Long time readers know that I am definitely a fan of Andre Natera and his own brand of cooking. You can always count on fresh, locally sourced ingredients used in his French-influenced method in the kitchen. It goes with out saying that he is one of the best chefs in Dallas and deserves a proper platform to execute his talent. The new incarnation of what was Marquee Grill is now the Village Kitchen. This is the latest to occupy the spot in an effort to shine more friendly, and be inclusive for more people, and even families all through the week.
There is not a damn thing wrong with what Natera was preparing at Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. There he was using foie as a condiment for anything he could get his hands on. There was even rumor of a peanut butter and foie sandwich that sounds mighty tempting. But now we are experiencing a more simpler time where plump chickens, pastas and flat breads reign supreme. The menu is now more approachable by all via price point and taste. Do not consider this a dumbed down menu, however. The cooking is still the genius that is Natera.
Look for large slabs of ribs, smoked in-house, giant burgers that will make you grin, and a delicious lobster roll. He is even serving up his banh mi that I tasted a few years back at the Caesar Salad Competition. A beautiful bun filled with short rib, pickled veggies and a sriracha mayo. It is a fistful of madness that you will savor. This served with a cone of frites that will warm your cockles.
One of the more interesting dishes is the Pecan Lodge BBQ Flatbread. This is made with BBQ that Natera picks up each day the famous joint in Shed Two that has everyone raving. If I was even a bit skeptical that Natera was using their brisket for the flatbread, I actually spotted him making a pick up one Saturday morning recently. The flatbread itself is a crisp canvass with layers of the beef, onions, pickles and sauce. It is not too unlike eating a BBQ sandwich. Delicious.
You will feel fresh at home with many of these menu items, there truly is something for everyone. However, the daily special menu is where Natera has the most fun. Between Chicken and Waffles and a Lobster Thermador, we stand to applaud the man. Look for a weekly steak night each Saturday that reminds me of the reason I joined the Elk’s Lodge so many years ago.
Finish your night off with one of Natera’s signature desserts, or even his way-too-delicious milk shakes. One is made with an assist from a box of Fruity Pebbles.