by Andrew Chalk
A shower of leaves on my shoulder as I walked the dog this week confirmed — Fall is here. And although Fall in Dallas may be shorter than some commutes, the good news is that the area’s many seasonally aware restaurants turn over their menus. That gave me a sense of anticipation towards a media event at Del Frisco’s Grille in Uptown to showcase their menu changes.
Recall that Del Frisco’s is more than just the more popularly-priced baby brother to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. It is broader in concept, encompassing a more equal distribution of proteins, flatbreads and burgers.
We could not have started better than the Roasted Corn Bisque ($9 bowl, $7 cup), a redoubtable bowl of full-bodied corn soup bestowed with velvety smoothness by ladles of heavy cream and textural variance by slithers of tortilla chips scattered on top. To naysayers who object that corn is not in season, it is through the end of November. So slurp this dish avariciously.
A big theme in the new menu is sharing. Appetizers of Deviled Eggs with truffle-chive vinaigrette ($7.50), Pimento Cheese Fritters with chipotle ranch sauce ($9.50) and Grilled Artichoke with Meyer lemon vinaigrette, parmesan and black pepper aioli ($11) certainly fit the bill.
Salads can be adventurous, as in the case of the Kale and Brussels Sprouts ($10) example. The leaves are tossed with marcona almonds, dried cranberries, orange segments and gratings of manchego, all bound together with a creole mustard vinaigrette that was mercifully mild.
En papillote gets a bohemian treatment, perhaps befitting the ‘grille’ moniker in the establishment’s name, with Steamed Brown Bag Fish. A fillet of sole with vegetables and fingerling potatoes steamed in white wine and accompanied by a bracing basil pesto.
Be careful not to miss the respectable vegetable sides. Del Frisco’s Grille joins other forward-thinking Dallas restaurants in treating them like first-class citizens on the menu. Pan Braised Wild Mushrooms ($9) is a mixture of shiitake, cremini, oyster and portobello (grown-up cremini) fungi all mixed in a melange of umami meatiness. The off-menu Brussels sprouts are sliced, rather than being just chopped in half, to produce a softer mouthfeel before being tossed with bacon and, metaphorically, ignited by the acidic accents of beurre blanc. This is the best Brussels sprout dish that I have had in a Dallas restaurant this year.
Just to be clear, you don’t need to crave haute cuisine to come to Del Frisco’s Grille. Fancy a southern fried chicken sandwich, but just made well? That is on the menu here (along with several interesting burgers).
[IMAG0813. Caption: Just dessert. Adult Milkshake with Nocello Walnut Liqueur, Crème de Cacao Chocolate Liqueur and vanilla ice cream]
Finally, if all you need is a drink, stop by the bar and try this new cocktail on the menu for the season:
[Chocolate Eggnog Martini.jpg]
Chocolate Eggnog Martini
• 1.5 Oz – Stoli Vanil
• 1.5 Oz – Godiva Dark Chocolate or Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
• 2 Oz – Eggnog
• Garnish with Shaved Chocolate
• Combine all ingredients in a Boston shaker, fill with ice, and shake 10-15 times
• Strain into a chilled martini glass
The fall menu at Del Frisco’s Grille is available now.