DFW - Charlie Palmer
Tried this last night!
The decor was very sleek and inviting, and the service was perfect--not overbearing and not absent. I couldn't, howver, tell for sure who our actual server was, because several people took orders from us, etc.
Rube Beet Duo--excellent goat cheese in the layered beet portion, but the flavor was a little bland on the salad portion of the duo. It also had frisee lettuce, which was not mentioned in the description. It is my least favorite lettuce, so I would have appreciated a heads up.
Pear Salad--very good. The menu on the net says it has blue cheese. This did not. It would have been better with it. The crisp on top was a nice touch.
Monkfish--excellent quality and good sauce. I didn't care for the limp onions it came on. They lacked flavor and just did not go well with the fish.
Flat Iron Steak--outstanding--melted in your mouth. Cooked perfectly and loved the sauce.
Creamed Spinach--perfect and seasoned well.
Creamy Polenta--very good and cheesy.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate dessert (forgot the name)--amazing. Enough for two and loved it.
Trio of Tarts--you can choose any 3--we got key lime (good but a little too sweet), pecan (also good but the consistency was a little dry), and espresso mocha (the best!).
Their computerized wine list was neat if you are ok w/gadgets (I am). I loved how you could sort it any way you like--by region, by country, by grape. They offer a paper version if you prefer. The high-end selections were VERY reasonably priced. We ordered a 1995 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron ($155). When the sommelier brought it out, he only had the 1996. The 1996 is one of my favorite years from Bordeaux, so I was fine w/it. Also, I THINK the RP rating is 91 for the 1996 and 90 for the 1995. There was a drop of wine on the label that worried me a little. I tasted and it was fabulous! The drop came from elsewhere, because the cork was fine--no leaking at all. With dessert, I had a Colheita port. I can't remember the producer, but it started with a "K" I think. Colheita was misspelled on the menu--no biggie, but I was surprised, since the restaurant has such a great wine focus. I have only see Colheita ports in 2 restaurants in Dallas. York St was one (last time I was there they didn't have it anymore), and I can't remember the other...the port was excellent!
The only annoyance I have was that we made the reservation at the last minute. The reservation person said they could only do 6:00 or 9:00. She then agreed to do 6:30. The restaurant was barely half full. 7:00 or 7:30 (or any other time) would have been NO problem at all. I don't think they need to try to create hype like that. They should just depend on how well they are doing things. After Guidelive reviews this place, I think it will be extremely busy.
In sum, the meal was great, and I will definitely go there again soon!
Just got back from dinner. I read the dallasfood.org review and agree with most of it. The service kinks were more than ironed out. The staff was attentive but not intrusive. A+ for decor. The Sommelier was very helpful as the computerized wine list was a bit overwhelming.
Here are the highlights:
RUBY BEET DUO- It is tough to make beets taste good but when you throw in goat cheese, chives, taragon and thyme it really does the trick.
AUTUMN PEAR SALAD- Well executed with great textures and flavors. Interestingly, pear was a minor note but when you find it, it is very refreshing.
LOBSTER CORNDOG- a sample from the chef. These were delightful and were served with a spicy mustard.
LENTIL-CRUSTED MONKFISH- really good. I was overwhelmed at this point.
TRUFFLED PHEASANT TAGINE- My girlfriend ordered this and I was a bit jealous. It is served in a traditional handmade tagine which looked straight out of Marrakech (sans the lead paint... I hope). I had a few bites and it was perfectly done.
QUINOA- (Keen-Wa) This was my first time with this and it reminded me of couscous. A great compliment to the tagine but not so much for the monkfish.
TRUMPET ROYALE - A firmer mushroom cooked in olive oil. My girlfriend insisted that she tasted sunflower oil. She is crazy and prone gustatory hallucinations.
HOMEMADE SORBETS/ICECREAM- A generous serving, enough for two. You can mix and match several flavors.
I will be heading back to sample the rest of the menu before the rest of the city discovers it.
Menu is here:
Visited on Saturday night 1-12
The restaurant and bar are very nice, one of the most attractive I have seen in Dallas.
Started in the bar, the bartenders seem to be inexperienced, but were trying hard. They were hand squeezing juices, measuring pours with a jigger and using premium mixers (ie Fever Tree tonic). Complimentary bar snacks included good potato chips and assorted olives. A martini was $12 and the house specialty drinks were $15
Once seated we were presented with the electronic wine list which I liked, as you could search the list with many different criteria. Unfortunately, our wine order "disappeared" and relulted in a 30 minute wait for wine. It was not our first stop of the night, so we only had mains and sides. One dry aged NY Sirloin, Arctic Char, Spinach, Polenta, and Artichokes. The steak ordered medium rare arrived past medium. It was sent back, and this created the awkard part of the evening where my date is eating without me, and all the sides are getting cold. The second steak was cooked to the requested medium rare, but was unremarkable as far as taste, and the "beefyness" that you associate with nice steaks. Perhaps I would have been happier with the Flatiron steak that was the other choice on the menu. The arctic char was excellent and perfectly cooked, it was very moist and had a perfectly crisped skin. It was served with a few seasoned brussell sprout leaves, and a sauce I don't remember. The polenta was very good and very heavy, there must be mass quantities of butter and cheese in this dish. The spinach side which is listed on the menu as "spinach - parmesan" turned out to be creamed. It was very good, but for some reason we assumed it would be wilted, and not creamed. Between the heavy polenta and the creamed spinach, it was a little much. The artichokes listed as barigoule style was something that we have never encountered, and our waiter really didnt do a good job of explaining what it was. Basically it seemed to be warm, pickled artichoke hearts and carrots. Interesting, but not something I would order again. The chef sent out lobster corndogs as an amuse, and they were quite good.
The major drawback of the evening was the service, it was some of the worst I have had in a long time. Our waiter didnt have a clue, from the lost wine order, to not having silverware when needed, inability to talk about the menu, not there when needed, no checking back to see how the food was. All in all it was a great evening, the food was good, the restaurant is attractive, and having fun with my date helped to overcome the horrible service.
Total was 145 before tip with a $50 bottle of wine, not including the bar.
One other note, the place was 100% full, and the bar was packed.
Barigoule style artichokes are fresh articholekes that are braised in a mixture of (usually) garlic, olive oil, white wine, mirepoix, leeks, lemon juice, herbs (thyme), and sometimes chicken stock. It's not really a set recipe and can vary from preparation to preparation. Usually they are very good (the best way to cook an artichoke as far as I am concerned). If it tasted pickled they probably (obviously) overdid the acid.
The great thing about this preparation as well is that you can take the cooking liquid, reduce it WAY down, and then use it to flavor a vinaigrette or make a flavor base for an aioli. IIRC, the French Laundry cookbook has a recipe for this. I've made artichoke mayo with this before and it was excellent.
Glad to hear the meal was good. I'll have to give it a try sometime.