I've been anxiously awaiting the opening of Ida Claire. It's the latest addition to Addison by the owners of Whiskey Cake (one of my favs), Mexican Sugar, and The Ranch in Las Colinas (still on my list to visit). It's got a Southern base.. with some other influences. I love me some Southern food!
5001 Belt Line Rd.
Dallas, TX 75254
Before they even opened, I emailed and made a reservation for a party of 10 for mid August. Instead of going to Restaurant Week this year, I decided to try the many new restaurants in DFW that's on my list. Was anyone else bored by the RW list btw?? They need to add some new places to it... I've already been to most of the ones I wanna go. :-/
We arrived 5 minutes past our reservation. The parking lot was packed so we did the complimentary valet. They got a pretty cool system going too. Instead of giving you a ticket you can lose later, they text you with a link. When you are ready for your car, just follow the directions on the link and the car's waiting for you. No more waiting around the valet stand! Most of our group was already at the bar. And we were seated as soon as we walked in.
The place was packed and very energetic. The decor is very eclectic. Reminded me of Whiskey Cake but even more stuff on the walls, etc. The menu cover looked like a old-style story book. That's cute. It's like Sunday supper at your grandma's. hehe. When you see the food, take notes of some of the plates... very homey and old fashioned.
It took us awhile to chit chat and look through the menu until we finally ordered some appetizers. I was starving!!
Crawfish Corn Fritters (smoked mustard remoulade) $8~ These were yum. Stuffed full of corn and crawfish. The outside was fried nicely. It had a kick to it too... not sure what spice the put in it.
Sweet Potato Chip Duck Confit (goat cheese fondue, duck fat gravy, sunny side up duck egg) $11~
Totally NOT a fondue... I think that word was misleading. And you know me... I don't like goat cheese. Luckily, it was just in large chunks so I can eat around it. The sweet potato chips were good, but I didn't think it was a good base for the duck (which was tender and tasty). It would've been better on a bed of sweet potato hash or something. It was like weird nachos... But I still liked everything except the goat cheese.
Southern Tasting Board (turducken terrine, southern sausage, farm ham, pimento cheese, smoked mustard, jam, crackers) $13~ I didn't get to try everything but the turducken terrine was tasty! I also tried the pickled okra which was good.
Pecan Wood Roasted Oysters (french quarter butter, bacon, buttered breadcrumbs, wilted kale) $10~
You get 5 to an order. I liked the presentation. I'm normally not an oyster fan, but I do prefer them cooked vs raw. These were fantastic! I'd say the best apps we got. It had so much flavor, and lots of texture from the breadcrumbs and bacon. The kale was a nice touch too. I'll certainly eat 2 dozens of these!
On to the entrees. Mostly everyone got something different so lots of pictures to see!
Chicken in a Biscuit (crispy chicken, peppered bacon gravy, spinach, roasted tomato, sunny egg) $10~
This is definitely a "knife & fork biscuit" as stated by the menu. This was mine. Since it's a Southern restaurant I really wanted to try the fried chicken and gravy... and biscuits. hahaha. It was huge!!! The egg on top was nice and runny once I cut into it. It was delicious.
All the elements were great and the kale salad on the side was a nice refreshing compliment. The biscuit was fluffy (I only made it through the bottom half). The chicken was moist and nicely fried. I wish the gravy had a bit more pepper. But honestly, ever since I had the sausage gravy at Jacob's Pickles in NYC, nothing else has yet to live up to it. XP I got some tabasco and the dish was complete. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
My fiance got the Tea Braised Pork Shank (whipped celery root mash, brussels sprouts, tomato, lardons, spiced tea gravy) $18~
Actually, I told him to get this. hahaha. But he loved it. The shank was huge and suuuuper fork tender. It just slid off the bone. Loved the brussels sprouts, of course. We took almost half of this to go!
BBQ Shrimp (gulf shrimp, Orleans BBQ butter, mirliton slaw, spiced mustard remoulade) $13~ Another knife and fork biscuit. Looked great!
Blackened Shrimp Frisee (gulf shrimp, pickled garlic, asiago, white anchovy, bacon vinaigrette) $13~ I got a bite of this... the vinaigrette was really good!
Bird of Paradise (pecan grilled half chicken, wild mushrooms, kale, cipollinis, local peas, hen jus) $14~ The skin on that bird looked amazing! I loved the color contrast on the plate too. Didn't get to try but was told it's good.
Chicken & Waffles (crispy 1/4 chicken, cornmeal waffle, chicory coffee maple syrup, hot sauce butter, chili dusted watermelon) $12~ The 1/4 chicken seemed a bit small after seeing all the other dishes. haha. My friend said it was really good.
Shrimp & Grits (Texas prawns, lardons, gristmill parmesan grits, sauce piquant) $18~ Apparently recommended by the bartender. My friend loved it. Cleaned his plate. It did look mighty tasty.
Wagyu Sirloin Steak (8 oz. A Bar N Wagyu, cast iron ponzu okra salad, wild mushrooms, shallot, ginger pan jus) $26~ I got a bite of the steak. Cooked well, really tender. Yummy mushrooms too.
Pimento Mac N' Cheese $4~ So. Freaking. Good. The pasta was cooked well. It wasn't smothered in cheese. One of my favorites of the night.
Brussels & Blistered Tomatoes $5~ I didn't eat this since my fiance had brussels sprouts in his dish. I'm assuming they're about the same.
Going in, I knew I had to save room for dessert because I already knew which cake I wanted. haha. But my entree was so good I ate all of it... But still, dessert!
Ida's Vice Cake (stout cake, tobacco simple syrup, coffee buttercream, smoked-candied bacon, ganache) $7~
OMG... just look at this. It's beautiful. And I love sweet and savory so I was very excited. First bite, I went for the back side where the bottom was decorated with bacon bits. The cake was moist, the coffee buttercream was smooth and the ganache was oh so good. The bacon? Super smokey... which is good I guess. But it really wasn't doing the cake any flavors. It can do without the bacon actually. It's plenty good on its own, the bacon flavor actually overwhelms it. But luckily the bacon doesn't cover the entire cake. So not completely what I expected but still very good. I'd eat it again.
Bartender's Cake (butter cake, spiced pecans, brown sugar cream cheese frosting) $7~ Good, but the chocolate cake was better. The cream cheese frosting on this though... on point! I can just eat that on its own. haha.
I wish they had a few more dessert options but I guess 2 is good too, so I wouldn't want to order too much. haha. It was a great meal, and lovely time catching up with friends. I will definitely be back. Yummy food, big portions, cool ambiance and good service. I've heard the cocktails are good too... and strong.
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~