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Chef Junior Borges’ Child, Merdian in the Updated Village

The Village is a small city unto itself as a 300-acre complex with 11,000 residents, bordered by Highway 75, Lovers Lane, Skillman Street and Northwest Highway. It is the largest rental community in North Texas, and the entertainment district alone will be 34 acres of retail outlets, a fitness center, ball fields, a putting green, offices and an event lawn, in addition more apartments and a dozen restaurants underway at the hands of  chef Nilton “Junior” Borges.

Borges has the only chef-driven restaurant in the complex and it has a full bar and a menu with locally sourced ingredients, an array of meats, live-fire cooking and many dishes based on the ones the Brazil-born chef grew up with a modern take.

The restaurant, of course, is Meridian, and it throws big, bold flavors our way with exciting dishes such as small plates that include Cured Fluke Tartare, Charred Black Maitake and Grilled Scallop. The Maitake was especially enjoyable as the mushroom that is especially a chef favorite and grows wild in parts of Japan. The dish is supported by an exceptional soubis and garlic chive relish.

Guests will also enjoy hand-made pasta that includes a fine gnocchi with stewed tomatoes and chili flake. So easy to fail and difficult to relent to possibilities of pillowiness, chef Junior does the dish justice.

We enjoy the tenderness and perfectly medium rare Iberico Pork Loin that was vastly more tender than lesser branded pork. The field pea ragout gave a soothing, familiar bite on a cool rainy day.

Overall we enjoyed the new restaurant. The prices were appropriate, the food was a fun take on dishes that otherwise would be too familiar, and the setting was more casual than similar settings around Dallas. Breezy, even.

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