by Rhonda Dutton
I have seen six of Wes Anderson’s eight films, so I would say that I’m a fan (and now need to go back and see the remaining two). Therefore, I was so very open to The Theodore’s magic little world in NorthPark Center. Gifted to us by the same cast of characters who brought us Smoke, Bolsa and Bolsa Mercado, Chicken Scratch, The Foundry, and Bar Belmont, The Theodore transports you from modern luxury shopping to a charming world in Wes Anderson’s mind that is also inhabited by Teddy Roosevelt.
This theme is consistently delivered everywhere, even on the menu which feels like it could have been torn from TR’s personal diary.
I stopped by there for a light lunch on a Friday and they were slammed – which is really good news – and our guy Steve didn’t miss a beat. The Theodore serves “American Classics with a twist” and the twist was a big fat YES.
The Roasted Oysters starter is almost where it all stopped. With red bell pepper butter and bacon, I actually heard Alexandre Desplat’s “Moonshine” playing in my head as I ate these little baby angels, bobbing my head back and forth to the happy, quirky tune. The starter came with four oysters. This is TEXAS, people, I need eight ten of these!
Warm Newport Lobster Roll
If a restaurant serves a lobster roll, I must try it if the restaurant is worth its salt. Because my daddy taught me to eat what you “pay” for, meaning focus should be on the meat, and also because I’m sort of failing at cutting back on my carbs, I ate the lobster out of the soft toasted bun. This lobster roll had such large chunks of lobster it was like trying to extract a Judas bullet out of Luke Cage (I know this analogy doesn’t fit the Grand Budapest Hotel theme, but there isn’t a lot of digging-bullets-out-of-people in Wes Anderson films). My eyes were aglow during this task, the crustacean meat was not overpowered by its sauce and the tarragon flavor was a welcome twist! (Side note: The fries had a crispy outside = #winning)
The Shrimp Caesar is a good classic with a tasty bite from the mustard greens and a very thoughtful dollop of dressing nestled on the side of the salad in which to dip your shrimp. So freakin’ thoughtful! They deserve a hand-written thank you card just for this.
I know I said that I stopped by for a “light lunch,” I did not say anything about sacrificing dessert. Pumpkin Cheesecake, because pumpkin and cheesecake. Light and creamy, not too pumpkin-y, and just look at that fluffy squiggle of vanilla whip.
Classic Crème Brûlée
Not sure what the “twist” is with the Classic Crème Brûlée, but I will say that it was the best crème brûlée I’ve had in quite a few years. This crème brûlée was perfect in every way, flavorful and creamy, with a perfectly torched sugar crust, the berries were healthy and perfect, and the little cat’s tongue cookies held a little chocolatey surprise.
Just kidding, of course I have words for this gorgeous beauty. When I saw “Big Macaron” on the dessert menu, resistance was futile and I couldn’t shut up about it. Their macaron flavors change up, but on MY day, Steve brought me Pink Champagne. She arrived the size of an appetizer plate and dusted with a swipe of golden fairy dust. I was instantly in love. I couldn’t wait to take a bite of this amazing creation, but was also hesitant to end her grandeur. When I did take that first slo-mo bite into this crispy chewy angel, I HAVE TO TELL YOU – It tasted like everyone’s favorite childhood flavor! YES – CRUNCH BERRIES! But like a much better quality Crunch Berry and minus the annoying interruption of the Cap’n Crunch cereal. I mean, who didn’t wish for a bowl of all-crunch-berry cereal back in the 70s?
Just like watching a Wes Anderson movie, I had a hoot at The Theodore and I can’t wait to go back. Being a planner, my next visit consists of the following menu: House bread and that nice salty butter (that crispy chewy loaf is mine), roasted oysters, even more roasted oysters, crème brûlée, and a Big Macaron to go. That, my darlings, is what I consider a “light lunch.”
The Theodore is located at the North entrance of NorthPark Center and they have free valet. They also host Happy Hour and Brunch as well.