LaRue opens today in Greensboro
I was invited by a friend to attend the soft opening of LaRue, a modern French cuisine restaurant opening at 313 S. Greene St. in Greensboro. The restaurant opens to the public today, and a packed house attended the soft opening on Thursday at the remodeled space tucked neatly across the street from the Carolina Theater.The entry is decorated with a chalkboard displaying the menu and drink items before opening up to a long bar in front of the kitchen on the right, with several tables hugging the wall to the left. A larger seating area beyond the bar sits in front of a mirror, giving the space a larger feel, before a short hall and additional seating to the back of the restaurant.The buzz of the crowd and the hustle of the staff made LaRue seem like a veteran, well-oiled machine. The staff was exceedingly welcoming and we were seated quickly, just across from the open kitchen.
Our host, LaRue’s general manager, Zack Dutch, explained the drink selections, and my eye wandered to the selection of twists on the Old Fashioned. I ordered The Rusty LaRue (combination of an Old Fashioned and a Rusty Nail using Defiant American Single Malt) and settled in to peruse the menu.
My friend Dale went with salad and Tataki, a Japanese rare beef appetizer with ponzu mushrooms. I ordered Pigs in a Blanket, which is Chinese sausage with mustard seed caviar.
Dale and I shared the appetizers, while I went on to order the cassoulet and another Old Fashioned, this time The Catcher in the Rye (a rye Old Fashioned using Knob Creek rye, with an orange and a cherry).The food was splendid, and the energy of the kitchen staff, hustling to overcome challenges and streamline delivery under the watchful eye of owner-chef Trey Bell, made the atmosphere both entertaining and elegant.My cassoulet, the first I’ve enjoyed, was delectable, with the pork and white bean casserole resting delightfully underneath the sliced duck breast.I went back to LaRue on Friday and spoke with Bell about his plans. He plans to focus on seasonal recipes and change the menu accordingly.”We’re more of a tasting room,” Bell said. “I have 10 items on my menu and it changes every month.” Bell and his wife operate a farm, Fiore Farms, in Summerfield and will also be working with Summerfield Farms to provide local, seasonal food items.The restaurant will open Monday for both lunch and dinner. Bell said they will offer a lunch menu from the start, but will take a couple of weeks to determine what’s appropriate before publishing a permanent lunch menu. The dinner menu is authentic, down to the typeface done with an old typewriter sitting in the foyer.More here. LaRue on Instagram.