Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where to eat in Dallas

Dallas / Fort Worth area is a nice tourist destination. Plenty of Texan restaurants and some pretty modern ones:

1. Cafe Modern (inside The Modern Art Museum) : What to order --- Chicken Sandwich with arugula, fire-roasted tomatoes on focaccia, blue-cheese, horseradish sauce, yellow watermelon, cucumber spear; Caprese Steak Salad (shoulder steak, balsamic reduction, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and mini fresh mozzarella balls). The view is pretty: in front of a reflecting pool!!!

Café Modern on Urbanspoon

Chicken Sandwich with Arugula, fire-roasted tomatoes on focaccia

Caprese Steak Shoulder Salad
2. Stephan Pyles : What to order --- Lock Duart Salmon with Black-Bean-Roast Banana Mash, Coconut-Serrano Broth and Mango-Tortilla Salsa; Herbed Ricotta Stuffed Roast Natural Chicken with Oaxacan Mashed Potatoes and Caramelized Onion-Chipotle Broth; Dessert: Mexican Chocolate Kahlua!!! This is my favorite restaurant in Dallas :)

Stephan Pyles on Urbanspoon

Loch Duart Salmon

Herbed Ricotta Stuffed Roast Natural Chicken
 3. Bijoux : What to order --- This is a very elegant restaurant, but I would probably not go again. The service is not very good, the portions are very small for the high prices they have, and the style of the chef is not exactly the best.

For lunch, my husband ordered the Truffled risotto. This was the recommendation of our server, but honestly it was HORRIBLE. Not even tasty. It was not seasoned enough, very acid (too much white wine), and a very small serving (even though this was the big order, there is even a smaller size in the menu). At home, I make a very nice risotto with fresh mozzarella, leeks, sage, and prosciutto and my husband said mine is better than the truffled one. He couldn't feel the flavor of the truffles. He was so hungry, he had to eat a lot of bread to compensate the small risotto.

Mine dish was good. I got the Lemon Sole served over melted broccoli, together with radish salad, and truffle espuma (which I did not feel at all). I have to say, this was not a 6-ounce fillet, as I was promised. It was very small. Also, the salad had too much mustard. The broccoli puree was perfect.
After that we got a cheese course. It was Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert. It was served with almond biscotti, strawberry jam, micro arugula, and chili oil. I think the chili oil was too hot and the strawberry jam was not enough. We enjoyed the two glasses of "Le Grand Pinot Noir" (Limoux, France), but we were very disappointed from the food.

On the table next to us, there was a couple and they returned their food two times. First, it was too salty, then the fois gras was cold. So, think before you go there. It is not worthy.

Bijoux on Urbanspoon

Truffled risotto

Lemon Sole with melted broccoli and radish salad

Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert

4. NOSH Euro Bistro : What to order ---Of course, you should start with a Shiner Bock beer, because it is local (produced in Shiner, Texas). Then, for lunch, I ordered the Seared Diver Scallops with romesco sauce and spring vegetables. They were cooked medium-rare and absolutely delicious. I enjoyed the smoked flavor of the grill marks. The romesco sauce was a little bit acid (maybe too much vinegar), but the sweet peas, asparagus, and the brussel sprouts made the perfect bed.

My husband ordered the Crispy Spiced Duck Confit. It was served over whipped potatoes, together with some sauteed brussel sprouts, and kumquat confiture. He was able to feel some citrus flavor. The potatoes were super buttery, with very good creamy texture.

The glasses of wine start from 10 dollars, which is a little high price, so I would suggest 8 dollars instead. Also, the menu for lunch and dinner is the same, which is strange. Normally, dinner menu is more expensive, which makes lunch a bargain. Not in Nosh. There, lunch can get as expensive as dinner...

Nosh Euro Bistro on Urbanspoon

Seared Diver Scallops with romesco and spring vegetables

Crispy Spiced Duck Confit with brussels, kumquat confiture, and whipped potatoes
5. Marquee Grill and Bar by Tre Wilcox : What to order --- This restaurant is located at Highland Park Village. We went there on July 4th, for a festive lunch. Unfortunately, our server (his name is Brainard) was not very knowledgeable. He couldn't explain all the components of our plates. They gave us sweet corn muffins and crackers instead of bread, which is why I will probably not go again there. I really prefer my meal with salty European-style breads, like ciabatta, baguette, or sourdough.

