by Steven Doyle
The most recent trip to CBD Provisions proved to be a bounty of carnivorous ode to joy. The new restaurant located in the Joule Hotel downtown Dallas (just to the left of what was Charlie Palmers) leaves little for want when it comes to pork, from the tip of the squealers nose to the very wiggle in his waddling tail. CBD does pork well, and so much more.
The beautiful dining room was designed by Claudia Woods, dramatically sets the stage for the warm and social character of a big city brasserie with historic brick walls, salvaged wood floors, tufted leather banquettes, a fully exhibited kitchen, and of course a great bar.
But the true star, as it should be, is the menu. The full menu is filled with small plates for the social diner, large plates for the hungry traveler, and family style platters for a fun evening of casual enjoyment.
Chicken Liver Mousse with Pepper Jelly
Roasted Wild Mushrooms and Grits
The first bit of choices on the menu include toasts. Think of these as spreadables served with crunchy sourdough plated with the likes of nudja pimento cheese or chicken liver mousse that has been topped with a smear of sweet pepper jelly. Small plates include pork rinds with lime and chile, freshly baked off goat pies that will forever haunt your culinary dreams, and barbecued guajillo pig tails. This is the stuff Dallas has been missing out on for so long. A must try from this section includes a carrot hummus raptured with chipotle harrisa and spiced peanuts.
Taste test a selection of sandwiches with an obvious choice of a Cuban that is packed with country ham, bread and butter pickles and gruyere. The burger has already become legend.
Because this is an adventuresome restaurant, guest are expected to enjoy heads on shrimp and grits. As we should.
Individual Goat Pies
A Bowl of Red
The example of chili at CBD is heavenly in its brilliance. Supple meat mixed with a savory red chile gravy, topped with a farm fresh egg and served with a side of cornbread that will have you weeping, should you be the type that weeps over insanely good chili. I am. The egg keeps you grounded in the fact that this is “that’ kind of restaurant which would top off a bowl of chili off with poached egg. Possibly the very best example of chili in Dallas. I would pit this up against Graham Dodds chili, who also happens to be working for the owners of CBD over at Hibiscus. Both amazing examples of a bowl of red.
Now comes the part where I may lose some of you, but please be patient. The Berkshire Pig Heads Carnitas are what you should order. At least on your first visit. It is a half pig head, replete with tongue, eats and a squeal. Let me tell you that this is some godly eating. The skin is scored for ease of plucking off sections, and it is crisp and most. The meat found near the eyes, and under the chin are smooth and not fatty. The best part is the tongue, which is nearly red like a perfect section of dark meat turkey, with the same consistency. Definitely devour the ear. The cartlidge is tender and meaty. All parts make for a terrific taco. and there is a huge stack of tortillas provided along with red and green house-made salsas. Order the pig.
The Head of Fred
For those that cannot finish the head, you are invited to take home the scraps for soup bones and and to finish off whatever meat you may have left behind. I can assure you that this head will make a wonderful broth, and the intended use for the meat will be homemade ravioli.
To finish off the meal we chose a bruleed ruby red grapefruit pie. Yes, it was delicious and had to be shared after working over the pig head.
CBD Provides a Room with a View
CBD Provisions is open all day,including breakfast, and we hear has a delightful brunch. The kitchen is led by Executive Chef Michael Sindoni who celebrates the natural bounty and culinary traditions of Texas with a contemporary point of view, a commitment to local and sustainable sourcing, and a passion for making things in house with expert technique and superb ingredients.
“I’ve always been intrigued by the culinary history of Texas—the big flavors, from smoky to spicy, and its multi-cultural influences,” says Executive Chef Michael Sindoni. “CBD Provisions is an opportunity to capture the best flavors and ingredients of the state with a menu that is modern and fresh.”