Last week we broke the information that Bolsa would no longer serve lunch, but instead beef up their midday menu at Bolsa Mercado just a few steps away from the iconic Oak Cliff restaurant. This weekend we learned that Bolsa has quietly introduced a new seasonal menu with some fun changes to both the dinner and the cocktail menu.
We popped into Bolsa while making our Oak Cliff rounds this weekend and were cheerily greeted by lead barman Kyle Hilla who was eager to chat up the new cocktails. This would be Hilla’s first full menu to create for Bolsa, with many of the drinks having been around for nearly five years. In the past Hilla would add four or five new drinks to the menu. The new one is all his.
Hilla is a strong competitor in the Dallas cocktail arena, having won more than several throw down’s among fellow bartenders in the area. Thankfully Hilla creates all of his cocktails with care, and nothing is cloyingly sweet. In fact he has an affinity for using Maker’s Mark in many of his cocktails.
“We have a lot of regulars that will want the old cocktails, and I can still make 99% of those still with the ingredients we have on hand. It was just time bring in a full new menu,” said Hilla.
Standouts include the Jane Doe, a drink that Hilla featured for a long time as an off menu item. In fact he would ring up the cocktail on his computer system as ‘no name’. The drink made of fresh strawberry, sage, orange blossom water, Ford’s Gin, St Germain and Gran Classico, is fresh and soothing, eagerly awaiting the warm weather Dallas is about to be slapped with. Jane Doe makes for an appropriate name for a drink that went without a moniker for so long.
The Oso Fresh is a spicy concoction of jalapeno and tequila that is tamed by the addition of cucumber and basil. The Big Cat is a homage to a former Bolsa employee and friend to the restaurant community that recently passed away, Randall Copeland. The Big Cat has Maker’s Mark, sweet vermouth, Gran Classico and orange oils. Appropriate.
While tippling we sampled a few of good cocktail accompaniments such as the Caprino Royale Croquettes made with a very fresh chevre from the Waco cheesemaker, Spanish chorizo, leeks and a romesco sauce. The fried balls are a sophisticated appetizer to go with any cocktail, and is enough to share.
The steak tartare is a disk of supple chopped beef served beautifully with a dill crème fraiche, a fresh farm egg and pickled beets.
Other additions appropriate to the bar is the house-made charcuterie and cheese board, a foie torchon (always a good touch to any menu), and veal sweetbreads. Bolsa chef Jeff Harris wants to spoil you, obviously. The regular dinner menu has been updated as well, and we will be in soon to sample some of that fare.
While eye-balling the brunch menu we noticed they are serving duck fat biscuits with house-made breakfast sausage. You know where we will be Saturday afternoon. Be sure to sample Hilla’s pitcher of cocktails at brunch. $25 nets a full pitcher of a featured brunch cocktail that has about six servings. A true bargain.
Bonus for using duck fat to make a biscuit.