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Dec 25, 2012 06:23 PM

Spoon Bar & Kitchen

Wow, this place is fantastic. I'm predicting that Leslie Brenner will give this a five star alongside Tei-An.

I've been several times and had different things each time. As you'd expect, John Tesar is a master. He's in rare form with seafood, and everything is executed perfectly. Something as imaginative as a "mosaic" of crudo to simple fish with veggies, all done with confidence. I can't think of another place with this caliber of seafood (or food for that matter). Without going into details, suffice it to say that everything was terrific. I know that's cliche, but it's the truth. There wasn't a single misstep.

The only thing I see holding back this restaurant is the service. It's friendly but inattentive. They almost always mess something up - sometimes it's leaving my obviously empty drink unattended (it ended up staying on the table the entire meal, until it was filled with melted ice cubes), they forget the bread, they once forgot the menu until I had to ask for it. On and on. That's a no-no at a restaurant that charges as much as they do (they even have the gall to charge for plain water!). I hope they can iron it out before the reviewers pounce.

Another odd annoyance - they don't have a bartender. The bartender's just another waiter. On multiple occasions, I saw my waiter go behind the bar to make the cocktail I just ordered. That's bush league. The cocktail menu isn't very imaginative either. The wine menu is oppressively short as well. You'd think they could hire a dedicated bartender.

But none of this matters because the food truly is that good. It overrides everything else. Go soon if you haven't already! I see this place getting white hot and impossible to reserve in the very near future.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I know I've experienced service issues at Cedars Social (not sure the depth of his involvement there?). Am I remembering correctly that The Commissary had them as well?

    9 Replies
    1. re: foiegras

      You remember right, foiegras. I actually loved The Commissary back in the day and walked there all the time for great burgers. The farmer burger with the duck egg -- superb. But the service sucked, they jacked up their prices, and the place inevitably imploded after 18 months I think. It's been replaced by The Greek, a Mediterranean spot I haven't tried yet.

      1. re: AugustusMedici

        Just checked out the menu for Spoon ... very heavy on seafood. Doesn't seem terribly balanced?

        I'm thinking this place should be called Fish Fork ...

        1. re: foiegras

          I just had a look at their menu. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but, aren't Kumamoto oysters illegal in Texas?

          1. re: twinwillow

            I don't know the specifics, but I don't think Kumamotos are illegal in Texas. I've seen them on Nonna's menu several times before.

            1. re: AugustusMedici

              Yes, a number of well known restaurants in Dallas are serving them. But, they're not supposed to. Read the article in it's entirety

              1. re: twinwillow

                Oh sorry, didn't even seen you had an article linked. It seems to explain that restaurants interpret that restriction applies to fisheries only, not eating establishments. Until enforcement cracks down with fines, I guess restaurants will continue to sell them.

                1. re: AugustusMedici

                  I hope so. Kumamoto (and Belons) are my favorite oysters.

          2. re: foiegras

            Haha you have a point. In fairness though, it is supposed to be a seafood restaurant. Even still, it's not as balanced as Oceanaire or some other seafood palace. Spoon does offer a good steak and a designer salad-of-the-day. Still, it's not a place I would take people that hate seafood.

            Another irony is that you really only get a spoon in the end for dessert and coffee. Why they named it Spoon, I have no idea.

            1. re: AugustusMedici

              I love seafood and I think it's a great menu
              (for me).