Look at Her

Buy a map, find Little Elm and head to Café C. Your belly will thank you.

Yet not everything in this cafe is a dead ringer for sublimity. Roasted rack of lamb, a crown of intertwined bones with micro medallions of meat posted on the ends, is a little dry, though the sweet flavors aren't at all thwarted. Half duck à l'orange is also on the dry side. Yet it, too, conquered aridity with striking flavors teased from a "secret spice" blend, one Fotre also uses to rouse his roast free-range chicken. The crisp duck skin is extraordinarily flavor intensive, while the breast flesh is void of the prodigious flab that can sometimes transform duck entrées into a lipid slurp.

In addition to these simple examples of bashful (as opposed to showy) gastronomy, Café C has a small assortment of specials. Seared tuna (sushi grade) was pure satin, with only a dab of wasabi and dish of ponzu to dress it. Haddock in caper sauce, a fresh fish selection, suffered from minor sponginess but was sopped with fresh clean flavors, though a side of saffron rice was dry and stiff.

In addition to the ubiquitous crème brûlée (though not ubiquitous in Fotre form), desserts include a fudgy rich flourless chocolate cake and lots of house-made ice cream riddled with bracing freshness.

Café C's wood-fired oven spits out flams. They're like pizzas, only better.
Café C's wood-fired oven spits out flams. They're like pizzas, only better.

Details

972-294-4600. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday. $$

Steak tartare: $10
Smoked salmon: $9.95
Flam: $8.95
Roast duck: $15.95
Roast rack of lamb: $21.95
Seared tuna: $19.95
Crème brûlée: $5.50
Ice cream: $5.50
Chocolate cake: $5.50

Closed Location

Fotre has ambitions for his understated little cafeteria. He fancies himself a pioneer of sorts, staking a barren prairie sod claim and imbuing it with classic cuisine at middlebrow prices. To that end, he says he plans to open as many as three more Café C's around the Dallas area, maybe in places like Frisco, which is now more of a dining room community than a bedroom community. And that probably suits the current Miss America just fine.

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