potato Risotto is a bed for Uni, Frog Legs, and shaved Black Truffles. It's a perfect winter dish - the meat is tender, the sweet potato paired with uni is creamy and the risotto perfectly al dente. Anything with truffles is a winner in my book, too.

Be sure and check out their late night offerings Thursday-Saturday, starting at 10:30pm. The Thai Noodles are to die for. Thin noodles are coated with a salty, spicy peanut sauce, and combined with a fried egg, veggies and a protein of your choice (I chose quail over pork belly and beef). It's a remarkable bowl. The Pho is topped with a Sunny Side Up Egg and the broth is robust with flavor, as good Pho is.

Visit LaRue for their lunch specials, too. The day I went, I had the option of adding one of their daily proteins to a salad, totaling a reasonable $14. The Beets+Berries+Citrus Salad is fresh, and a perfect portion size. Chevre Cheese and Pistachios add creaminess and crunch. This one has been a menu staple for a while, with good reason.

LaRue is a perfect date spot, pre or post-Triad Stage show spot, bring your parents here, hit it for happy hour, grub on some Thai Noodles after few drinks out - they even have brunch on Sundays! This is everything Greensboro has been needing for a while. I'm so thrilled that it's ours!

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