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May 5, 2006 11:53 AM

Standard in Dallas - Crummy meal

  • d

Went to Standard a few nights ago. First bad sign was the waiter professing ignorance about any wine that was less than $100/bottle. He did, finally, find someone who could advise us, and the wine we chose was quite good. We shared foie gras and the cheeses as appetizers. The foie gras was fine; the cheese selection was not very impressive (and far from generous) - many other places execute this very simple idea better. As far as the entrees are concerned, the scallops were just plain bad - they tasted as if someone had dumped a fistful of salt on them. The grilled duck breast was excellent, but the accompanying confit was mushy and (again) excessively salty. The madelleines for dessert were o.k., but nothing special; the ice crem was mostly melted by the time we got it.

I know this place has gotten very positive reviews from 'hounds - which is why we went there. We were not impressed at all. Maybe we caught them on a bad night, but a restaurant that charges what Standard does should not have a bad night on a Saturday.

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  1. Sorry to hear it. I've been 20+/- times and never had a bad meal. All I could really take away from your experience was too much salt. That is info that the chef needs to hear. Especially at those prices, as you say.

    1. Totally agree with you Alice. Had a very disappointing experience there about three months ago and have NO desire to return. The worst part about our evening was the service. There was all kinds of confusion surrounding our reservation-finally it was found, but we weren't seated for an hour and half after the time it was supposed to be, and worst of all, ZERO apologies were made for our wait. In fact, the hostess was downright rude and completely condescending. After racking up a sizeable bar bill while waiting, a friend of mine found drinks on her tab that she had not ordered. When she nicely asked the bartender about this, he came out from behind the bar, and pointed at one of our friends, and shouted "HE ORDERED THOSE DRINKS! HE DID!" To which my poor friend said he did not, but the bartender would not let down. My poor friend paid for drinks she did not order because the bartender (and the manager, following the original outburst) simply did not believe her when she said she didn't order them. Quite frankly I was appaled at the behavior by the waitstaff and managers, and I can't believe they think they can treat people this way and expect them to return or put out a good word. Forget it-they lost eight food and wine- loving customers that night!

      2 Replies
      1. re: SME

        Let me begin by saying that I have never had either a bad meal or bad service at Standard. The question that begs to be answered is why you even considered eating at the restaurant after the treatment you report at the bar.

        1. re: Brent Howard

          Totally true...great question. We did consider leaving, but I think we just kept thinking surely, things would improve! Standard has gotten rave reviews, and bad bar service nonwithstanding, we did want to try their food. Which was delicious. Despite that fact, I don't plan on returning, especially when there several other establishments in town who are really trying hard to get people in the door, feed them well, and treat them well.

      2. We ate there a couple of months age, after Brent's intial rave review. Our experience was neither as good as Brent's, nor as bad as the two here.

        We had a reservation, and the wait for a table was inexcusably long -- 45 minutes to an hour. Again, no apologies, nor were we kept updated. In my mind, if they're going to be an hour late, what's the point of a reservation.

        The food, however, ranged from good to very good. One oyster apetizer was a bit over the top and not really my favorite style, but for what it was, bordered on spectacularly good. The service we had was very professional and very friendly once we got to the table.

        The wine list, however, I thought was less than spectacular. Markups were on the high end, and no real gems on the list. I can live with the high markups, although I prefer not to, but, I want to see some fine and rare bottles. To me the list is a bit pedestrian for the markups that they have. I recall seeing a few names I knew in Chateaunuef du Pape, but they were 2002, one of the worst recent vintages. Same with Bordeaux. Known names, off vintages. Looked like a wine list put to gether by a distributor trying to get rid of wines rather than a wine list put together by a wine lover.

        I'd like to go back, but I'm very choosy about the wine list in a restaurant. And right now, at least based on the one I saw, they're well behind York Street, Local, and not even in the same zip code as Lola. But, in their defense, I can count very few restaurants that offer the combination of value and selection that Lola has in terms of a great wine list. Some may have a better selection (though none in Dallas), and a small hand full may match it for value, but I know of none that have as good a combination.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Mike Miller

          This thread contains enough service horror stories to think there is a problem at Standard that must be fixed. I hope they do because the food is quite good. By the way, Mike, your comments re: the Lola wine list are right on. When it comes to vino Van IS the Man.

          1. re: Brent Howard

            According to the D magazine blog ( ), they are now closed.

            1. re: Webra1

              I just called (30 minutes ago) to arrange a party for 20 and the recording says that they have closed there doors. Sorry to hear it. I had several very good experiences there. Hopefully Tim will do something again soon.