Did a search on the boards and saw some passing references, but I am wondering if any of you have been to Driftwood and have suggested do's or don'ts. Going Saturday night and always appreciate Chowhound intel.
I've been a number of times and generally found it to be very good though they recently updated with a Fall menu and I haven't tried it since. Also, with Casa Rubia opening I don't know if that will detract from Omar Flores' time at Driftwood. As for dishes, I recommend the octopus. I would also avoid the compressed watermelon and fish (I forget what kind) appetizer. It's beautiful like a mosaic but not very tasty.
Lots of folks rave about the octopus. I thought it was only so-so. I very much liked the lobster roll. Spicier than most without detracting from the rich, full lobster flavor -- not an easy balancing act to maintain.
As someone else noted, the portions are small. That's not usually a problem, ill jet get two appetizers if I know. But the menu is so small, you'd pretty much have to order everything. I rarely eat dessert, so I can't report in that.
I did thin that the wine list was very poor for a restaurant with the quality of cooking and ingredients. Looked put together by a wine wholesaler. No real small gems or real surprises on it. We'd eat there much more often if they had a better list, or allowed BYOW (even with a substantial corkage). On the plus side, the wines are not expensive at all.
Like most restaurants these days, the noise level is unpleasant. Very much so on the weekends. But that seems ubiquitous these days.
The place has promise, but there are a number of things that hold it back. On the quality of the food, I'd eat there once or twice a month if they had better wine, more variety, and less noise. But, alas, that is apparently not to be.
Driftwood is excellent. One of the better restaurants in Dallas as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure I've tried the current menu, so I can't recommend too many specifics, but...
1) I'd stick with seafood. Their non-seafood items are typically outstanding as well... but their focus is seafood. For instance, the sous chef used to work at Lucia - so, as you can imagine the quality of the pasta dishes has been great.
2) I, personally, would skip the lobster roll. A lot of people love it... but in the end it's just a lobster roll. You'll get a better example of what they can do from the other dishes.
Otherwise, I'd say go for it. From the menu they have online, I'd point out that Nantucket Bay Scallops are delicious and seasonally limited - so it might be worth trying them out. The octopus dish is great, and their shrimp dishes are often surprisingly good (although I haven't tried the current version).
The first time I ate there, I got salmon. I'm not sure why... seemed kind of mundane, but for some reason I wanted to try it. It was fantastic! Perfectly perfectly cooked, lightly kissed with smoke, and all of the garnish and accoutrements enhanced it beautifully. I've had it a couple of time since, and those were also great. There's no salmon, currently - but I'd consider giving that Arctic Char a shot as well.
I went a few months ago as a party of 4 (two of whom are regulars on this board). With the exception of a very uninspired pasta dish, all the food was all very well prepared with excellent flavors.
Our two major complaints were the noise level (the acoustics made it nearly impossible to have a conversation even though we were shouting and seated across a narrow table), and some of the portion sizes were excessively tiny.
I'm not one to expect giant portions, and I enjoy fine dining often enough to be accustomed to small servings, but my scallop entree was barely large enough to be an appetizer. I was served exactly three rather small scallops. The vegetable puree that was to accompany the scallops was also barely there.
The scallops were impeccably prepared, but they should have adjusted the count and plating for these these particular small scallops. Everyone else at the table was rather flabbergasted as well, especially for the price.
Would we go back? Yes, but only if friends suggested it. We probably won't go back on our own, mostly because of the noise level. I'd be willing to write the scallop dish off as a mistake and imagine that it's fine when they have larger scallops on hand.
I was just about to mention the portion size. The lobster roll is miniature ... you're far better off going to 20 Feet. One nice thing about the portion size is you'll be able to try a number of different things. However, there's nothing miniature about the prices.
The food is good, but I do prefer adult-size portions. It's not a tea party, it's dinner.
We went last night. We had the Oysters, Crudo, a pasta appetizer -- basically pot roast, with vege's with an extruded pasta, the Octopus, butter poached shrimp, and the kimchi brussel sprouts.
Overall, the food was good --but outside of the brussel sprouts nothing was great. The Brussel sprouts were awesome and I will think about them for a long while.
Experience for the price, I was a bit disappointed. The restaurant is beautiful, but the tables were so close together, I could smell the guys whiskey to my left every time he took a sip. The wine list (as mentioned above) was subpar for the caliber of the food. When we asked about a couple of Pinots, we where told what state they were made, but no characteristics of the wine. I am pretty sure where Williamette is...
The service was a bit hurried. All in all for my dining buck, I will probably choose another restaurant, but if we were invited to meet friends there, I would be happy, but my expectations would be lower and I would certainly have the Brussel Sprouts.