Cadot: Gorgeous but Unassuming French Food in North Dallas

Every now and then, if you are very lucky and a lover of French food, you will meet (or seek!) Such a talented chef as Jean-Marie Cadot, the charming and very talented boss from the eponymous Cadot Restaurant at 18111 Preston Road in North Dallas, located in a beautiful space on the northwest corner of Preston and Frankford.

CadotIn my opinion, it is now without a doubt one of North Texas’ half a dozen best French restaurants, a place of constant excellence run by a man who has spent three decades perfecting his art. It is also an unpretentious and no-nonsense place. You’ll find snow-white bedding on your table, flowers, impeccable surroundings decorated in a way that transports you to the Champs-Elysees in the spring, but without fidgeting, posture, or chore. And the prices are remarkably low, I suppose partly because the overheads aren’t as high as in downtown Dallas.

Jean-Marie Cadot is royal, a native of Paris who is the progeny of a family in the hospitality business since the 18th century. Jean-Marie began his training as a baker at the age of eight in his father’s house. bakery. Later he was an apprentice at the famous Lasserre in Paris (three stars in the Michelin guide). He also trained in Ferrandi and the Grands Moulins de Paris, the famous pastry and confectionery school, before arriving in Dallas in 1982.

Dallas diners who know his way will remember that he was the executive chef of Lavendou, the well established French restaurant operated by Pascal Cayet one mile north of Cadot, also on Preston Road. With thirty years of experience under his belt, Jean-Marie started his eponymous company four or five years ago. Friends from Los Angeles recommended that I visit Cadot more than once on my next trip to Dallas, and I followed that advice, dining there three times on a recent stay in Texas that kept me there for several weeks.

I went for lunch with a friend in the middle of the week and arrived around noon. About half the tables in the front dining room were already taken (Jean-Marie has cleverly divided his huge restaurant space into three or four rooms, each of which conveys a sense of intimacy and casual French elegance. The rooms spoil my food, there is too much noise and too much movement around me. Cadot is the correct size).

To start with, I ordered a duck terrine with pistachios and truffles, a kind of field pate which is lighter than the traditional goose liver pate so popular in France. Jean-Marie makes it himself in his 1,500 square foot kitchen. It was delicate and delicious, served with mustard and pickles, those tiny French pickles that no country pate should be served without.

A friend in Highland Park had suggested I have one of Jean-Marie’s specialty salads as a main course, three large shrimp served with a mix of mesclum, green beans, small potatoes, and citrus bites in a vinaigrette, but I was tempted by a I wish that day for something that Cadot is justifiably famous for: chicken crepes served with mushrooms velvety and vegetables. These look simple and refreshing, but they’re easy to overcook and it takes a skillful, light hand to produce them to perfection. They came to my table hot with a light sauce, delicious bites of chicken breast wrapped in crepes, I couldn’t find them better made anywhere.

My partner that day, a true Francophile who flatters Cadot and goes there once a week, ordered a pacific snapper to the nicoise, which came with fresh tomato, a white wine sauce with basil and olives, and a side of mashed potatoes. He pronounced it excellent.

This is the kind of simple, beautifully executed French food that many chefs in America, even if trained in France, eschew in favor of exotic and quirky dishes rarely found in Paris. The food and lovely atmosphere boil down to wonderful conversation and we also had a lively chat with Jean-Marie himself, who often visits his guests to make sure they are happy. This is a man who takes his job seriously. And now, after all, it’s his own name on the door!

For dessert we both chose the homemade one. Catalan cream with some raspberries on top, a wonderfully rich vanilla cream encased in a caramelized sugar weave. I finished my meal with an excellent espresso, which I asked to be served with a couple of slices of lemon peel. Perfectly done. My lunch partner had a cappuccino.

This is a restaurant that is a treasure for those who live in the northern part of Dallas. For those who live in the city center, they will find the drive worthwhile and to their delight, they will also find ample parking right in front of the restaurant, a plus that will more than offset the cost of the gasoline you use. to get there from the city center. No valet fees at Cadot! It’s like visiting a very elegant residence in North Dallas, inside and out. I urge you to go there soon.

Cadot It has a very informative (and quite nice to use) website where you can research the menus before your visit. You will find Cadot Restaurant at 18111 Preston Rd, Suite 120 in the northwest quadrant of the intersection of Preston and Frankford, Dallas, TX 75252.

It is always advisable to make a reservation: (972) 267-5700