In this day and age, I’m rarely amazed by people remembering faces and names. I find that we spend so much time looking down into our smart technology that we forget to look up and meet people. Also, in the world of Google, why bother to remember anything anymore. You can just ask your phone what something is or tell it to call someone, and it normally does exactly what you tell it to. So why would anyone bother using their memory?
When I walked into LaRue by myself tonight, I just expected to deliver a couple things to the owner. However, I decided to take a seat at their beautiful bar and take a load off on their comfy barstools. See, the thing I love about LaRue is the ever changing menu. It doesn’t just change from one chicken dish to another, or one steak dish to another. Every single menu I’ve seen embodies something unique that you just don’t find often around Greensboro. It lures me in every time I’m nearby, even if just stopping in for a craft cocktail.
This menu, #8, is probably one of my favorites. It pushed my comfort zone tonight, and the staff encouraged me to step out of it. They were so proud!
The longer I sat there, the more people walked in, and the more people the staff knew by name. If they didn’t know their name, they knew their drink or dish. A vegan sat beside me, and after speaking with her a second, she said the Chef always knows she’s vegan and makes something for her. She said he’s never served her something bad, and she always looks forward to it. That definitely speaks volumes about the service level.
While sitting at the bar, you can watch the Chef cook, and you can also have great conversations with Greg, the bartender. You can also watch Greg work his magic. The few times I’ve been in there, I’ve always let him create what he feels like in the moment. Confession though, it’s normally blackberry related. Greg has never dissapointed, and I have never had better conversations than while sitting at their bar. If it’s not Greg, it’s someone else there to make me feel welcomed.
I decided..after much much debate and recommendation from their super knowledgeable and friendly staff…to start with the Escargot dish. Keep in mind I’ve never ever ever ever had Escargot. To the point that I had to whisper quietly to Greg to ask him if the shells were still on (how embarassing). Shhhh…don’t tell anyone. The best thing about trying new things for the first time here is that I know Kevin, the Chef, is amazing, and he wouldn’t prepare a bad dish. I am constantly in awe of his and Trey’s creations (along with the other staff I’m sure). Kevin’s talent is beyond inspiring. The Escargot was absolutely mind blowing for me. The entire dish was full of such richness and layers – simply wonderful.
I then decided to move to the main part of the meal and opted for the Octopus. I know! Octopus! Ok, so I realize none of this is new to some of you, but to this self-proclaimed Southern foodie, this was all new territory. Like I said before, not afraid to try new dishes here though. They know what they’re doing. The octopus wasn’t anything I could describe texture wise. Like nothing I’d ever had. The flavor was amazing, the texture was dense and tender all at the same time, and the salt that they put on the plate with the blood orange jus took this dish over the top.
When it came time for dessert I was teased with a taster of Foie Gras Ice cream. It had all the fullness of the traditional Foie Gras flavor with just a hint of cinnamon added…but in ice cream form. Definitely ingenious, but I ended up opting for the Pineapple Hazelnut Creme Brûlée. It was perfectly creamy with the perfect amount of pineapple.
While the Brûlée was the perfect exclamation point at the end of one of the best meals I’ve had in quite a while, I wanted more Escargot! That escargot was escarGONE! Hahahahaha…I crack myself up. The only thing I would have changed was to have had natural sunlight so I could truly show you the beauty of these dishes. They are always plated so beautifully here.
If you’re in Greensboro, North Carolina, you must give LaRue a try. After a certain hour, you hit noodle hour. Yes….I call it noodle hour. Maybe I should call that noodle heaven hour? Seriously y’all, this is my little slice of heaven, my happy spot, my Cheers…where everyone knows your name, and now mine.