First Look

First Look: The Coffee Side of Carte Blanche on Lowest Greenville

The bakery and coffee shop at Carte Blanche.
The bakery and coffee shop at Carte Blanche. Lauren Drewes Daniels
A new restaurant has opened where Mudsmith was previously on Lowest Greenville Avenue. This space, Carte Blanche, is a two-for-one number with two chefs, a husband and wife. By day, chef Amy La Rue sells pastries, and in the evening, they put away the coffee cups and bring out wine glasses for chef Casey La Rue's 12-course tasting menu. For their full background, including details on the evening menu, you can read a previous article by Brian Reinhart.

Carte Blanche is an uncluttered, bright space with a large open kitchen at the back. In the morning, the rows and rows of fresh pastries are showcased like art, which many would argue a proper croissant is. Options range from brioche doughnuts to laminated croissants and savory Danishes. When I was there, they didn’t have any whole loaves of bread set out, but from social media posts, it appears they do sometimes.

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Carte Blanche has a bevy of pastries to chose from including doughnuts, savory pastries, muffins and croissants.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Amy said they’d been selling out most days and had bumped up their production to meet demand. With plenty of options still available after 10 a.m. on a Wednesday, she seems to have honed in the correct metrics. With the Village Baking Co. just across the street and half a block down, there is a bounty of laminated, buttered dough to be had in the area. 

The small patio out front has a few tables and chairs and previously Amy told us they have plans to add to add greenery to the space soon.

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This cruller has a crisp exterior and fluffy interior.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
As for the food itself, all was great. A glazed cruller ($3) was not overly sweet and had a crisp exterior with a pore-riddled airy interior. A savory caramelized onion and white cheddar Danish ($4) was also spot-on and rich with flavor. The chocolate almond croissants ($4.75) are speckled with almond spears and powdered sugar that gather in lumps with pastry flakes on a plate below (or your lap).

Coffee was a pour-over and takes a few minutes to prepare (a 12-ounce cup is $2.50), but absolutely worth the wait. Carte Blanche serves Eiland Coffee from a Richardson roaster that uses only rare and unique single estate coffees.

Word of warning: there’s no WiFi inside Carte Blanche, meaning you have to scroll your phone, or — gasp! — just sit there and enjoy a fresh pastry, rich coffee, artwork and classical music playing lightly overhead. You’ve been warned.

Carte Blanche, 2114 Greenville Ave. The bakery is open 7 a.m. to noon Wednesday through Sunday. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.