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Joie de Vivre: Uchi is Opening in Dallas

by Robyn Folmar

I was in Austin this weekend for the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival and couldn’t pass up an opportunity to finally try Uchi

The sake apparently went straight to my husband’s head because he insisted on the ten-course Chef’s tasting menu. Normally this tough guy dry heaves at the very thought of eating Aquaman’s sea friends. His principles were quickly jettisoned as we fought over the last raw oyster with honeycrisp apple sorbet and wasabi foam.    

Eating that meal was the culinary equivalent of visiting Superman’s Fortress of Solitude for the first time. These dishes are probably what Dr. Bowman saw when he steered his pod into the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Hyperbolic? –No. I am two inches taller and can now crush tin cans with my bare hands after eating that magical meal.

When you have ten courses there is certainly ample opportunity to have something go wrong. Attempting to channel my inner demon-critic, Jeffrey Steingarten, I came up empty when trying to find something off. 

Salmon sashimi with crispy kale and blueberries, the “Bacon Steakie” of pork belly, fried watermelon, Serrano pepper, oranges and Thai basil, and the bowl of bone marrow served with chanterelles, cauliflower and bone marrow butter were certainly standouts. Let me repeat: Bone. Marrow. Butter.  

The vibe is typical Austin-chill with impeccable service and probably the coolest wallpaper I’ve seen in some years. It’s also incredibly loud and bustling and I was unable to hear half the sexy talk my husband was trying to throw my way.

This is a must-do if you are in the area and I would even say worth an overnight trip just to try it. If that doesn’t fit your busy schedule, just wait “six to eight months” as the manager told me Uchi is opening in Dallas.

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