My husband ordered Two Grilled Fish Tacos with Shredded Lettuce, Heirloom Tomato Salsa, and Mexican Quinoa. He liked the tacos and paired them with a Session beer. However, the quinoa had "pico de gallo" in it, which is a Mexican salsa made with raw onions. So, since he doesn't eat raw onions, I ate the quinoa. It was pretty buttery and salty.

My main dish was Chef Tre's Lunch: Grilled Barramundi, Broccolini, Asparagus, Spinach, and Chipotle-Tomato Vinaigrette. I ordered a Shiner beer (the wine by the glass was pretty expensive there). So, when my food arrived I was pretty excited, because it looked very pretty. But, when I tried it, it was super salty, with very strong overpowering smoky flavor. The vinaigrette was pretty much a sauce. And it was so HOT.

We saw the dessert menu, but we didn't find anything for us (most of them were Southern-style too-sweet desserts), so we went to La Duni for a sweet bite.

Marquee on Urbanspoon

Sweet corn muffins and crackers

Grilled Fish Tacos, Shredded lettuce, Heirloom Tomato Salsa, and Quinoa

Grilled Barramundi, Broccolini, Asparagus, Spinach, Chipotle-Tomato Sauce

6. La Duni Latin Kitchen & Baking Studio : What to order --- La Duni is a very nice bakery and restaurant. It is located in Highland Park. We have been there before for a casual lunch and we like it, because it reminds us our time spent in Latin America.

This July 4th, we went there to try their homemade gelatos. We ordered 2 separate scoops (they are pretty expensive, each small scoop is 3.75) and they arrived without any decoration at all. I tried the banana gelato and it was SUPER SWEET for me. I would prefer it less sweet. My husband tried the pistachio gelato and he liked the caramelized chunks in it.

They also have a lot of cakes and other plated desserts. So, maybe next time we have to try something different. But the gelato there is definitely not the best one. It is too sweet and nothing extraordinary.

La Duni Latin Kitchen & Baking Studio on Urbanspoon

Pistachio and Banana Gelato

7. Craft at W Hotel by Tom Colicchio : What to order --- This restaurant is located inside the W Hotel in Victory Park. We went there for a lunch and the place was literally empty. The interior design is super modern and the staff treated us incredibly well. Our server (her name was Siobhan) was amazing, she even gave us some housemade granola for our drive back home.

To start the meal, we were served a big salad with radishes, feta cheese, and lemon-oil vinaigrette. Also, some green and black olives; slices of toasted baguette with butter; and fried arborio rice balls (arancini di riso). I enjoyed the salad a lot and my husband loved the fried rice!!! He drank Rahr & Sons, Blonde Lager, Fort Worth, Texas. My drink was a nice glass of Rose Bieler Pere et Fils, Provence, 2011.

The food arrived very quickly and it was super tasty! My husband ordered the Local Farm Chicken. It was served on the bone, with swiss chard, spring onions, and sherry reduction. My got the Halibut. It was a super small piece, served on top of super BUTTERY Texas sweet corn, heirloom tomato, and pepper. I liked it and my favorite part was the tomato: small cherry tomatoes, slowly cooked, and peeled. So sweet and velvety!

We were excited about the dessert: Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit. But when we tried it, it was salty, not sweet at all. Honestly, I think the pastry chef forgot to put sugar in the recipe. It needs a lot of sweetness. Besides, the blueberries were not sweet, so overall, we didn't ended with sweet, but more like with a cheese course.

Craft on Urbanspoon

Leaf lettuce salad, arancini di riso, olives for appetizer

Local Farm Chicken, swiss chard, spring onions, and sherry

Halibut on Texas Sweet Corn, Heirloom Tomato and Pepper

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit


  1. You feature Loch Duart Salmon in your blog. Loch Duart puts a lot of effort and money in giving the impression of a sustainable operating company. Which they are not because Loch Duart Inc. is among the companies with the highest use of toxic chemicals in all of Scotland. To find out the truth about this green washing industrial fish farming company please have a look here:

    1. When I cook at home, I try to buy the best quality food I can find around. However, when I eat out, I try to find the best restaurants. Then, I just hope that the chefs are using sustainable products. I mentioned Lock Duart Salmon, because this is what I was served in one of the best restaurants in Dallas, but I don't personally use it at home.