An Introduction to Cheuvront at AZ Restaurant Week

Categories: Chow Bella

Trying a new restaurant is a lot like going on a first date: You don't know if you'll like it. It could be absolutely delicious, or a total disaster. And you're totally unsure about what you should and should not try.

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A safe bet: Chicken roulade stuffed with goat cheese, red peppers and prosciutto over pasta with artichoke cream sauce.
That's why we loved the idea of sampling the cuisine at Cheuvront, a downtown staple that we hadn't yet visited, during Arizona Restaurant Week. At $29 for three courses, you can afford to venture outside your tried-and-true culinary standbys. If you don't like a dish, no worries; you've got two more. Or five more, if you bring a friend who lets you share.

Which, of course, we did.

We popped by Cheuvront on Wednesday night for our 5:30 reservation, and the restaurant was only mildly busy. Clearly a good time to come during restaurant week -- I've heard it gets packed on weekends. A couple behind us was greedily munching on brie and spinach salad as we were seated. Another nearby table held a group of women who clearly enjoyed their vino. They sent back one bottle and another selection was quickly whisked over to their table.

Our experience was equally hit-and-miss. Luckily, six dishes gave us plenty of options.

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​Chile-seared shrimp with watermelon-jicama slaw was nicely balanced, the heat of the spice tempered by the sweetness of the melon and a splash of citrus dressing. The downside was that the chile flakes were seared to the point of giving the dish a burnt taste.

"Ever-so-slightly overcooked" seemed to be our theme of the night. We blame it on our request for medium-well hanger steak, as chefs are often loathe to cook past medium doneness. Even our helpful servers warned us against it.

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We were grateful our steak wasn't still mooing...the chef, maybe not so much.
Peach-filled empanadas were extra-toasty, and the chicken roulade would've been dry if not for the goat cheese and the delicious artichoke cream sauce on the accompanying pasta. We thought the steak was pretty tender and juicy, even cooked medium-well.

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Cheuvront's airy, melt-in-your-mouth flan. Please sir, may I have another?
Brie en croute had a delightful saltiness complimented by a naturally sweet "salsa" of dried fruits. The same fruit mix spilled over the flan, which was so melt-in-your-mouth fluffy that I swear it must've been whipped for an hour before being poured into the mold. If it wasn't for the forthcoming sugar coma, we could've easily consumed a few of those babies.

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Just a sampling of Cheuvront's fromage selection.
Any hiccups we had with the food was made up for by our servers, who were friendly and attentive. The cheesemonger, after catching me taking pics of the fromage counter, even came over to our table to offer us a take-home menu of the cheeses and wines available at the retail counter. All in all a good first date with Cheuvront.

We'll certainly try for a second.


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