Friday, August 28, 2009
Restaurant review: Cafe du Luxe in Denton
The nice but inexpensive meal left us feeling satisfied and eager for our next visit.
Café du Luxe brings gourmet flair and an upscale feel to the bistro concept.
When we heard of this café, we weren’t exactly sure what we were getting into.
Let’s just say there was an element of mystery surrounding the name alone — mystery that was only compounded by the amenities of a drive-through and a nice patio area.
Once inside, our ears were immediately bombarded with smooth jazz, small talk, and the clinking of spoons against ceramic coffee mugs. Olfactory senses started their slow tango with the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and piping hot dough.
Cubism-inspired paintings hung against the beige-colored walls. Small, intimate round tables filled the center of the room, their patrons coolly sipping lattes. Contemporary, single-bulb fixtures softly lit the entire venue, each one suspended by a wire from the black-raftered ceiling.
The hanging menu drew the eyes to a list of coffee and espresso-based beverages.
“Wait, do they even have sandwiches here?”
The barista directed us to the printed menus at our fingertips.
Shrimp ceviche, smoked salmon, a hummus platter, pesto basil and tomato flatbread, towering chocolate cake, 24K carrot cake. The sandwiches we sought — mesquite smoked turkey, club, veggie. And, of course, la soup du jour.
All for a modest price.
But one thing that truly sets Café du Luxe apart from most other café settings is the availability of wine and beer. Expect to pay between $5 and $7 for a glass of red or white wine, or between $23 and $29 for a bottle. For the wine connoisseurs, there are specialty bottles available, priced individually.
The beer selection is much less expansive than the wine. Prices are set at $3 for domestics and $4.75 for imports.
The enthusiastic and knowledgeable baristas informed us that all appetizers are half-price between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and made a few recommendations.
After we appraised the menu, Jeph ordered a glass of merlot and the pesto basil and tomato flatbread, while Chris ordered a Heineken and the mesquite smoked turkey sandwich.
Jeph got his merlot without incident. Chris, however, received a Heineken Light. When he asked if the restaurant had regular Heineken, he learned the café only carries Heineken Light, leading him to believe that the beer selection is a little misleading.
Food arrived shortly thereafter, and it did not fail to impress.
The softness and warmth of the pita-like flatbread was only outdone by an almost tart blend of four Italian cheeses and four perfect slices of tomato. The whole thing looked beautiful and only cost $11.78 for both the meal and wine with happy hour applied.
The mesquite smoked turkey sandwich, presented on the same polygonal plate had an excellent presentation.
The sandwich is complete with melted provolone cheese, romaine leaf, red onions, ripe tomatoes, and a special aioli sauce. The meal is served with garden chips, all for only $6.50.
The generous portions of food left little room for dessert, so we opted for coffee instead.
The Café du Luxe website (www.cafeduluxe.com) is not afraid to tell you the coffee you’ve been drinking until now has been subpar. We decided to finish our meals with the caramel “marked” vanilla latte, Café du Luxe’s answer to the caramel macchiato at Starbucks.
The bistro’s smugness about its coffee is totally warranted. The espresso came through brilliantly warm as opposed to the dark, bitter taste of improperly pressed espresso grounds. Its taste was sweet but not overpowering.
We left feeling satisfied and eager for our next visit. Make it a nice but inexpensive meal before or after a movie, on a date, or just bring your friends to hang out for live music and featured artists. Whatever the occasion, Café du Luxe will give you an affordable and delicious place to relax in style by the Cinemark.
Cleanliness – 5/5
Service – 4/5
Affordability – 4/5
Atmosphere – 4/5
Food Quality – 4/5
Pegasus News Content partner - North Texas Daily
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