To sum up Café Roux in one word: new. The cajun restaurant, located in Park Place just seconds from Town Center, may eventually be the new hot spot for all age groups to socialize.
As I entered with two of my friends, I was greeted by a quiet atmosphere. At 5:30 p.m., it was not a surprise that the only background noise was the soft rock music coming from the speakers. As my dinner continued, the age group of people eating shifted from old to young. The interior itself was fresh and warm, with walls painted a rich red color and dark wood stain booths.
After being greeted by our server, we were given complementary bread that was long and lightly baked. I was forced to hold each piece in two hands, with a tight grip to allow me to sink my teeth into the bread. Once I finally had the bread torn, it was quite flavorful. I enjoy my bread fresh from the oven but this bread was granite on the outside. I have previously enjoyed hard rolls, but risking a broken tooth before being served the main dish seemed a little much.
After the “Battle of the Bread” was over, we were eager to order. Given that the restaurant was Cajun, I knew that anything I ordered would be something I had never experienced. When my friend ordered red bean soup, she was told, “Let me check with the chef to see if we have that.” When the server returned, we were told that the chef did not make that particular soup. I was somewhat shocked. A new restaurant should not offer four soups on the menu and have only a single offering (shrimp and lobster bisque) available. It was apparent that Roux was not ready for prime time, or at least discerning customers.
I ordered the Creole pasta, which was one of the server’s recommendations. I was pleased with the dish and I felt that the dish possessed a special ‘pow’ while also having a spicy flavor. The pasta was covered in a red sauce with shrimp sprinkled throughout. The downer was that the dish was $17. The entrée was good, but was it $17 good? I think not.
The spinach salad was served in a beautiful presentation, sprinkled in a bacon-flavored dressing. When the crawfish pie was delivered to the table, we all commented, “I hope this tastes better than it looks.” Giving it a taste test, it did. The entrée was covered in a light, hard crust that looked stale. I questioned myself when the dish was delivered to my table, but the I was ultimately proved wrong.
After eating our main dishes, we decided to order desert. We had the caramel apple ginger crisp and the white chocolate and key lime cheesecake. The ginger crisp was delectable and the ice cream served with it was soft and melted in the mouth. I savored every bite that I took from the the white chocolate and key lime cheesecake. I would certainly order either of these deserts again.
The service at the restaurant was mediocre at best. The food, building and service gave the restaurant the vibe of being newly opened. The waitress we had was pleasant and tried her best to meet our requests but was clearly a rookie.
Although she was accommodating, she lacked knowledge of the entire menu and did not appear to have been fully trained. I hope that over time, the service will improve as the staff gains experience. We hope that the same can be said for the chef, who presumably will learn to provide guests a full complement of items listed on the menu