Lanny's - DFW (A footnote)
No need to recreate the extensive review that Scott provided(with photos)of Lanny's Alta Cocina in Ft. Worth. All I will add is that my visit to the new Lanny's (adjacent to Michael's) on Saturday was a remarkable dining experience.
Lanny is the new Stephan Pyles and he is in the kitchen.
The room is high California in decor. Lots of muted browns, cremes with a classy but understated feel. There is also an outside terrace that would be a great choice in the Fall.
The menu was as Scott described and photographed. We chose the tasting menu with foie gras supplement (6 courses) with wine pairings to give it a broad first time look. Every course was very good to spectacular. The spectacular were the guacamole flan amuse', the halibut over charro beans and the tres leches creme brulee. The CB was my finest ever. Other courses were the tamale, foie gras, hamachi, and blossom soup.
Our only gluttonous complaint was that some of the dishes were so tasty that we all wanted more and more.
The 5 course tasting is $60 and the foie gras is $15 more and well worth it.
Overall it was a worthy destination restaurant experience that I will do again. At the moment the very most interesting DFW restaurants to me are Lanny's and Lonesome Dove. Even if Pyles' new restaurant is good, you know he won't be the one in the kitchen, which takes away a little of the shine. Tim and Lanny are in there slinging hash everynight.
I had dinner at Lanny's Saturday night with Gallery night in full force. It was my second visit, the first being to the original location. I found the dining area to be very comfortable. The service was attentive without being hovering. Instead of opting for the tasting menu, we decided to branch out and order a la carte because there was too much more to taste. We ended up with 3 tapas, soup, salad, 2 entrees and 3 dessert with the fois gras option, do not pass that one by. The bill for 2 without wine came to $145. Less than the tasting menu would of been. Lanny is going to be changing the menu in the next couple of weeks and is going to go heavier on seafood and vegetables. So now I have a reason to go back. That and the Avedon exhibit opens at the Amon Carter next weekend. I think Lanny Lancarte is doing some of the best food in the entire metro area. He is cooking far better than some of the hot shots over in Dallas do, by far. Much more creative with flavors and inventive combinations. But all of those flavors are a direct reflection of his heritage so it is balanced and well thought out. That fois gras was pretty tasty stuff.
Just wanted to mention, recently visited Lanny's for the first time. Expectations were high due to what I've read here :)
Unfortunately my experience didn't quite live up to them.
My foie gras was expertly cooked, but the results were competent rather than ecstatic ... no moans from our table ;) My main dish was duck served on chanterelle and cactus risotto. the risotto was perfectly nice, except that the cactus was completely flavorless, so there seemed little point in its being there. The duck was far from the best I've had ... it was a large breast, hacked rather than carved into thick hunks. Dessert was some kind of custardy thing ... the best part of it was a huge, perfect raspberry.
The amuse bouche was fine ... a little piece of fried shrimp I believe over baby greens with a balsamic dressing. The dressing was warm, while the shrimp was at room temperature, which was a bit odd. The peanut butter truffles at the end of the meal were OK.
My companion (recovering from chemo/radiation) loved her food and said she could have kept eating all night, and she hasn't really had an appetite in awhile. She had the scallops and couscous. Banana crepe for dessert--she said the crepe was underdone, and that's definitely how it looked. Don't remember what she had for an appetizer ... something with goat cheese??
The menu is very heavy on seafood, which limited my options as I don't really care for fish.
We had three instead of four courses, and were glad based on how filling the entrees were ... both of ours had a prominent grain component. With four we'd have burst.
The service was pleasant and friendly but inexpert. The waitstaff's personal grooming could be improved. The maitre d' brought me a black napkin ... but after the white was already on my lap. Same thing for the wine list ... it was falling apart and he brought me a new one. From this perspective, it came across as a more-recently opened restaurant than it is.
The parking lot is tiny, and you really can't self-park. They charge you to park there via valet parking ... they have the open spots, all of them, coned. When we left, my car was parked directly next to the valet stand, which I found a bit ridiculous. $5 for them to drive my car around the block? So I'm not a fan of valet parking :)
The other thing I noticed is that when you walk up the ramp to the entrance, it's narrow enough that with the palm trees growing over it, it's really a one-way deal--people can't comfortably pass each other.
I wasn't blown away, and I hope it's not the best restaurant in Fort Worth ;) I don't think it is.
Groan! This does not bode well. I still DROOL over Scott's pictures (www.dallasfood.org/modules.php?name=N...) but it sounds like the place has slipped a bit. I guess it's hard to produce repeatable high quality food and service in a high end restaurant.
I HATE valet parking. I'd rather walk a block out of my way than deal with the hassle.
Would you expand on "The waitstaff's personal grooming could be improved"?
Looked at the pix again & I definitely see what you mean ... that doesn't look like the food I ate :) Granted, that's the tasting menu and we ordered from the regular menu, but there should be similarities.
I think those pix were from before it was standalone, right? Wonder if not having the mature support system has made a difference ...
Yes, I can ... both the waiter and the waitress visibly needed Kleenex. Rather unappetizing ;)
Here are some photos from a meal at Lanny's about a month and a half ago. I didn't notice any slip in quality, despite the fact that Lancarte was out of the kitchen the night of this meal.
I've noticed on my visits to Lanny's that you can park several places other than in their parking lot. There are places on the street, in the lot 30 feet across the street and in the lot about 20 yards on the other side of their building. But yeah, most valet in suburban areas is absurd!
Service problems are rampant all over town. I'm worn out with young, inexpert servers.
Lanny's soups are some of the best I've had anywhere, and his fish dishes are better than any other place in FW.
I tried Lanny's randomly (shot in the dark) late in 2006 with a party of three. Although the food was interesting, I have to agree with foiegras... I wasn't that impressed. I am thinking that maybe we hit it on an off night or something due to all the great reviews from people I normally agree with...
The service was a little lacking (slow, not very attentive or interested), we were stuck in THE farthest back table even though we were there when the restaurant opened (5:30 with reservation - we had a show to catch that night) and even by the time we left there were masses of four tops available. The food WAS interesting, but some of the flavors just seemed off.
Don't shoot me... I'll try again and report back...