The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
Instagram

Lazare: healthy, tasty, affordable

It’s not often you find a restaurant that strives to be both environmentally conscious and recession-friendly; the taste of organic fare may be delicious, but it certainly comes with a cost. But Lazare, the new restaurant owned by Russell Hayward (former owner of Tom Tom Asian Grill), dedicates its concept and menu to going green, while saving its patrons some green in the process.

The menu, filled with gourmet items like salmon with fennel and apple-citrus salad and grain mustard pappardelle, appeals to the epicurean as well as the environmentalist. Produce, dairy and meats come from local farmers within 100 miles of the Dallas-Fort Worth area; even the head chef, David Gilbert, was born and raised in North Texas.

It was a perfect Dallas day when I sat on the Lazare patio, next to Cru Wine Bar in West Village. A friend and I started with the most interesting item on the appetizer menu: Seafood lollipops, cute breaded crab cake-esque balls of salmon, crab and flounder topped with a tangy mustard sauce. For the southerner, Gilbert offers fried green tomatoes with jalapeno cornbread.

It was too warm outside to sample the Gruyere Fondue, but it would have made an excellent dinner appetizer. Lazare gets its cheese from the Veldhuizen Family Farm in Dublin, Texas, the birthplace of some showcased on restaurant’s artisan cheese plate.

After enjoying the more adventurous lollipops, I went for a more traditional meal – an $8 grilled cheese sandwich with fries – but the taste was anything but traditional. Served with fresh tomatoes, havarti, sundried tomato pesto and accompanied by a light aioli, this childhood staple of mine had grown up into melt-in-your-mouth goodness. It’s always disappointing when the bread of a sandwich overpowers the cheese, but this sandwich had a perfect bread-to-cheese ratio. Plus, it was perfectly toasted to a golden brown.

The French fries were initially a little bland, though lightly seasoned and served with homemade ketchup – also somewhat plain. Our waiter explained that this ketchup lacked the high fructose corn syrup present in store-bought Heinz bottles, while the potatoes were carefully chosen by the chef to ensure flawless French “fryability.” I hate to admit it, but I still prefer my eco-friendless Snuffer’s cheese fries or Chick-Fil-A waffle fries.

For those with bigger appetites, go for the flatbreads. These mini-pizzas, reminiscent of an Olivella’s metro pizza, range from chopped chicken arugula to roasted vegetable to tomato goat cheese pesto. My friend went for the Marguez flatbread ($12) with spiced lamb sausage, charred red pepper, ash goat cheese and grilled fennel. The fresh vegetables tone down the spiciness of the sausage, and there is no heavy marinara sauce to subdue the flavors of the all-natural ingredients.

But don’t think this West Village spot is just for granola-crunching, Birkenstock-wearing health nuts. The menu offers heavier options like its Exchange Bison Burger – a $10 lunch special – and Shiner Bock-battered fish and chips.

Lazare also has its own water purification system called Natura, so those who like bottled or sparkling water can indulge without wasting bottles. The not-too-fizzy sparkling water is better than Pellegrino and Perrier, so I’d recommend spending the extra dollar to give it a try.

The restaurant’s focus on local farms and sustainable ingredients shows through its menu items, but you won’t have to sacrifice on taste or gourmet bistro prices.

More to Discover