by Steven Doyle
When the concept of Remedy was first suggested to me I was told it is a bit of Southern cooking like your mother might make. Now my mother was a fantastic cook, and we come from a restaurant family. My grandmother was an amazing cook, and this cuisine is a lot like what she might make; if my grandmother even knew what the word confit meant she might be able to duplicate the Remedy chicken. Not to take anything away from my family matriarch, but executive chef Danyele McPherson is pretty splendid in her kitchen.
First let’s get the best thing on the menu out of the way. Confit Amish Fried Chicken is something you definitely want to try first. Not only tender, but juicy with a crust that holds tight to the bird, and is seasoned with a deft hand and a keen eye. For this dish alone I want to hug and hold tight to our favorite cooking ginger, Danyele. I think I did. I forget the words to the teary-eyed speech, but that is not important.
There is plenty of talent in this kitchen. The nights I tried out Remedy I spotted uber talented Al Havens (formerly exec at Salum for many years) who is currently the house exec sous. It has been suggested that Danyele will run Remedy for some time, then move onto a new concept being cooked up by the ownership. Which, by the way, will be located in Rockwall and titled “Stolen Goods”. At that point it is expected for Havens to run Remedy.
Also in the kitchen confines, I spotted Guiellermo “Gmo” Tristan. Gmo was most recently sous at Boulevardier, but now has the pastry program well in hand at Remedy. “This is a simple pie and ice cream menu. Pies will be made fresh daily. The pie program will be truly seasonal and flavors will change often. Three sundaes will stay on the menu all of the time, with three rotators based on flavors we are working with at the time. All of our sundaes are named after someone important in our lives. This is our way of paying homage to people that helped us along the way,” explains Gmo. No explanation really needed once you sample his coconut cream pie, or one of his sundaes. I am a coconut cream pie freak, and have had three slices of this already. Twice with dinner, and another occasion while simply at Remedy to enjoy a cocktail.
Executive chef McPherson says, “ We are taking familiar and simple ideas and executing them at what we hope is the highest level possible. We want to take these familiar food items and turn them into refined dishes. Remedy is not about sourcing exotic ingredients, it’s about sourcing the best ingredients possible and making the best fish sandwich, BLT, grilled cheese, pork chop, pot pie etc that we possibly can. The menu is inspired by food my mom would make when I was growing up.”
Another trill about Remedy is how owner Elias Pope nabbed Mate Hartai. You know this dapper fellow from when he managed Libertine across the street from Remedy. Hartai also owns his own hand cut ice company called The Cold Standard – has worked hand in hand with the culinary team to create a modern beverage program that is less about being a copy of an era. Mate explains, “We are not looking to mimic the American Soda Fountain of the early 1900’s; instead, we are taking inspiration from the spirit and technique of those innovative pioneers and combining it with a little pioneering of our own. The fountain of the soda fountain was well carbonated water and intensely flavored syrups and mixers. We are taking those fundamental ideas and combining them with spirits to create a beverage program as focused on texture as it is flavor.”
It is something to watch his team of bartenders that he gathered from a variety of bars across Dallas. It is designed to run less like a bar and more as a kitchen, and has a bar expeditor. This is the kitchen personnel that is in charge of organizing food from the kitchen and sending it to the dining room; a mediator of the line. I have never seen an expeditor for a bar, and this makes total sense. This bar is a machine.
The food and drink are straight up spectacular at Remedy. The service is superior despite the fact that the restaurant is brand new. This is something that Elias Pope is quite good at; he is a trainer at heart. And this restaurant has a lot of heart.