Have you ever thought of walking away from your career in order to pursue your dreams? That’s exactly what David and Sandra Avila did when they decided to open a contemporary French restaurant in Fort Worth.
For the last 10 years, the husband and wife talked about the possibility – even as they traveled, lived and worked around the world. During dinner in Paris one night, Sandra fell in love with the food, the service, and the experience that is French cuisine. She decided then and there to formalize her culinary education, eventually studying at the Culinary School of Fort Worth.
In the middle of her studies, David was transferred to the Philippines, so the family packed up and made the move to Manila. Sandra was able to continue her studies at the Ducasse Institute and after graduating, she was selected for a prestigious internship at Alain Ducasse’s 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant, located on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower.
While Sandra was cultivating her skills as a French chef, David was reading about and studying wines. And yes, tasting them. All that hard work paid off as he is now certified with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
As the years ticked by, they continued to raise their daughters, Rebeca and Natalia — continued to eat out, to study, to work, and to dream.
In March of 2014, they pulled the trigger. David resigned his corporate position with a global eye care company. They sold their house and a car, allowing them to pay off all their debt. They found a small, affordable space to lease on West 7th, and hired Architect Michael Bennett.
Fort Construction began work in July, and is now putting the finishing touches in place. A few things of note inside Le Cep:
- When you walk in, you’ll notice a “wall” separating the entrance from the seating area. What looks like a massive sculpture is made of sanded and shaped sheetrock.
- Seating at a small wine bar is available once you check in with the hostess.
- A glassed-in wine room can be seen from the entrance and the dining area.
- As you walk to your table, a small window offers a quick peek into the kitchen.
Architect Michael Bennett of Bennett Benner Partners is responsible for many of the unique aspects inside the restaurant and we’d like to thank him for recommending us.
The grand opening is set for October 30th with an 8-course tasting menu that costs $85.00 per person. They also offer a wine pairing for an additional $40. While eight courses may sound like you’ll be rolling yourself across the parking lot, a reminder that a tasting menu offers smaller portions per course. If you still fear you’ll pop the top button off your pants, they will have a 4-course option for $45 per person with a wine pairing for an additional $25.
For those of you ready to taste contemporary French cuisine, reservations are recommended. Le Cep is a more intimate restaurant with a total of 15 tables. You can make your reservation online at www.opentable.com. Or, call the restaurant at 817-900-2468.
Fort Construction is proud to have been a part of the Avila’s vision … we wish them all the best and bon appétit!