Lovers Seafood & Market is officially open for lunch and dinner service, starting Monday 3/6!
I had the pleasure and honor of being among the group of media and bloggers that got a sneak peek last week before they opened up service to the public. This is the new concept by Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing, the amazing duo behind Shinsei. With names like Rathbun and Fearing, I was so happy that I was actually invited! I've been a big fan forever! Needless to say, they were both there, along with Chef Kent Rathbun! I got a little star struck. hehe. Chef Rathbun actually sat at my table and dined with us for most of the night too. It was great hearing what influence and vision he has for the place in the future.
They've joined with Executive Chef Aaron Staudenmaier, who has been with Chef Rathbun since the beginning of his restaurants. What a great asset! He's cute too. :P Too bad he's married. haha. I'm married too, so I was curious for a friend. :P JK!
Lovers Seafood & Market
5200 West Lovers Lane
Dallas, TX 75209
The decor of this place is so much fun. From the wood shingled front door to the crystal decanter lights. Lots of sea foam green and wood to give the ambiance of the sea. They will also be selling fresh seafood that you can buy and cook at home, hence the "Market" part. In addition, there's going to be a raw bar... for those of you who like shrimp cocktails and oysters... get yourself a seat at that bar. It's not a big place so you'll probably want to make a reservation. For reservations call or go on their website.
We had 2 long tables to sit at. Since several of the courses were for sharing, that was a good set up. Plus this way we all get to talk to more people. Once everyone arrived, got drinks, and sat down, Tracy and Lynae gave a short intro, then passed it off to Chef Aaron to give us an introduction on the concept and ideas behind the food. The fish are all flown in and super fresh. They'll feature the freshest catches so be sure to check them out and see what they've got. There's also influences from the teams' various travels... traditional gumbo from New Orleans, or tuna poke from Hawaii. I cannot wait!
To start, we got several things to share at the table.
Dill Pickle Popcorn. This is served at every table as a little pre-meal snack. The seasoning on this was yummy. Never had a dill pickle flavored popcorn.
Ty's Warm Terracotta Pot Bread (black pepper, herb butter) $5~
Grilled Shrimp Dip (focaccia croutons) $11~
Spicy Pimento Cheese Dip (focaccia croutons) $10~
These are fun to share with a group of people. I really enjoyed the shrimp dip while several others loved the pimento. The focaccia croutons are more like bread sticks. Airy and crunchy. Although I would've preferred more of the terracotta pot bread for these dips. hehe.
Tuna Poke (Ahi tuna, sesame, wakame, cucumber, togarashi) $15~
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been obsessed with poke lately. hehe. This was very traditional, like the ones you'd get in Hawaii. Not so much like all the poke bowls we've been seeing pop up around Dallas. The tuna was super fresh. The thin chip was perfect with it, a little added texture. I enjoyed it very much!
Gumbo Ya Ya (chicken and andouille sausage) $7/10~
Loved this gumbo! It was full of meat and flavor. They put Tobasco at the table but it didn't even need it. The gumbo itself had a slight kick to it. The rice was also cooked nicely, great texture. I hate it when rice becomes mushy. Chef Kent Rathbun was telling us that this recipe is straight from New Orleans, can't get more authentic than that.
For the next course we had 2 different Market Fish:
Seared Walleyed Pike (from the Great Lakes). I've never had Pike before. One of the other bloggers said it was her favorite fish. I'm excited to try it. It had a fabulous sear. The meat was very tender as well.
Seared Red Snapper (from Florida Gulf). Sorry... no picture. I liked this one too. The meat was also super tender. It went so well with the side dishes.
Charred Broccoli (cajun ranch) $7~ The sauce on that broccoli. Wow. This was also one of my favorite bites of the night.
Brussels Sprouts (malt vinegar, bacon) $9~
I love me some Brussels Sprouts. These were good, but could have even more char. And I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but there was too much bacon. I actually wished there would be more Brussels Sprouts to bacon ratio. haha. Another girl agreed with me. So... whew! :P
Roasted Poblano Jack Grits $8~
Loved this!! So did everyone else. It was so creamy and buttery. A great side to any entree!
And let's not forget dessert! We were all pretty full, but when they started bringing out the various desserts, it was like our stomachs emptied again. What a spread!
Chocolate S'mores Pie (shaved chocolate, sea salt caramel, graham). Decadent and silky chocolate, toasted marshmallows... Can't go wrong with that.
Vanilla Cheese Cake (seasonal fruit jam). This was my least favorite. It was still good, but with all the other dessert options, the vanilla cheesecake got lost among the other flavors. Without the berries, I found it a little bland. The texture was nice though. Not your typical super heavy cheesecakes.
The "Elvis" (peanut butter banana pie). This was a show stopper. I loved the presentation. The peanut butter cream was actually quite light! And there was a thin layer of chocolate between the cream and the crust. That was a nice surprise. The chocolate was hardened so it added a crunch to the crust. It was delish!
Key Lime Pie (vanilla anglaise dipping sauce). This y'all... was fantastic. I don't usually like key lime pies but I loved this. The flavors were on point. Just the right amount of tart vs sweet. I find that key lime pies typically are wayyy too tart. You can see the flakes of lime zest in there too.
What a fantastic night. Great company and delicious food, what more can you ask for?? And we only got a GLIMPSE of their menu... there so much more to try! This had been one of my favorite media dinners to date. I have to give a shout out to Ariana Hajibashi, from Adastra PR. She's sooooo much fun and definitely made the evening even better. :D Congratulations to the team behind this new restaurant. I think it will be a hit!
*This meal was comped but all opinions are my own.
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~