I haven’t been to Paris (yet), but I can only imagine what it will be like – lights, love, romance, and of course, mind-blowing, simple, classic French cuisine. I hope to experience it one day, but in the meantime, I can drive a little trek up the road to McKinney for a Parisian experience right at home.
Eclair Bistro combines traditional French cuisine with the contemporary influences of New Orleans, revealing the brilliance of French simplicity by combining the freshest ingredients to maximize flavor and texture. Executive Chef Aaron Thomas has worked tirelessly to provide a life-changing culinary experience. And after a nearly 45-minute drive to restaurant, I was ready for unforgettable moments.
When you dine at Eclair Bistro get ready to spend some time at the restaurant because nothing is cooked until you order it. Trust me, this is a good thing. We started our dinner with a wedge salad and New Orleans-style crab cakes. I’m a fan of wedge salads. They are crisp, tangy, bright, crunchy, a whole host of textures and flavors to bring a chunk of nutrition-free iceberg lettuce to life. This salad was topped with real apple wood bacon, grape tomatoes, boiled egg quarters, green onion and a blue cheese dressing. Hello, vegetables!
And then we continued to the crab cakes, meaty lumps of blue crab mixed with cajun spices and fried in flaky panko breading – literally one of the best crab cakes I’ve ever eaten, and my native New Orleans plus one agreed. Crab cakes can be challenging to make and a disaster if you don’t have the right consistency. There’s nothing I hate more than a crab cake with no crab. This one was a winner, and the dipping sauce was the icing on the cake, or is it the dipping sauce on the on the cake?
And then came the main course. I opted for one of the chef featured entrees and ordered the spiced rack of lamb with purple sweet potatoes gnocchi, in season vegetables and a cherry mint sauce. If you follow us (@dallasfoodnerd) or me (@vickyd04) on IG, than you probably saw this picture. The picture doesn’t even do it justice.
This dish was fall manifested on a dinner plate. Warm, earthy bites of spice from the moist rack of lamb paired with the perfect pillows of sweetness from the gnocchi. (Sidenote – i may never eat regular gnocchi again). The vegetables provided a slight bit of roasted crunch and the mint sauce awakened the senses and brightened this plate of comfort food. It is seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten.
My companion dined on the chef-featured filet demi, a 6 oz. grilled beef tenderloin accompanid by sauteed potatoes and haricot verts. Our server Lorenzo brought out steak knifes before our entrees arrived, but the piece of loin could have honestly been cut with my fork. The beef literally melted in our mouths. We didn’t even need to chew out. After sampling Chef Aaron takes so much pride in his beef, they literally carve the organic and grass-fed beef in the kitchen themselves, taking special attention to the grade and marbelization.
We finished the meal with cheesecake and a pineapple bread pudding, and as with the savory dishes, the desserts did not disappoint.
And that is what dinner should be – an adventure for your tastebuds from salads and starters to the final course. I was blown away to learn Chef Aaron is a self-taught chef and has not been through any formal training. Like his previous career in music, Chef quickly learned that producing music and cooking is similar. There are colors and textures that complement each other and can transfer you to a magical place. The culinary fusion of French and cajun cuisine makes Eclair Bistro an elegant, unique dining experience that the whole family can enjoy without feeling overcrowded or pressure from the waitstaff. They’ve only been open since February but I foresee this restaurant becoming a go-to beyond the McKinney Downtown Historic District to the entire greater DFW metroplex.
Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary meal, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.