Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Ritz Carlton Dallas

You know, I probably shouldn't have had those two glasses of champagne before Laurel and I got into the cab. She got an earful of my thoughts on recent life dramas, not to mention my potty mouth. And so did the cab driver. Not that either really cared and in fact, cab driver seemed pretty entertained by the whole affair.

There was more wine to follow at our monthly group outing. Pretty much all social protocol was out the window for me. Figures I would be going to the Ritz Carlton that night, about the only place left where social protocol is a requirement. But it all turned out well.

I wasn't able to get a reservation for a group of 10 on my own. Apparently the anchor restaurant, Fearing's, is still quite the hotspot. Hotel Goddess flexed her director-of-stuff muscle and presto, we magically got a table. Thank you Hotel Goddess.

The Ritz in Dallas was not what I was expecting. Certainly beautiful and elegant by any definition but the details were funky and very different from the more stately, regal Ritz's in other cities.

In order to get into Fearing's you must first pass through the insanely crowded Rattlesnake Bar. Also beautiful, what you can see of it, but an obvious Cougar and Cougar-bait den. Kudos to 40-something women chasing down 20-something men but there is a point at which your 40-something self is trying too hard. These women have sincerely crossed over that line. I won't be visiting the Rattlesnake Bar.

Rattlesnake Bar @ RC Dallas

Fearing's itself is a group of cozy dining areas, each having it own atmosphere, all of which were beautifully done. Each room spoke to a special occasion night. And at the nose-bleed prices of about $45-$50 a entree, I can see only going for special occasions.

The menu leans quite heavily to the southwest and asian, which has become a new fusion craze in the Dallas area.

I could not resist trying the Lobster Bisque with Lemongrass and Coconut. Good thing it was only a small bowl because no matter how much was in the bowl, I was going to eat it all. The best bisque I've had in years! I really liked the little lobster "donut" at the bottom and the fact that they brought the bisque out separately in a "decanter" and poured over the donut. Its a good thing we waited to try the restaurant when we did since this item just went on the menu last week.

While all of the entrees sounded great, I decided to go off menu for the special - Virgina Bass with Pumpkin Seed and Chili Mole served over JalapeƱo Queso Fresco Matzo Balls. I know, it sounds crazy, like there are too many flavors and textures on one plate, but it worked fantastically well. The heat from the matzo balls spiced up the layer of mole, which enhanced with out overpowering the bass. I'm a fan!

Reactions were mixed on desserts but overall everyone loved this place and we will definitely go back when our pocketbooks allow.

Oh, fair warning, if you use the valet service at Ritz be prepared to wait 30 minutes (both entering and exiting) most nights. Its a work in progress trying to keep up with demand in very small space.

2121 Mckinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 922-4848

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Blogger john said...

One glass of champagne and I'm completely gone.
I love when restaurants separate the bisque from the lobster meat. For some reason it always tastes better.

3:03 PM

Blogger Jim said...

John, I thought it was a nice touch. And you're right, it does taste better!

9:28 PM


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