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A first bite at Lumiere – modern French food in Myers Park

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/19/17/18/hTBZ8.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - HELEN SCHWAB
    Modern Duck a l’Orange features breast and rillettes (think pate made with confit duck), plus fennel and pearl onions.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/19/17/18/dCa9k.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - HELEN SCHWAB
    Frozen creams and sorbets? Yes, please, to cut the riches. Orange, black currant and caramel passionfruit atop crumbs and with a chocolate swirl.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/19/17/18/i1phO.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - HELEN SCHWAB
    That’s Iberico ham, crisped, atop some Belgian endive and apples, candied pecans and a dressing made with tomme cheese.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/19/17/18/xwrMg.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - HELEN SCHWAB
    Butter-poached Maine lobster with hearts of palm, shiitakes, green beans and walnut oil vinaigrette.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/19/17/18/1jjA0L.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - HELEN SCHWAB
    Boar chops (very good) over choucroute, with a slab of Duroc (a heritage breed) pork belly and an unannounced slather of horseradishy sauce. At top left is a black-truffle topped gratin, a rich gilding of the mac ‘n cheese lily.

The food: Lumiere, from Tom Condron and Matthew Pera, took some time to open, but these are dishes you’re not finding anywhere else around town, and from the rapturous glances I saw, even the neighbors (Myers Park can still be a tough crowd for anyone doing modern takes) are enjoying them.

Our fare was precise, attractive, and rich, rich, rich. Think your courses through or you may get Butter Fatigue. Modern duck a l’orange produced perfect, tender meat in that fabulous rosy hue, along with rillettes and thickly sliced braised fennel, while a boar loin chop arrived with a little bacony Duroc pork belly and an innocently named “gratin of Truffled Macaroni” you’d trade your car for (and enough sliced black truffle on top to maybe make it worth it, depending on your make and model).

The menu is tight and bright: just a few things at each course – butter-poached lobster is quite popular, I was told, and a salad featuring Moroccan dates stuffed with chevre that I found a tad cloying. More bitter greens, please! Complimentary niceties range from amuse-bouches to macarons (marvelous, by the way), and you can watch the kitchen, fully toqued, do its thing from nearly every seat in the house.

The look: Though a friend wrinkles her brow at a name that means light and a logo that’s a whisk, the packaging belies the thing itself: It’s quite handsome and cohesive, from a gorgeous and subtle color scheme of silvery blue-green and dark wood spiked with a little gold to interesting light fixtures, some architectural, some more loosely artistic.

The service: Polished yet approachable, somewhat formally turned out but not stuffy, both enthusiastic and well-informed but able to describe dishes in simple language: It’s what you’d hope for. (Personally, I don’t need to hear a well-groomed French accent, but one guy’s got that covered, too, in case you do.) As far as wine: Appropriate glassware! So there’s that ... then there’s the fact our server had to tell us wines by the glass because there was no list to peruse on our visit.

The details: Dinner only, entrees about $29-$39; 1039 Providence Road, in the little strip mall next to the updated Harris Teeter; 704-372-3335; www.lumieremyerspark.com.

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