by Steven Doyle
A visit to the very new Prohibition Chicken in Lewisville brought some smiles this past week. This new restaurant serves up a deliciously conceived yard bird in a host of fashions including a nicely roasted version that has been pecan smoked to an inviting dark patina, another that is smoked then fried, yet another simply fried, and then one more that is hot chili fried which has been given a jalapeno ranch dusting. All uniquely devised with a double dipped coating that leaves for a large bite packed with flavor.
But Prohibition Chicken is not necessarily about the bird, there is so much more going on in these walls. When I visited there was talk of a speakeasy, which I am always highly suspicious of when I hear that term. We do have a few legitimate versions in the DFW area, but then we have another slew of these speakeasy’s which are merely backroom bars located down a hallway, hardly qualifying as a spakeasy. I was pleased to see Prohibition did their homework and came up with a whimsical entry via an old phone booth ala Please Don’t Tell (PDT) in New York which requires a waltz through a run down hot doggery. What we find inside Prohibition’s speakeasy, once we dialed in the correct number on the antique telephone (this may eliminate some millennials which have never actually dialed a phone), we were able to enter into the Wonka of cocktail lounges.
Absinthe drip in speakeasy
Inside the speakeasy I was far removed from the bustle of the completely filled room of guests dining family-style on a variety of chicken. Instead I enjoyed the languid surroundings which gave off a slight red hue which in my mind screamed speakeasy. I wasn’t alive during the Volstead shenanigans to speak with great latitude..
The music selection both inside the speakeasy and out were well devised. Outside I heard appropriate tunes from the Soggy Bottom Boys to Jerry Reed, and inside my new sanctuary I was treated to elegant crooners such as Bobby Short and Whispering Jack Smith. The playlist makes the room, along with a well curated cocktail list executed with great finesse.
Both the speakeasy and the restaurant have excellent cocktails. I was able to enjoy several on my visit including one terrific daiquiri that would have made Hemingway blush with joy. There is a fun list of libations for the little fellas too, so be sure to check out the Weisenheimer (mint, blueberries, lime and club soda) or the Ankle Biter (pear juice, fresh lemon, rosemary simple syrup, club soda) and more. Not your average Shirley Temple and definitely for the tots and teetotalers alike.
This restaurant is not only serving delicious chicken but also offers beef, fish, a slew of sides (served in excess much like Korean banchan) and something called The Big Salad, which is offered in a massive bowl for a buck per guest. The house dressing is a green goddess made with a ranch base. This means an herbed up dressing that tastes delicious and is a throwback to better salad days. Brilliant..
The beef is in the form of tri-tip, which is wholly unseen in most of Texas. This is actually the Beeman Family Ranch Akaushi Tri-Tip which is sold by the pound and is ever-so-carefully kissed with smoke after a proper cure. Consider this California’s answer to brisket and has a much different bite that you will be sure to enjoy..
In a world swimming in catfish and tilapia, both not the best examples of fish, Prohibition serves lightly smoked trout for the win. Thank you for delivering us all from the mundane. The trout was flavorful, had a moist bite, and held well the next day for breakfast. This menu was obviously given plenty of angst and it has paid off well.
Served with all proteins are what Prohibition Chicken calls SOPS which are their sauces and include a coffee stout red-eye gravy, roasted sawmill jalapeno cream gravy (luscious), an apple moonshine bbq sauce, and a white bbq sauce. These will arrive table-side in little carafes that just make you want to pinch their cheeks. The amount of detail given to the menu and tiny elements throughout the restaurant are simply incredible..
Blasting through a majority of the menu we came across a basket of Prohibition’s biscuits. Most will say that a good, fluffy buttermilk biscuit is the best, and I might tend to agree. But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be open to fresh ideas in the way of biscuit making. Consider the cornmeal buttermilk clabber biscuit baked in a stone hearth. Details make them crave worthy..
The experience is whole, service is gallant, the food is hearty and the drinks are well made. You may consider a reservation at Prohibition Chicken soon, the place fills up quickly for good reason.