The Chase Park Plaza has been a beacon of class and sophistication in the Central West End since the 1920s. In addition to hotel rooms and private residences, The Chase also is home to five restaurants, each with its own distinct personality. Café Eau is the casual little brother of sorts to the Eau Bistro across the lobby, with a menu comprised primarily of pizzas, sandwiches, salads and small-plate offerings. We recently stopped by to sample the menu and soak up some of The Chase’s highclass vibe.
The Café Eau space, which can be entered through the hotel’s main lobby or via a separate entrance on the Lindell Boulevard side, is cozy and inviting, with a distinctly classic feel, thanks to the dark woods, low lights and a spectacular bar area. Café Eau also boasts a plethora of outdoor seating, which, on warm evenings, provides great ambience with the lights of the surrounding buildings and the glow of the outdoor pool.
The Creole Fried Shrimp ($14) we chose from the Appetizers list came with a bit of slaw and some spicy cocktail sauce on the side. The five shrimp were lightly breaded and more than jumbo-sized, and the dish was the perfect starter size, just enough to whet our appetites. With our palates sufficiently primed, we moved onto our main courses.
From the selection of Brick Oven Hand-Tossed Pies, we ordered The Hill ($14), an homage to that venerable neighborhood featuring Italian sausage, capicola and pepperoncini topped with slices of provel. While the toppings were tasty and the oregano tomato sauce provided just the right amount of spice, the cheese was barely melted, and we found the crust to be fairly bland and nondescript. Since this was billed as a hand-tossed pie, we expected more from the crust, and hoped for some cheese bubbling on top.
The Korean Beef Soft Tacos ($14), located under Sandwiches & More, came three to the plate and featured sauteed chunks of tender beef accented with a Thai barbecue sauce and garnished with delicate threads of cucumber, with some fried rice alongside. These tacos were sweet, though not cloyingly so, with really no heat, though they were plenty flavorful— a good choice for those with an aversion to heavy spices.
We closed out our meal with the Grand Marnier Chocolate Decadence ($9), which featured multiple types of chocolate with a center soaked in the namesake orange liqueur and garnished with strawberries. It reminded us of a high-end Hostess DingDong in the best of ways, a creative take on a favorite theme, and the Grand Marnier was used sparingly, so the dessert wasn’t at all boozy.
Café Eau is a great option for diners who want a laid-back yet classic experience that’s a cut (or two) above the casualdining chain eateries in the area. The restaurant also boasts a broad selection of beers, wines, Martinis and assorted specialty cocktails for those who just want to stop by for a nightcap.
Korean Beef Taco
3 6-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
½ cucumber, seeded, julienned
6 oz shredded beef tenderloin tips, raw
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
½ cup of BBQ sauce, your choice
½ cup of sweet thai chili sauce
1 tbsp of sweet and sour vinaigrette, see attached recipe
¾ cup white rice, cooked
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp onion, small dice
Warm flour tortillas, reserve. In a bowl toss the beef with Chinese 5 spice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat sauté pan with very little cooking oil and add beef being sure to get a good sear. Combine BBQ sauce and sweet thai chili sauce in a separate bowl. In a separate sauté pan heat sesame oil with little cooking oil and bring to high heat. Add onions and egg. Scramble the egg and break it apart. Add white rice. When rice is hot add soy sauce, stir.
To build place tortillas on a plate. Add lettuce to each tortilla. Place beef on top of the lettuce. Drizzle each tortilla with sweet thai bbq sauce, and sweet and sour sauce. Place julienne cucumber on top of each tortilla. Place fried rice next to the tortillas.
Sweet & Sour Vinaigrette
¾ cup dijon mustard
1 tbls dry mustard
½ cup honey
½ cup champagne vinegar
Preparation: Combine and mix well