Our hunt for the best Sunday Funday spots in Dallas. Up this week: Remedy
ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Executive Editor
Valentine, my brunching companion, judges many restaurants more harshly by their soundscapes than their tablescapes. “Music is life!” he insists.
“Oxygen is just top 5… maybe 4.” Point is, for him, brunch is as much about atmosphere and vibe as culinary experience. (Mimosas, by the way, are probably one notch about oxygen for him as well.)
It’s difficult to argue with that logic, especially on the weekends. Brunch isn’t just breakfast we eat after the clock strikes noon, or a never-ending parade of sandwiches and daytime desserts (though, again, don’t knock ’em). There’s a social aspect to it that you can’t discount.
That doesn’t always mean you have to be in the center of Gayville or go only where your friends tell you to meet up. Sometimes it can be about discovering something new and delightful. And if the music is good? All the better.
For our first A Brunching of Gays outing, we visited a busy, buzzy Uptown eatery (The Social House); for the second, a low-key Cliffdwellers’ hang (Kessler Park Eating House); this time, we sought out the Renaissance neighborhood of Lower Greenville Avenue, which in the last three years has surpassed its glory days of the late 1980s and early ’90s (when clubs and dives predominated) to become one of the city’s most vibrant destinations.
The energy is now more hipster than homeowner, with a diverse clientele of foodies, funsters and freaks elbowing out the families.
Remedy — barely more than a year old — is one of the signature restaurants now on that strip. The space is high and narrow, with a rustic patio and shabby-chicness (chandeliers and tin-panel ceiling … but also exposed brick and visible plumbing). Its style is mirrored by neighbors like HG SPLY Co., Nora, Clark Food & Wine Co. and The Blind Butcher — it’s both urban and urbane, the kind of chef-driven concept with high-end cocktail menu that attracts flannel-clad and bearded sandal-wearers with more regularity than Lilith Fair: Remedy is trendy, but not too trendy; popular, but not helplessly mainstream. You might wait for a table (especially if you want to dine al fresco), but not for very long.
In that way, Remedy is less about the see-and-be-seen coffee klatch that many brunch places can turn into, and more about a shared appreciation for enjoying upscale dining but not selling out. You sense a fellowship with the other diners here, one that says, “Edgy doesn’t have to be dangerous… or even out-of-the-way.”
Valentine immediate grooved to the décor, the piped-in music, the friendly, chatty wait staff whose recommendations seemed to take on more weight precisely because we felt as much camaraderie with him as we did everyone else in the place.
The chef, Danyele McPherson (formerly with The Grape) has crafted a menu based on American classics but given a gourmet twist. As a starter, we got the Dutch baby ($10), a German-American hybrid of a pancake and a soufflé. It arrived in a scalding-hot cast-iron skillet (when they say “don’t touch it,” trust them!), a burbling, lemony confection that cruelly beckoned us while forcing us to wait for it to cool down enough to spoon it out. It was worth our patience. Fluffy, and smothered in citrusy curd, it was as rich as Croesus and primed us for what was to come.
high-end take on shrimp and grits ($19) was haute cuisine in presentation — a shallow bowl with an island of grits surrounded by a lagoon of buttery sauce and topped with a thin forest of sautéed shrimp and fresh herbs. “They’re a bit skimpy on the scampi,” Valentine observed at the three medium-sized prawns. A few more would have contributed to a more satisfying meal, but we both reveled in the flavors.
Heartier was the fried bologna sandwich ($13) — again, a gourmet version of a trailer park staple. Remedy makes the bologna in-house, and the kitchen layers it on as thick as a deli sandwich, with a gooey dose of American cheese and grilled crispy on challah. Best of all, it comes with a side of tomato soup, for a meaty version of the classic grilled cheese.
We saved room for dessert and won out with a slice of cocoanut pie ($9), where the brulee’d marshmallow topping added crunch to the sweetness and the intense cocoanut flavor.
Mimosas weren’t listed on the menu at all, but of course they were available for the asking (good thing, too — that could be a dealbreaker). At $4 per goblet, they seemed fairly priced for the quality, and a fitting way to toast our successful outing. Sometimes, the music doesn’t come over the speakers, but from the plates themselves.
2010 Greenville Ave.
Weekend brunch from 11 a.m.
To recommend a brunch place we should check out, email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet it to @criticalmasstx.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 1, 2016.