WILDWOOD GRILL REVIEW IN FW STAR TELEGRAM
Has anyone read today's review of the Wildwood Grill in Southlake????
This Mark Stuertz must have just received a new literary dictionary and decided to use any simile that came through his head!!
I had a coworker read the article and she agreed with me that it was nauseating just reading this. We have wondered what the Wildwood was like but now, we're not sure we're going to try it just based on this terrible read.
"An amber glow spills from cofferlike fixtures of translucent fabric twined with leather lace"
Such imagery. lol I think he's read too many Harlequin romance novels......
By Wildwood's website, looks like they're marrying Southwestern/Medi/Asian with a little down home Southern mixed in. Interesting combo of flavors to say the least. Maybe it will work for them.
I guess you never read any of his reviews in the Observer. He's always written like this. Don't worry DallasDude there's one and only Mark Stuertz. Good thing to or it would require a graduate degree in E-lit to pick out a good restaurant. I always found his reviews interesting, if occasionally puzzling. Just tell yourself that it's good to expand your vocabulary before you start to read any of his reviews.
Here's the review for anyone who can get through it ... I read all I could stand, from which I gathered this is another typical FW restaurant offering.
I have a degree in English ... I think a degree in cryptology would be handier.
Where there's smoke, there's delicious Wildwood Grill
Where there's smoke, there's the deliciously bold Wildwood
By MARK STUERTZ
Special to dfw.com
Star-Telegram/Max FaulknerWood-grilled Atlantic salmon with basmati rice, jicama-cucumber salad and tomatillo sauce and prime hanger steak, top right, with olive-oil mashed Yukon Gold potatoes
Browse restaurants by cuisine, neighborhood At its heart, Wildwood Grill strives to be a burly Texas maw of a restaurant. Witness the fiery thrusts in the pizza oven. Get a whiff of the oak and hickory fumes from the wood-fired grill. See the triumvirate of husky mirrors on the back wall, their frames as big as rafter planks.
To this ersatz virility, Wildwood adds flickers of feminine rhythms that are discernable on the plate. Wood-grilled Atlantic salmon ($14) is a meticulously cropped strip of fish resting on a plush pillow of basmati rice bathed in a mauve dapple of tomatillo sauce. The fish is topped with a delicate leafy coronet of jicama cucumber salad, its slight acidic pinch wrestling with the bitter sting of the salmon's crisped grilled char to effectively cut through the aquatic fats in the mouth. It's a tasty test of contrasts and symbiotic flavors and textures.
Those flickers blink in the room, too. Colors are bright and saturated: yellows, reds -- burnt, and browns. An amber glow spills from cofferlike fixtures of translucent fabric twined with leather lace, or so goes the impression. The lounge is separated from the dining space by an array of long, wavy sprigs -- Asiatic bamboo design points transmogrified by Texas grunt.
Or is it Southern lilt? Corn risotto fritters ($6) are as perfectly spherical as bronzed golf balls. A thick, brittle coat shields moist, steaming risotto grains. In the mouth it chews like a hearty melted cheese. A brisk basil vinaigrette dipper staunches what could potentially be a descent into intractable starch monotony.
This Southern timber takes a deeper, grittier turn with wood-fired chicken macaroni ($10), a sizzling hot skillet blanketed with a hissing mass of Swiss, Asadero, and cream cheeses trapping a swarm of elbow macaroni. Its skillet-stuck edges are just shy of charred, while red flecks of bacon granulate its hues and deepen its cheesy flavor. Sautéed mushrooms crunch; snow peas pop.
Once Southlake Tavern -- ultimately swept away in the 2008 bankruptcy of the company operating the Steak & Ale and Bennigan's Tavern restaurant chain -- the 250-seat Wildwood Grill devotes more than a third of its bulk to lounge space, which serves the signature Frozen Towers, a concoction made from a choice of four spirits served at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a few shy of the freeze point.
Though they don't appear on the lounge menu, the prime hanger steak tacos ($7) would be perfect fare for this space. They're staged on a handled wood plank mounted on a pedestal. A small hot skillet sizzles with tiny cubes of hanger steak over rice, a crown of pickled onions and a lime wedge for added zest. A row of flour tortillas -- folded with white tablecloth napkin precision -- butts up against the skillet. Open. Fill. Refold. Savor.
While most of Wildwood's gears mesh with nary a hitch, glitches do emerge. Sticky, smeary appetizer plates were set on our table not once, but twice. Desserts were mediocre. Wood-fired apple crisp with walnut-streusel topping ($4) was runny and its mingy top layer was far from crisp. Cinnamon brandy crème brulée ($4) was uniformly cold (instead of cool custard under warm bronzed sugar crust) with inconsistently textured custard.
Yet despite these stumbles, Wildwood is an affordable breath of fresh smoke in an era of smoked-out expectations.