Salad Days

A recent Dallas Morning News article cited fewer oilman fatcats dining at La Colombe d'Or (3410 Montrose, 713-524-7999) as evidence that Houston's economy hasn't recovered, despite almost $50-a-barrel oil. And sure enough, on a recent visit, the 1923 restaurant was almost empty, but hey, that just means better service. Owner Steve Zimmerman has introduced a new lunch menu that won't quite break the bank. It includes some old favorites, like salade de crabe et avocat, vinaigrette à l'orange, which is a fancy name for a simple yet filling dish. The big salad features lump crabmeat, paper-thin slices of fresh avocado and garden tomatoes, drizzled with an orange vinaigrette made with a hint of balsamic vinegar and black pepper. At $19, it isn't cheap, but it's big enough to split if you're eating light. La Colombe d'Or also has a good wine list, which, along with its Old World charm, makes it perfect for special-occasion lunches.
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Marene Gustin