First Look: Rapscallion

rapby Steven Doyle

Rapscallion is the newest collaboration between partners chef Nathan Tate, Bradley Anderson and Brooks Anderson. Located at 2023 Greenville Avenue, deep in the heart of one of the busiest restaurant neighborhoods in Dallas, the new restaurant has been met with rave reviews and one of the hottest reservations in Dallas. You will recognize these names from the über successful Bishop Arts restaurant, Boulevardier.  

Working with Tate is his chef de cuisine Jonathan Peters who spent months in prep for the opening of the new restaurant. Houston born, Peters grew up in the Dallas area. Peters changed careers and started cooking in 2003 after leaving the tech industry where he had worked in since 1996. He went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in London, UK from 2004-2005 and then moved to Los Angeles to work under chefs Brendan Collins, Alain Giraud, Warren Schwartz and Eric Greenspan doing contemporary California cuisine and classic and new French cuisine. Peters also worked as a corporate chef for Gordon Ramsay, opening three restaurants in fourteen months around North America, as well as food production and training for several of Ramsay’s television shows. He was executive chef at Chamberlain West Hollywood and at Palihouse in Los Angeles before returning to Texas to be closer to family and joining the Rapscallion team. Dallas is fortunate to have the talent of Peters in this kitchen.

Fried chicken

Pulling a few pages from chef Tate’s southern upbringing you will find a whole host of delicious and comforting fare at Rapscallion. Commanding center stage in their very open kitchen, Tate uses a custom wood rotisserie and custom wood grill to prepare nearly all of the in-house dry-aged beef, pork, poultry and seafood. The steaks are dry-aged in a large, customized refrigerator located behind the Rapscallion bar in full view of the guests. On our most recent visit we spotted a 45-day aged ribeye that was adorned with a perfectly roasted slab of bone marrow, making this the most well dressed steak in town.

The restaurant also features a raw bar located near the front entrance behind the bar where guests may watch as the shuckers do their thing with a beautiful rotating selection of oysters, pickled shrimp and other freshly prepared seafood specialties.

DSC08617Wrapped Scallions

DSC08619Cabrito Kabobs

DSC08624Fried Sorghum

We started our evening off with the cleverly named Wrapped Scallions,  which are made with house pancetta and served with an espellette vinaigrette. You won’t want to miss the Cabrito Kabobs that are perfectly seasoned with a ras al hanout spice, herb salad, pistachio, red onion, Aleppo yoghurt, and bedded in a grilled flat bread with a pickled watermelon rind.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the Fried Sorghum which are layers of smoked oyster mushrooms, Napa cabbage, spring peas, tempura farm egg, with a sprinkle of  Furikake (a Japanese seasoning typically made with a mixture of dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar and salt). The flavors worked wonderfully and has us fighting for the last spoonful.

Any entree would not be complete without the requisite Cast Iron Pan de Campo, which is a kicked up cornbread with smoked black pepper and a smattering of duck confit, served with cultured butter with sweet sorghum. The cornbread is firm but moist, with a delicate flavor of the duck confit through out – but it does not over power.

DSC08623Boneless Short Rib Steak with Hominy Casserole

DSC08632Pineapple Cake

The true star of this show is the tea brined, spit roasted chicken that is smoked over pecan wood. For an even greater flavor kick they also serve this same chicken “Nashville Style” fried with a cornmeal crust and dressed with the house-made Szechuan mala sauce. The sauce has a true blast, so if that is not your thing ask fro the sauce on the side. But the sauce does offer you something to talk about for weeks.

Finish any Rapscallion meal off with the made-to-order pineapple cake, or their apple cobbler. Either will send you off with a smile.

Cocktails are not an after thought. Just as is at Boulevardier, Rapscallion is set up with the cocktail talents of Eddie Eakin. The man can blaze through cocktail orders faster than anyone we have yet to witness with not one, not two, but four shakers at a time. Definitely try the Rapscallion cocktail which is a play on a Boulevardier. Eakin offers martini service with house-pickled garnishes to pair with Rapscallion’s oyster selection.

Rapscallion boasts an all-American, 126-bottle wine list. Out of this list, 60 of the bottles are priced at $50 or below. Anderson said, “Just as the food menu has surprising twists and turns, so does the wine. We have carefully chosen many lesser-known grapes being made into surprisingly delicious and value-driven wines right here in America: arneis, roussanne, trebbiano, carignan, nebbiolo and valdiguie among many others.” The list will also feature more common varietals regularly associated with the world of American wine.

 

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