Restaurant Week: Élevé in Walnut Creek

by foodhoe on June 29, 2012

1677 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 | 925.979.1677 | website | online reservations

I finally was able to lunch at Élevé during Walnut Creek Restaurant week where over 2 dozen of Walnut Creek’s finest restaurants offer 3 course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at prices ranging from $10-$40. The word Élevé is derived from the French verb, élever (to raise; to elevate), it also is a combination of the owners children’s names: Ella and Ava. It is clear that Chef and Co-Owner Michele Nguyen has a vision of raising the level of dining at her Vietnamese restaurant where no detail has been overlooked: the handcrafted cocktails are from a menu that was created by Thad Vogler, who helped develop the cocktails at Slanted Door, Camino, and Flora), to the commitment of serving the freshest organic ingredients to present a menu of updated classic Vietnamese cuisine and for providing a casual atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful dining room and delicious fare.

It was a hot day and I was craving the fresh flavors of Shrimp Spring Rolls (gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese) so I ended up not ordering the special 3-course lunch… Instead, we began with refreshing rolls made with ethereal and translucent rice paper wrapped around crisp lettuce, cucumber, mint, vermicelli, and cooked shrimp dipped into a hoisin-peanut sauce. I love the chewy texture of the wrap and all of the flavors and texture combine to create a state of bliss in my mouth.

Our server recommended the Chicken Xào Lăn as one of his favorites. A spicy yellow coconut curry made with bean thread, earwood mushroom and sprinkled with fresh herbs was delicious served over a steaming mound of fragrant jasmine rice.

I had the Vietnamese Sandwich made with Spicy Grilled Pork ($10), which dare I say, rivaled the amazing Bánh Mì that I recently raved about from the Food Coma Cafe in Oakland (click here to read more about that). The baguette was lightly toasted and hollowed out and filled with a pile o’grilled pork that had been tossed with caramelized hoisin, along with the requisite cucumbers, pickled carrots and jalapeños, drizzled with a house chili blend sauce and garnished with sprigs of fresh cilantro. It was a very well crafted sandwich.

And for a mere $3, I enjoyed a side of Onion Rings, which were a little greasy and not as crispy as I like them, but then I prefer the extra crunch of the breadcrumbs.

It is hard to make the mental leap from paying $4 for a Bánh Mì, to paying $10 for one, but to me the difference in quality is worth the price, plus you do get to hang out in in some very nice swanky digs…

;

Eleve on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa June 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Nice food! Fresh looking.

Cheers,

Rosa

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grace July 3, 2012 at 1:43 am

i would normally stay away from a place with a french name, but that stuff looks pretty tasty. glad to know the name has another meaning for the owners! :)

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Kristen July 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Cocktail menu is AMAZING. They hand carve the ice for a few of there liquor-forward drinks so it melts more slowly and preserves the integrity of the drink. You can also get happy hour all night long if you sit at the bar.

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foodhoe July 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

sounds wonderful, good to know about the happy hour at the bar!

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Gastronomer July 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Viet goes swank! $10 banh mi? Maybe…

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