Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of May 3rd)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Gratify

I've got some major beef with the potato chips served at Gratify. These chips, the bar's equivalent of complimentary bread and butter, are crinkle-cut and fried in-house, which is admirable. But they're also sliced so thick that, in order to get them to crisp, the kitchen has to practically burn them. What you end up with is a basket of potatoes either bottom-of-the-fryer brown, or soggy and limp without any sort of satisfying crackle. More >>

Dallas

Hibiscus

The first taste of the baked Dungeness crab dip provoked a moment of quiescence. The silence, short-lived, was followed by ravenous arm wrestling for more. The appetizer dip, served with shards of unleavened bread--think matzo par excellence--was a reward for the tortuous hunt for non-valet parking in the eatery-heavy Knox-Henderson district. Better suited for a party of four or more, the dip was a portent of the meal to come at Hibiscus, an unabashedly New American restaurant. Praise the West and its ability to meld super-sized portions and exquisite tastes! Here was no affected nouvelle shop. Here was American cuisine--with a Pacific bent--and its knack to push boundaries, be they of flavors or waistlines. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"Its chef might have changed, but the food at Hibiscus--in this photo, crispy skate wing with roasted marble potatoes--is worth the price."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of April 26th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Café Sharaku

For writers, there are times when, no matter how clear an idea seems in your head, you just can't commit it to paper. Everything comes out as unidentifiable gibberish. It's daunting, especially after having invested hours of time and energy into a piece. But the best thing to do in such a case -- and the hardest -- is to just stop, delete the entire mess, and start over. More >>

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John Linn
Café Sharaku's soufflé.

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of April 19th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

SoLita Restaurant and Ultra Lounge

It was a Friday night, and my fiancée and I were getting ready to go out to SoLita, an Italian-themed restaurant and "ultra lounge" on Las Olas. I rummaged through my dresser drawer and pulled out a gold chain I hadn't worn since high school. I slipped it around my neck and unbuttoned the top button of my collared shirt. More >>

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Eric Barton
Italian poppers filled with ricota.

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of April 12th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

The Office

The place settings at the Office in Delray Beach are littered with profound -- or is that profoundly unprofound? -- quotes about food printed on them. One line in particular caught my attention: "Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." More >>

Dallas

Dallas Chop House

Since the age of the Cro-Magnon, Dallas has had the hell whomped out of it by all manner of steakhouses serving all manner of wet-aged, prime, wagyu, Angus, choice, dry-aged, and just plain horseshit beef. But we've never had a wet red meat romp quite like Dallas Chop House. DCH is a $3 million, 5,700-square-foot design-intensive beef sanctum on the ground floor of the Comerica Building, a modern take on the classic barrel vault element as interpreted by famed architect Philip Johnson. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"Just when you thought a high-end steakhouse is a steakhouse is a steakhouse, along comes Dallas Chop House."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of April 5th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Lovey's Roti / Lucky City / The Curry Hut

Ordering a plate of chicken curry with roti at Lovey's Roti in Sunrise (8336 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise; call 954-741-9212) isn't a one-step process. As in many of the dozens of West Indian-style eateries scattered throughout West Broward, questions abound: "Roti or rice?" Or "Wrapped or on the side?" Or, quite simply, "Peppa?" More >>

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John Linn
"A feast at the Curry Hut in Margate includes chicken curry with potato, pumpkin and chickpeas/potato, dhalpourie roti stuffed with lentil flour, hot peppa sauce, and a cold Dragon Stout and Solo orange."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of March 29th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Le Patio

We watched Veronique Leroux put together lunch from our table in the rear garden at Le Patio in Wilton Manors. There were no other people eating outside besides my partner and me, so Leroux had propped the back door open to give us a view inside the petite restaurant, no larger than an ordinary hallway. More >>

Dallas

Ocean Prime

On a day when you're feeling all up in your fine self, when your wrinkle-fillers have smoothed out the frown lines and your good car is out of the shop, that's the day to go to Ocean Prime. Because any other day? You're going to feel way out of place in this jernt. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"The see-and-be-seen crowd gathers at Ocean Prime, though you'd think they'd prefer better-tasting fish."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of March 22nd)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Nu-Sushi

What most people know about Japanese food they could cram into a chopstick case, which isn't to say it's their fault. For a cuisine so rooted in tradition, restaurants that claim to serve it have strayed pretty far from the source material. Blame the ubiquitous strip-mall sushi joint -- those nearly identical eateries slinging low-grade tuna by the caseload and farm-raised salmon the color of bad wallpaper. Or better yet, blame the California roll. If there's a more appropriate summation of a cuisine stripped of its value than a rice-smothered tube of imitation crab meat made from pulverized, colored fish paste, then I'd hate to hear it. More >>

Dallas

Naga Thai

N9NE tried it. Now they're no more. Nove Italiano tried it. Now they're no more. Now Naga Thai is trying it, opening a restaurant in the overpriced abyss known as Victory Park. Einstein once said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, is Naga Thai insane, or does it have a restaurant plan so crazy it just might work? More >>

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Sara Kerens
"Naga Thai rushes into Victory, where others fear to tread."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of March 15th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Sette Bello

I've been asking myself what makes good service. It's not just because I've received so little of it -- though a distinct lack of anything will make you question what's so great about it in the first place. There are the nuts and bolts, of course -- proper wine presentation, a level of courtesy, the carefully timed arrival of plates and their efficient clearing. More >>

Dallas

Artin's Grill

Artin's Grill is a gush of earnest, approachable sophistication wreathed in a blast of hickory smoke. At Artin's, no detail is overlooked: faux wood parquet tiles line the section dividers, only they're made of brass, which means the faux is fancier than the thing being faked. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"Sesame-seared ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes--Artin's brings understated sophistication to the Shops at Legacy."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of March 8th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

El Guanaco Taqueria y Antojitos

We were already stuffed when we started looking at dessert, having just feasted on fluffy pupusas larded with stringy cheese, crispy fried tostones, and pollo à la plancha smothered with a rustic sofrito of tomatoes, onions, and peppers. But after all that food, what my friend and I really longed for was something sweet to put a sugary punctuation mark at the end of our meal. More >>

Dallas

Tramontana

This ain't your mother's bistro. No, it's your grandmother's. And if you visit Tramontana of an evening, though not too long past the witching hour of 8, you'll likely see a few other people's grannies here too. They'll be accompanied by nicely dressed adult grandchildren and, if some have been bribed to come along, a younger great-grandkid or two, urged to stifle yawns during Meemaw's birthday dinner or risk being cut out of the will. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"If you like your restaurants immutable--same food, same clientele, same scenery--you'll love Tramontana."

Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of March 1st)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Mona Lisa Coal Oven Pizza

There's a scene in Mario Puzo's The Godfather in which Clemenza, having just overseen the assassination of Paulie in the back of his car, says to his partner, "Leave the gun. Take the cannolis." It figures a rough mobster like Clemenza would turn his thoughts to food immediately after whacking an old friend. Death, after all, is common. But dessert -- now that's something special. More >>

Dallas

Bailey's Prime Plus, Park Lane

"Wow. Looks kind of like a casino," I said to my BFF (best food friend) as we approached the entrance. "Or a strip club." An upscale one at that. It wasn't that the place looked sleazy--more grand than gaudy. The good news is, once we stepped inside, it turned out Bailey's Prime Plus, Park Lane (not to be confused with Bailey's two other metroplex locations) was sans the predictable "good ol' boy" Dallas steakhouse snootiness. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"Bailey's steaks may be man-sized, but it's a welcoming place for women too."