by Steven Doyle
Bistro 31 is what I like to call a beautiful dining decision. All the elements are at hand, a gorgeous atmosphere coupled with a seriously well executed menu and service above reproach.
It is only appropriate that a restaurant located in Dallas’ finest plaza which features exclusive shopping experiences such as Fendi, Dior and Hermes also hosts an impeccable restaurant such as Bitro 31. Consider the low-lustre Venetian plaster walls, custom Murano chandeliers, walls featuring contemporary art by local artists and a stand-up Art Deco coffee bar.
Charred Spanish Octopus
The menu is toppled with European and American classics. Consider the Escargot Bourguignonne with its copious amounts of rich butter but easy on the seasonings. The snails are plump and large, and the remaining sauce is perfect for soaking with the crisp pocked slices of bread.
The Hudson Valley Seared Foie Gras with a tiny green apple salad, fig mustard and a round of pain perdu is both sinful and brilliant.
Our evening had a theme of seafood to celebrate the season, and Bistro 31 is dedicated to flying in the freshest catch all though the week. Not to be missed is a starter of Charred Spanish Octopus which at first look, and bite will take you back to your first taste of pintxos in San Sebastián. Light and tender with a slight sea essence, and a large char flavor that will make you regret ordering anything else, but you will most definitely be happy you did.
Next ordered were the Oysters Rockefeller. Large and plump oysters made a bed for Pernod scented creamed spinach with lardons and finished with parmesan that are then finished to a juicy perfection. Nothing seems much more refined that a plate of baked oysters.
Lobster Bisque can be a burden at times, often made with a packaged soup base. You can pick out these false flavors with a single bite much like you might detect a garish man-made truffle oil. Bistro 31 is making their bisque fresh with shells for broth, like God intended. The cream is added with a deft hand, shards of tender lobster are present with each spoonful, and a drizzle of tarragon creme fraiche adorns the bowl. A true symphony of flavors.
Dover Sole Meuniere
If you are celebrating with seafood the choices are strong with Spaghetti Chitarra with Lobster Bolognese, Grilled “Pavé” of Scottish Salmon, a Whole Roasted Branzino, Pan-Seared Snapper with Little Neck Clams and Lobster-Saffron Brodo all at your beckon. But the true choice of champions without a doubt is the Dover Sole served table-side for a true dinner and a show feel.
The Sole is flown in fresh constantly to keep up with demand. Much like any dish served table-side once ordered there will be a flurry of requests from neighboring diners.
The Sole is large and as mentioned, deboned expertly for your witness. Ours was sauteed to a delicate perfection, as if the chef knew the exact moment when to remove the fish from saute, and he did. Served Meuniere with haricots verts, a medley of tiny root vegetables and a white wine lemon sauce. You will want to add copious amounts of sauce, but first taste your fish as chef prepared for a peak of flavor joie de vivre.
In addition to the many items listed on the menu there are also plenty of seafood items listed daily as specials.
Look for a fun wine list and be sure to saunter to the Lounge 31 located above the restaurant for an aperitif or three where people watching is an art form.