Dishing in daylight

Posted on 11 Mar 2010 at 9:37am
By ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Life+Style Editor jones@dallasvoice.com

The gayborhood’s newest eatery opens for lunch — and gets back on track



I WANT MUSSELS | The spicy chorizo counterbalances the sweetness of dried tomatoes in the mussels at Dish, which opened for lunch this week. (Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones)

Dish got off to a gangbusters start. Anchoring the new ilume mixed use complex on Cedar Springs, it gave a fine dining option in the gayborhood that also "got" its audience: Stylish but not campy, with excellent food and a great indoor-outdoor bar that would be even greater when the weather improved.

Then Dish lost its on-site executive chef, and fell into some controversy with its staffing. Discord isn’t very appetizing.

But now that consulting chef Doug Brown is onboard full-time as the exec, and the restaurant has opened for lunch, things are looking up.

Certainly the menu is as good as ever. The lunch fare is pared down from already-established dinner offerings. One of the best deals: the "simple" flatbread, a crispy focaccia dusted with rosemary, Reggiano and olive oil. At $4, it’s like the world’s most affordable mini-pizza.

But lunch doesn’t have to be simple. For heartier constitutions, the flatiron steak ($18) hits the spot. My serving, a voluptuous bias-cut of medium rare beef served au jus, sandwiching dark cabernet butter, was tender and perfectly cooked. The pomme frites were served French-style in a cylinder, crunchy and a bit greasy but a fine accompaniment to the meat.

Of course, gay men love to look at muscles, but these mussels are even better than the ones you see at the gym. The black mussels, served in a caliente garlic broth, builds flavors with spicy chorizo interplaying with the sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes.

Sweetness shows up, but does not dominate, the banana cake, a strongly aromatic but fluffy confection topped with cinnamon ice cream and caramel. Lunchtime desserts that don’t weigh you down are a rare treat.

It may take a while to get used to seeing Dish in the daylight, at least from the inside, but now that the staffing seems to be on track, it’s an effort worth making.       

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TASTING NOTES


And the new flavor is … mango! That might not sound like a big deal, but for fanboys who follow Pinkberry like Dead Heads, it’s huge news. The WeHo-based fat-free frogurt shop — which opened it first two non-coastal U.S. locations in Dallas, the latest in the West Village just last month —  revealed the new flavor a few days before the national launch. You can stop by for a free mini taste and maybe win a prize on Friday from 5 to close.

If you like your desserts with more fat — like, tons of it — Sprinkles has an offer that’ll make you grin: Buy one of the cupcake king’s "Have a Heart" treats from April 5–9 and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the (wait for it!) American Heart Association. Eating cupcakes for heart health? I mean, that’s gotta score some points for irony. But I kid. Let’s face it: One little red velvet cake isn’t gonna put you on the transplant list. And the delightful bites with creamy white frosting are sooo indulgently sweet. Think of it as an investment in your future — better to raise the money for heart disease than not.

The new location for Hunky’s has officially opened. The gayborhood tradition has now moved into the space previously occupied by Crossroads Market. Hunky’s old location across Throckmorton Street will soon be repurposed as a Tex-Mex bistro by restaurateur Scott Jones.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 12, 2010.

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