by Steven Doyle
Although mainly considered a French dish, escargot, which means edible snail, have been eaten for many thousands of years. Large quantities of empty shells have been found in the caves of prehistoric man, indicating that in various parts of the world they were a common part of the diet at that time. With the rise of civilization, various cultures (including the Greeks and Romans) have continued to eat snails, often considering them a delicacy.
Today there are over 100 different types of edible snails. In France, only two types are commonly eaten: the ‘Petit-Gris’, or the little grey, and the ‘Escargot de Bourgogne’ the burgundy snail. It is possible to collect snails from the wild and eat them, provided you know which ones are edible and where to find them. In France there is a hunting season for edible snails, and they can only be collected during this time.
Although restricting snail collection to this hunting period is intended to protect the wild snail population, here and elsewhere in the world the population has been reduced through over-collecting.The increasing scarcity of wild snails has promoted the creation and growth of snail farms, which now grow a proportion of the snails for public consumption. Breeding of edible snails has focused almost entirely on the ‘Petit-Gris’ rather than the ‘Escargot de Bourgogne’.
The increasing scarcity of wild snails has promoted the creation and growth of snail farms, which now grow a proportion of the snails for public consumption. Breeding of edible snails has focused almost entirely on the ‘Petit-Gris’ rather than the ‘Escargot de Bourgogne’ .
We can find escargot across the landscape of Dallas restaurants, and we have a list of some of the best.
Parigi is the beautiful French bistro located on Oak Lawn that enjoys an extremely loyal clientele built over many years of delicious dishes with a menu that rotates often as the seasons change and the availability of fresh ingredients make their way to the tiny kitchen. The escargot is always available and made properly as you might find on any table in France.
Lavendou is our favorite choice for French in Dallas, and is relegated to the suburbs of Dallas on Preston near George Bush. We love the fun variety of soothing dishes that make this time of year the perfect time to enjoy the hearty onion soup and a beautifully roasted duck. Start with the foie terrine and the escargot to transport yourself instantly to your favorite Parisian cafe.
Canary by Gorji brings us to Addison and a menu that is New American fare with a Mediterranean accent. We love some of the prix fixe meals which includes tips. Be sure to check out this different take on escargot created with a Pomodoro sauce, gorgonzola and mushrooms.
Cadot is another classic French stalwart in the burbs that beckons a visit not only for the classic take on escargot, but the copious use of truffles, foie, Dover sole and one pretty amazing coq au vin. We are also fond of the sweetbread dish made with butternut squash and straw potatoes.
Oceanaire, the seafood restaurant located at the base of the Galleria in Dallas serves an escargot bourguignon served bathed in butter and garlic with puff pastry. This is also home to plenty of great oysters both east and west coast varietals.
Toulouse is a lovely restaurant found on Knox just to the edge of Highland Park where during the Spring you will want to enjoy patio life and watch the bustling life on the Katy Trail. Love this sturdy menu filled with French classics and a uniquely delicious escargot made with Pernod along with the desired garlic parsley butter. Brunch is king here as well.
Bugatti is that hidden gem of an Italian eatery located at near Lemmon and Northwest Highway in Dallas. Enjoy all the classics you might find at a proper Italian restaurant with the gracious service from Zee the owner who will remember your choice of cocktails after a three-year absence. You will also find some delicious starters like their generous serving of escargot with all the requisite butter, garlic, tomatoes and mushrooms your heart will allow.
Rise No 1 makes this very special soufflé with escargot, as they should. Here is what we would order tonight for dinner: the Marshmallow Soup made with bruleed chevre floating in creamy rich tomato, the Lobster Salad and an Escargot Soufflé. If there was room we would spring for the Grand Marnier soufflé for a happy ending.