Paris in Texas (but don’t get it confused with Paris, Texas!)
January is finally over, huzzah! In the middle of what seemed like the longest month to date, it was easy to forget about some of the good things coming our way. Plus, we were kind of busy eating donuts and more donuts. But alas, February is finally here, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! So don your heart-shaped sunnies, buy your chocolate strawberries, knit some hearts onto a sweater, and buckle up for the season of love.
When we were thinking about the best way to celebrate love this year, one of our first thoughts was our bestie gals. While we love romantic love, and don’t worry, we’ll talk more about that next week, this past year has been particularly tough on friendships separated by the pandemic. The best place we could think of to celebrate the girls who are there with us through it all was Café Poêtes, a French restaurant and tea house in Midtown-Montrose in Houston. This bistro is elegant, glamorous, just as beautiful outside as it is inside, and very, very Parisian.
This week’s fizz is a little bit more toned down than our usual cocktails and wine agenda. That being said, it is important to highlight that those things do exist in this bistro! The restaurant even goes so far as to dub themselves a wine club, and they host events with wine pairings that complement their food fusions, which is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Additionally, they have a limited cocktail menu that includes the Kir Royale French cocktail, which is high on our list of things to try next time we go!
It would be impossible for us to talk about the beverages offered at Café Poêtes without mentioning the tea. Everyday from 11am-5pm, the cafe has High Tea, which is exactly what it sounds like. Even tea connoisseurs will be delighted at the selection, which changes seasonally and is offered in small or large teapot sizes. The beautiful teapots are just the cherry on top.
Between artisan quiches, savory eclairs, and hachis parmentier (?), there is very little on the Café Poêtes menu we can pronounce, but oh so much we enjoy. During High Tea, pastries and small dishes take the cake (Pun! Always! Intended!). The Madeleines? Incredible.
If you’re there for lunch or dinner, we definitely recommend asking your server for recommendations to help you dissect the menu options. The meal menu changes seasonally, too, so what we ordered may not be available, but we can assure you that you will be in good hands. Keep an open mind, too! Trying something new never hurt anybody, and the French menu and fusions are full of new things. We ordered a cheese soufflé dish that was melt-in-your-mouth incredible and came in the cutest little pot. We also ordered a basquaise eclair, which was light but satisfying. Both of our dishes had a unique combination of flavors we never would have thought to pair, but which somehow work so well. We don’t think we could ever get enough.
Things to Know Before You Go:
- Make a rezzy! While you can technically walk in and cross your fingers, between limited space in addition to social distancing restrictions, it’s unlikely you’ll get a spot without waiting excessive amounts of time. You can make a reservation via phone, email, or on their website.
- You will want to take photos when you go. Trust. Heads up, though, if you’re any sort of professional photographer (or have a camera that makes it look like you are), you’ll likely be asked to pay the $40 photography fee. Yes, the space is that beautiful, and yes, that’s why we don’t have a ton of photos.
- Parking: There is a tiny parking lot for the restaurant on the backside, but if there’s no spot available there, you’ll need to do some street parking.
When Should You Make Your Own Trip to Café Poêtes?
Valentine’s Day weekend! Café Poêtes is always chic and girly, but on this weekend in particular we’re sure it will be akin to Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. With your girlfriends as your companions, the trip is destined to turn out far better than it did for Harry and Cho. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the weekend of Valentine’s Day, Café Poêtes is hosting a “Galentine in Paris High Tea” event with three “tiers,” from 11am-5pm each day. If you do decide to go there with your honey, the bistro also has a “Valentine in Paris Dinner” event each evening of the weekend composed of a romantic four-course dinner.
How do you plan to celebrate the day? With one true love or with all of your true loves (gals)? Stay tuned for ideas on what you can do for a memorable Valentine’s Day date night at home, coming next Wednesday!