Cafe Azur's heirloom tomato salad is one of its new lunch menu staples.
Cafe Azur's new lunch menu features an array of dishes including this butternut squash.
Honorable mention: Cafe Azur's escargot dish includes fried snails, garlic cream, and parsley puree.
Duck Pot Pie
Combine clear blue skies, succulent provisions, a sprawling patio, and flowing rosé, and you have the makings of a posh, spring lunch service — all components you’ll find at Houston’s petite French restaurant Cafe Azur. The eatery made its debut last year, serving classic French dinner and brunch offerings from its blue-tinged digs on Montrose.
Now, chef Sidney Degaine ups the ante with a new lunch service showcasing a diverse lot of menu selections — everything from salads and tartines to pasta and small plates abound — that are sure to transport you to the French Riviera.
As Cafe Azur’s first week of lunch comes to a close, we’re counting down five menu standouts to order on your first (second, or third) visit.
This dish proves that squash consumption shouldn’t be limited to merely fall and winter. The vibrant orange vegetable is grilled before being topped with melted tagglio cheese, fresh chives, and pumpkin seeds, making for a great starter or even a light entreé. It obviously also makes a great option for the vegetarian in your party.
Spring’s arrival brings us that much closer to peak tomato season, a fact that makes me so excited about this salad. Fresh tomatoes are mixed with pine seed, crouton, basil, and mozzarella cheese to craft a robust, yet refreshing bite. But I’d say the best facet of this dish is knowing that as the weather heats up, the tomatoes’ sweet flavor will only intensify.
This salad was almost too pretty to eat … key word being almost. House-smoked salmon is presented on a meticulously plated bed of romaine lettuce, yogurt-marinated cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs, then finished with gin dressing.
This is a dish I’d return for regularly. It’s an appropriate lunch portion, and the bright flavors provide a welcomed midday pick me up.
If you’re looking for a heartier lunch experience, the beef burgundy should be your go-to. The tender, braised beef is accompanied by mashed potatoes, fingerling potatoes chips, and topped with gremolata, providing a filling meal without being too heavy. You’ll be able to return to work without that pesky sluggish haze.
DUCK POT PIE
How can anyone resist duck confit, sliced potatoes, and foie gras wrapped inside puff pastry? While the meal may seem overly decadent for lunch, the green side salad balances the dish, making for a indulgent yet delicate mid-day meal.
Cafe Azur, 4315 Montrose Boulevard, 713.524.0070, cafeazurhouston.com.