Vive la France

Le Bilboquet

Terri Taylor
July 29, 2013

Le Bilboquet, 4514 Travis St., 469.730.2937

With its subtle signage, Travis Walk’s charming new eatery Le Bilboquet could easily be overlooked. This would be a tragedy for enthusiasts of French bistro fare, so look for the pine-green awning, latticework and white-clothed sidewalk tables. If the moniker rings a bell, there’s a reason: It’s the offspring of the 28-year-old Manhattan fixture of the same name, which closed last New Year’s Eve with much Upper East Side handwringing. (It’s scheduled to reopen in August on 60th Street between Madison and Park.) “Dallas is a happening place,” says managing partner Laurent Lesort, who has relocated to Dallas. “Dining out is a big part of this city’s culture. When we found the right location, we jumped at it.” The light-filled interior melds contemporary art with old-world additions such as handmade rattan chairs by Maison Gatti (one of France’s oldest crafters of bistro furniture) and a classic pewter-topped bar, the centerpiece of the entry. “MoMo” Sow, the longtime chef of Le Bilboquet-New York, has also relocated to Dallas and creates the identical dishes that made the original a sensation: elegantly presented bistro food with light sauces and fresh flavors. On the dinner menu, try the endive salad with tangy chunks of blue-veined Roquefort, walnut halves and Dijon vinaigrette ($13) or the house-made terrine of foie gras ($25). A standout entrée is the Coquilles Saint Jacques — pan-seared sweet scallops with tomato coulis and a tower of vegetables ($26). The lightly spiced Cajun chicken breast with pommes frites is a house specialty ($24). Desserts include apple tarte tatin and chocolate mousse. The wine list offers an assortment of French and American varieties and even includes a few Texas selections. “Nothing is trendy here,” says Paris-born Lesort. “These are the dishes my mom and grandma made. This is my comfort food.”