Dropping in on Matt McCallister at CampO, Oak Cliff
It's a cool space – and should be, as owners John Paul Valverde and Miguel Vicéns run the design shop Coevál Studio. They also had the good fortune of snagging former Stephan Pyles Exec Chef Matt McCallister to run the kitchen, for the time being at least. Matt has generated crazy buzz and amassed significant praise for his dishes at Campo – almost frustrating, in fact, for a guy about to leave to open his own signature restaurant in the burgeoning culinary destination that is the Dallas Design District. He can handle it.
^ Drool-inducing items for the food-lover. Let's eat:
^L: Chorrizo Fritters – Charred Oregano Aioli, Manchego;
^R: Smoked Baccalao (Salt Cod) Dip
^L: Roasted Cauliflower-Gratin Dip;
^R: Matt's house-made Charcuterie – Farmhouse Salumi, Rossette de Lyon, Sopprasata di Calabria, Lonzino, Chicken Liver Mousse
^L: Lambs Tongue Salad – Celery, Coriander, Pecan, Pear;
^R: Beef Heart Tartare – Mustard, Cider, Black Truffle
^L: The table devours:
Tonight's 3rd Coast Catch;
Acadian Dutch Mussels – Linguini, Carrot, House Pancetta, Bottarga;
Pressed Pork Shoulder – White Beans, Sage Chimichurri, Cippolini Onion Jus;
^R: Here's Matt's riff on the old skool snack Ants on a Log.
The next evening Matt introduced 11 new menu items – we'll have to get back while the gettin' is good! Actually, the staff Matt has in place in CampO's kitchen – including Josh Black, Ian Starr and Matt Gatsey – are very talented as well. In fact, Gatsey staged at Alinea and Gramercy Tavern and was on staff at Per Se. It will be interesting to follow the team's progress after Matt takes his leave.