Fort Worth's Museum District continues to experience a steady stream of restaurant openings: A week after Fort Worth chef Lanny Lancarte opened his new healthy-eating emporium Righteous Foods now comes Le Cep Restaurant, a contemporary French restaurant tucked into a strip mall next door to newish burger and meat shop Burgundy Pasture Beef.
Le Cep soft opens tonight at 5:30; the grand opening is on Thursday. The 15-table restaurant comes from local couple David and Sandra Avila — he a corporate ex-turned-wine-connoisseur, she a chef trained at the Ducasse Institute, the Parisian school of legendary chef Alain Ducasse. Sandra also interned at the Eiffel Tower's renowned restaurant, 58 Tour Eiffel.
Le Cep will offer revolving four- and eight-course menus. Dishes on the current lineup include an arugula and asparagus salad, scallops with almonds, duck breast with potatoes, and venison with celeriac puree. Six items will also be available a la carte. Only the dish's ingredients are listed on the menu, not their preparation — an approach that, while trendy these days, isn't exactly the norm in Fort Worth.
"We traveled many years throughout Europe and were very much inspired by what we experienced," David says. "Not just the food itself, but how it was presented to the diner. It was a very different approach, and we fell in love with it."
Named after a hotel in France's Burgundy region that the Avilas are particularly fond of, the airy one-room restaurant is subtly decorated. Track lights illuminate a black and gray color scheme and an attractive, hand-cut Modular Arts wall. The restaurant's centerpiece is an enclosed glass wine room. "That's my pride and joy," David says. "There's an emphasis on French and American but I have a good collection of German, Argentinian, Australian, Chilean and others. It's a good overall scope of the world of wine."
Le Cep will be open Tuesday through Saturday 5:30-10:30 p.m.; reservations can be made via OpenTable.
Le Cep: 3324 W. 7th St., Fort Worth. (817) 900-2468. www.leceprestaurant.com.