Obviously, I was looking forward to the opening of Chef John Tesar's Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Preston Center for some time.
Everyone knows John and I are buddies – (I have no financial interest in the
restaurant, however I have consulted on certain design elements).
Regardless, it is my opinion that Spoon is excellent and is another
important chapter in the renaissance of the Dallas dining scene.
As the critics chime in (Dallas Observer, Modern Luxury, Dallas Morning News) the consensus has been extremely positive – I concur …and I get around. This place is good.
But critics are not always able to experience a restaurant with the depth afforded a devoted, food obsessed patron.
With that in mind, I'll do what I do best – here are a bunch of
pictures from some of the many meals I've enjoyed at Spoon, along with my trademark sentence fragments:
Spoon already has a crowd of devoted regulars and still sees its share
of curious customers looking for a glimpse of the deftly crafted
character Tesar has created and Top Chef promoted – "The Most Hated Chef
^L: Oyster and Truffle Stew
^L: Lobster Pot Pie
^ Remarkable Smoked Sturgeon Head Cheese.
Sommelier Sabrina Snodderley's wine program features interesting and nicely priced
selections that match wonderfully with the food. John and Sabrina
continue to add depth to the White Burgundy program – music to my ears.
Tesar's passion and pedigree are reflected in the constantly evolving
menu of exceptional seafood dishes as well as other "Not Fish"
selections (not pictured, lol.)
The recent addition of David Collier as pastry chef completes the meal in an artful manner – creative, whimsical and delicious:
To be sure, Tesar has his fair share of haters, and now – many more devotees. He is without question an outstanding seafood chef.
Spoon is easily one of the most important and exceptional new
Dallas restaurants to open in some time. The city's diners, critics, and even bloggers need to support and
encourage more of this passionate risk-taking and attention to detail –
less. …and the place also has a cool logo.
The Bravo details:
The Commissary in One Arts Plaza opened on the 20th, so I ran by and took some snaps of the goods.
^ My pal John Tesar makin’ it happen in The Commissary kitchen.
^ Opening Night: they hit the ground running!
^ The Farmer: fried duck egg and speck on brioche bun with eschire butter and white Vermont cheddar. This is so stupid good – resistance is futile.
^ The Dallas: roasted poblanos and pepper jack cheese and BBQ sauce on a sesame seed bun; ^ The Rib braised short rib, collard greens horseradish mayo on brioche bun.
^ The Magic Burger: aged cheddar, apple wood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles on a toasted English muffin.
^ The Tail End: braised pigs tail, ground pork, ground beef, and topped with roasted pork belly, green tomato chutney and jalapeño mayonnaise on a brioche bun; and the ^ The BIG TEX: ancho chili rubbed, salsa cruda, avocado relish and pickled jalapeños with chipotle mayo on a sesame seed bun.
^ Tempura Onion Rings; ^ Jalapeño Fries – Disco Style (big hit with our table).
Another ^ Dallas; and ^ Big Tex.
^ West Coast: lettuce, tomato, avocado, jack cheese and bacon with Special Sauce on a sesame seed bun; and another ^ The Farmer – just because it’s so awesome.
^ Yes, please.
^ KOBE Beef Hot Dog with chili, cheese, onions and sauerkraut; and the ^ Commissary Grilled Cheese: chiabta bread, mezzo seco, cave aged gruyere and fromage blanc fines herbs.
^ Classic Caesar with Parmesan crouton; ^ Paula Lambert mozzarella, vine ripe tomato, basil pesto, and Spicer arugula.
^ Guac; and ^ Parmesan Popcorn.
^ Corn meal fried Oysters; ^ JT’s Mac & Cheese.
^ Tartare Tostada; ^ White Lasagna with fried eggplant and Paula’s ricotta cheese.
^ Mortadella Spuma with grilled Tuscan bread crostini; and a Salumi Plate.
Pastry Chef Corey Thomson’s ^ Lemon Tart with Toasted Meringue & Lemon Ice Cream; and ^ Pistachio & Strawberry Financier with Strawberry Ice Cream. (also a Chocolate & Hazelnut tart with Caramelized Bananas & Chocolate Sorbet in the BG.)
^ some of Sommelier Scott Barber’s selections.
^ The kitchen is open Late Night; and a look at “The Table,” Tesar’s Chef’s Room – coming in May.
The space is open and bright in daylight.
^ Barman extraordinaire Michael Martensen has created Wine Cocktails, Sangrias and Punch Bowls. Here he whips up a new concoction featuring some of these excellent selections.
^ Friends and Family.
^ JT offers a bite of Kobe Hot Dog.
^ Sliders and Dogs were enjoyed by all.
^ Free Tap Wine and Beer flowed all evening as guests enjoyed the weather and beautiful patio settings.
^ Martensen's outstanding White Tea Sangria – get some!
…and finally some after hours shenanigans…
"It's a celebration, bitchez!"
^ Patrons express themselves. Welcome to The Commissary.
My 200th post:
Check out this peek at chef John Tesar’s new digs at One Arts Plaza: The Commissary.
The Commissary will feature gourmet burgers, small and large plates, wines by the bottle and glass, tap wine, beers, Michael Martensen’s sangria bowls, artisan sodas and a retail wine program.
Included is a look at the separate tasting room “The Table,” and some toys in the kitchen. The place should be open in a week or so. See you there!
Disclaimer: Friends and followers of my blog are no doubt aware that Tesar and I are buddies. As the concept for The Commissary developed, we collaborated on certain design elements including the logo and signage. I do not do criticism on my blog – but rather champion excellence. My opinion of Tesar as an excellent chef is shared by most anyone who has tasted his food. In that spirit, you will see additional posts about what is going on at this establishment – as you will for many other restaurants I feel strongly about. So, there. Go forth and eat, and support the food you love!