The Fall menu at Central 214 is classically Chef Graham Dodds. We have written plenty about Chef Dodds in the past, as he was one of the pioneers of cooking what we raise locally. It does take a bit of expertise to summon local produce in months where little can be found in North Texas, and with great expense, but the relationships Dodds has forged help with his efforts to bring incredible bounty in a time when many are foraging trucks sent from California.
That bounty comes from such purveyors as Eden Creek Farms, Caprino Royale, Tom Spicer, Tassione Farms, Windy Meadows, The Texas Honeybee Guild and Eden’s Organics. These are names of our local heroes plowing through to ensure you have the healthiest meats and produce available in North Texas.
Somehow Dodds plays his culinary fiddle to makes these dishes dance.
The new menu knows its boundaries. The Scotch Egg might forever be a staple on the 214 menu, as the popcorn sweetbreads (the finest version in Dallas proper). The shishito pepper appetizer is always a welcome sight.
Back this season is the chef’s salad made with celery root, slivers of Fuji apples and pine nuts. The salad is addictive and worth the reservation alone.
A current offering is also Dodds version of the classic bowl of red. Dodds makes a mean bowl of chili that he serves with a side of griddled corn bread. This was offered as a special, so call ahead to make sure it is on the menu. I would personally implore the chef to add it permanantly during the colder months of the year. This is award winning chili.
New on the menu is the Delicata Squash made with a fromage blanc, sage and zip code honey. The squash is slice in round shards and grilled with a kiss of honey to give off a slight caramelizing glaze. The dish is meaty and could very well be served as a main course for those meatless Monday’s you keep hearing about.
Gone is the John Dory, now replaced with a somewhat more local Louisiana redfish made with a Savoy spinach and a sauce Grenoblise. Although a variety of fish might be offered on any given day depending what might be offered from Dodds fishmonger. The Florida Hog Snapper is interesting in name, but not nearly as beastly as you might imagine. The delicate white meat is soft and flaky.
The star of the menu might possibly be the new Riesling Braised Rabbit. This dish is served with spaetzle and apple cider red cabbage for the perfect Fall comeuppance.
The Oxtail ragout with the crisped gnocchi and basil pesto is also worth ordering. The gnocchi are far from the traditional potato-infused version found anywhere, but instead these are made with pillowy pâte à choux dough and sautéed enough to give a rich, brown crust to a few sides of the “pasta”. This inventiveness gives pause after each bite and a blessing to the chef.
Graham Dodds is still one of our very favorite chefs in Dallas, and it is evident that his care goes into each plate.Central 214 – Hotel Palomar 5680 North Central Expressway, Dallas 214.443.9339