Tasting notes: Cupid edition

Posted on 08 Feb 2013 at 8:00am

Planning a night with your sweetheart? Consider these gay-friendly options


PRALINE DREAM | The chewy, inventive pralines at gay-owned Jack’s Southern Comfort Food make for a unique twist on the standard box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day this year is on a Thursday — in fact, just a week away! These restaurants all offer special menus, as well as gay-friendly environments where same-sex couples can enjoy a romantic meal out on the town. (For updated Valentine’s Day dining suggestions, visit Instant Tea at DallasVoice.com.)

Salum and Komali from chef Abraham Salum are both offering Valentine’s Day menus, with a three-course tasting available at Salum in addition to the usual menu for $45/person, and a Latin-inspired menu (including shared dessert) at Komali for $35/person. Salum: 214-252-9604 or SalumRestaurant.com; Komali: 214-252-0200 or KomaliRestaurant.com.

Asador, the high-end but approachable locavore restaurant located inside the Renaissance Hotel, is preparing a Valentine’s Day dinner worthy of Aphrodite, with Gulf oysters, tuna tempura (or flatiron steak) and a dessert of warm chocolate cake or crème brulee, all for $40/person. The violinist playing throughout your meal is just a perk. 214-267-4815.

Jack’s Southern Comfort Food, the new down-home resto from Scott Jones, suggests sweetening up your sweetheart with some sweet house-made pralines. The style here — chewy instead of brittle — includes such unusual flavors as roasted pecan and candied jalapeno, spicy rosemary cashew and walnut/cranberry.  Available by the dozen in a hand-packed basket or steel bin, prices start at $45.95. 214-821-0900 or JacksSouthernComfortFood.com.

Perpetual romantic getaway The Grape is a no-brainer on Valentine’s Day, especially with a chef-inspired three-course menu on Feb. 14 for $65/person (and $20 for wine pairings), and a romantic a la carte menu on the 15th and 16th as well. 214-828-1981 or TheGrapeRestaurant.com.

Sissy’s Southern Kitchen offers variety for Valentine’s Day: For those who wanna share a bucket of the signature fried chicken (plus a bottle of Moet champagne), it’s just $75 total. Or you can try a six-course tasting menu for $80/person, including oysters Rockefeller, Creole risotto, pork belly and more. 214-827-9900.

Over in The Cedars, The Terrace Bistro at the recently opened NYLO Hotel lets you dine while enjoying live music and a panoramic view. And in addition to the Feb. 14 menu, it offers you the option of a staycation, with special room rates and breakfast for those who wanna make a night of it. 214-421-1080 or NYLOHotels.com/Dallas.

Graham Dodds, who took over the kitchen at Central 214 inside the uber-gay Hotel Palomar last year, prepares his first Valentine’s menu there, and it’s available all weekend long. The four-course menu (which includes options like seared suck with cassoulet and flatiron steak) comes with a complimentary glass of champagne. $75/person. 214-443-9339.

Uptown’s Abacus has been an institution for nearly 15 years, and there’s no better time to splurge there than a special occasion like Valentine’s. The $125/person prix fixe menu includes a host of selections for soup or salad, small plates, big plates and dessert, plus a strawberry champagne popsicle “intermezzo.” 214-559-3111.

The impressive seven-course menu at The Pyramid Restaurant inside the Fairmont includes caviar and lobster for $85/person, but go ahead and add the wine ($140) for a chance to experience sommelier Hunter Hammett’s fine pairings of wines with food — he’s one of the best at it in Dallas. 214-720-5249.

Also, the day before Valentine’s Day (Feb. 13) marks the start of Chinese New Year, and what better way to ring in the Year of the Snake than with a six-course meal from chef Wolfgang Puck, who will be on hand at Five Sixty at Reunion Tower. The cost is $135/person.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 8, 2013.

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