Nothing rings change of seasons than Graham Dodds and his ever revolving menu. His menus are my personal equinox as seasons change, and I know I will always be tasting something amazingly fresh and new. Fortunately Dodds isn’t the only one in town doing this, but his menus grab with such flair and hospitality. What he has been doing at Central 214 is superbly special.
This is what was upsetting about the news that Dodds is leaving the Hotel Palomar restaurant and making a switch just a few miles down the road for Consilient’s shining star, Hibiscus, where he will work in tandem as co-chef alongside Jason Ferraro. Dodds will be cooking with the same attitude that he was born with. Perhaps this is only upsetting because I am not one for change, unless we are talking seasonal menus.
I should assure myself that all with be right with the world, just as it was when the chef left Bolsa for 214. In the mix we got Jeff Harris as top toque at the shining star Oak Cliff restaurant, and Dodds has been rocking our world at his post.
Last Friday we checked out Dodd’s Beer and Goat dinner, which was laced with many Mediterranean dishes as sides, including a beautiful hummus and dolmas. Staring the roasting goat down as it spun across the woodfire I knew all would be right.
Since, I enjoyed what I consider my final meal at Central 214 under the Dodds regime. The courses were many favorites, all seasoned perfectly in Dodd’s style. All laced with fresh and perfectly prepared veggies. Each plate presented had me smile as I recalled several years worth of seasonal plates that passed before me at the restaurant, and it gave me pause to thank Graham Dodds for all the unique experiences I enjoyed. There are certain plates that I will never forget, including his sweatbread popcorn, which is the best version in Dallas. Dodd’s Scotch egg is always a must have with each visit, as are the shishito peppers with Romesco. More recently the handmade trompetti with his “kinda wild” mushrooms, eggplant and piperade made me lose control.
I look forward to whoever the Palomar will be bringing into the kitchen to replace Dodds. They generally take several months and bring in an interim team to keep things running smoothly.
Thank you Graham, and best of luck as you move to your next calling.