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Friday, July 11, 2014

Knife @ Hotel Palomar

I'm overdue for another post! I've got several actually. Last weekend was crazy busy and exciting! Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. :)

I've been trying to check out Knife for awhile with some foodie friends of mine. We had scheduled it weeks in advance and still had to reschedule another time. Finally it was the day! We were all pretty excited since we've all loved Chef John Tesar's (former Top Chef contestant) Spoon in the past. I think we all had pretty high expectations.

5680 North Central Expressway
Dallas, Texas 75206
(214) 443-9339
Price: $$$$+

It is located in Hotel Palomar on Mockingbird Lane. I've always really liked that hotel, it's really nice and modern inside. Although parking is non-existent. They offer free valet to dining guests though.

Some of us arrived a little early so we went to the bar. The drink menu is displayed on an ipad, which is cool. But I didn't care for most of their cocktail options. Nothing really interesting stood out to me. The cocktails range from $10-14~ ish...

My bf ordered a Oaxacan Mule. I guess it's similar to a Moscow Mule? But it had pear liquor or something so maybe that's the difference. It came in a cool copper cup and adorned with sliced pears. He liked it.

My other friend got an Olive Oil Martini. She said it was super strong and did not taste any of the olive oil flavor.

Once everyone arrived we were seated immediately. The restaurant decor was nice. I especially liked the eclectic yet Western style in the bar area. Although there were 2 chairs by the hostess stand that looked like coffins... not sure where they were going with that. haha. Made for a fun photo op though! :P There was an open kitchen/plating area after you walk in. And I saw Chef John Tesar working! It wasn't as big of a space as I expected. We had 6 people and were seated in a giant booth with a giant table, probably could've fit another 4 people pretty comfortably. haha.

Our waiter came by with more drink orders. Then later explained the menu to us with the different cuts of beef, the aging time, etc. It was a little hard to understand him though for several reasons. 1) The table was so damn big, we all had to lean in to listen. 2) Once the dining room started filling up, the noise level was kinda high. 3) He had an accent, and I'm so bad with accents. XP

We started off with a Complimentary Crudite: Cucumber, Radish, Celery, Endive, Carrots, Jerky; with Green Goddess sauce. Cool presentation. The veggies were nicely chilled in the ice and fresh. I liked the Green Goddess sauce a lot.

Bread Basket: Biscuit, Bread
We got to choose from 4-5 kinds of bread. The waiter with the basket highly recommended the bread on the right. I think he called it "Lavon??", I can't be sure since I've never heard of it. I actually had to make him repeat it twice. haha. And in the end, I still didn't fully understand... The "lavon" bread was good, could've been warmer though. Fluffy, soft inside, and a harder crust on the outside. The biscuit was quite dense and kinda dry. Would've been better warmer too. And soaked in gravy... I'm just sayin'. hahaha.

It was time to order. Each couple ordered their own thing but we ended up swapping plates around the table.

Couple #1 got Teresa's Watercress, Endive and Walnut Salad (with goat cheese) $16~ 
They went ahead and split the salad for them (so the picture shows half portion). It came in these gigantic bowls. Cool presentation, but unnecessary? I got to try a little of the salad. I was hesitant since I don't like goat cheese at all, but it was good. The goat cheese was very mild. I loved the watercress, it's not everyday you see that in salads.

45 Day Dry Aged Niman Ranch Bone in Ribeye (32oz. for 2) $80~ 
This thing was massive. So impressive looking. And this is the first time I've had steak that was already cut for me. The meat was cooked well. And it had so much marbling, which I love. The flavor was great. They offer these sauces you can order on the side, but I think due to the aging process the meat already has a lot of flavor and the sauces are unnecessary. Plus with the fattiness of the meat, some of the richer sauces might be overkill? I really enjoyed this. Plus ribeye is my second favorite cut of steak only to prime rib. Can't say it was the best ribeye I've had, but it was definitely good.

They also got Johnny's Mac & Cheese $12~ 
There was some green stuff baked into the cheese. I'm guessing green chile? It was yummy. The pasta had good texture and it had a nice crust.

Couple #2 ordered the 45 Day Dry Aged Bone in Niman Ranch Sirloin (24oz.) $60~ 
This was also impressive looking and pre-cut. However, I didn't like this one as much. You can definitely taste the flavor difference between this and the ribeye. The ribeye was just richer and meatier. The sirloin is definitely a much leaner cut if you are into that.

Fettuccine Bolognese $19~ 
We also ordered this. They split the plates for all of us (half portion shown here too). I wanted to try their pasta because I know they make it in-house. I read online that the bolognese sometimes was too spicy so I asked beforehand if they can remove or reduce the spice. (I love spicy but my bf can't take much.) The waiter didn't seem to know and was hesitant to accommodate but he said he would write it down. I dunno how they prep the pasta, but I would think they could accommodate to people who can't handle spicy?? Wasn't too happy about that.... But I really liked the pasta dish. The fettuccine was cooked well. I loved the texture. The bolognese was good too. Not spicy enough for me, but still too much for my bf, so I ate his half too. I win! :P And we realized that the table was not so big after all. With all our large slabs of meat and split plates, the entire table was covered! hahaha. It was a feast!

They also got Roasted Okra, Tomato, and Bacon $9~ This was really good. Nice smoky flavor. The okra was cooked well. (sorry, forgot a picture)

Finally, the two of us opted for no steak because there were other dishes I wanted to try more.

Sous Vide Beef Cheek Open Faced Sandwich (morel mushroom gravy) $17~ 
I love beef cheeks. I've realized that the best part of any meat is the cheek. And fish too! The most juicy and tender. This was amazing. Sous vide is basically sealing the meat in an airtight bag and then cooked in a temperature controlled water bath for a long time. It makes the meat super tender. The meat was fork tender and had so much flavor. The combo of textures from the morel mushrooms and bread contrasted the soft meat. It was our favorite dish of the night.

Crispy Pork Belly (collard greens, pan juices) $18~ 
It also had pickles and mustard seeds. You know me and my pork belly! Gotta try it. They actually had 2 pork belly dishes and we chose this one. The pork belly was thick cut and had a really nice crust on the outside. The best part? The combination of the pickles, pork and mustard seeds. The slight acidity from the pickles made the dish. The collard greens lightened up the dish next to the fatty meat. Tasty. But not as good as the beef cheeks. :P

And of course we got the Fettuccine Bolognese $19~ as I mentioned earlier.

Vegetarian Collard Greens $7~ I wanted some veggies so we ordered this. Basically same as what was underneath the pork belly. Cooked well, nothing spectacular though. (sorry, forgot a picture, but it's just collard greens)

That was a lot of food. We were given dessert menus but seeing the price and how full we were already, none of us opted to get anything. I wanted to try one of them, but I think it was a good decision I didn't. Because... we were given Complimentary Mini Desserts (from left to right): Moscato Jelly, Shortbread Cookie, Banana Macaron, Brownie (with sea salt). 
The macaron was by far the best. And it was so cute! They did this too at Spoon, where you get a complimentary beginning and end. Which I like, and not many nice restaurants in Dallas does this. We also got some parting gifts. Madeleines, which are French butter cakes shaped like shells. I ate mine the next day. It was moist and buttery and you can see the vanilla bean specks in it.

Overall the food was delicious. Everything else just mediocre. The waiter was nice, but not as informative or accommodating as I would've expected. It was a bit loud in there and conversations were kinda hard because the table was so large. And honestly I was comparing it to Spoon, which was phenomenal, so Knife had a tough act to follow...

I probably won't return. But don't mark it off your list if you haven't tried it yet.

Quality of Food:




Overall Experience:


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