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Monday, May 8, 2017

Dallas Fish Market - Menu Tasting

I recently got invited to check out Dallas Fish Market. I was pretty excited because it's always been on my list of restaurants to try but just never made it out. This past Saturday, my husband and I paid them a visit. We had a really early reservation at 5PM, right when they opened for dinner service. Upon checking in, the hostess knew right away that I was there for a menu tasting set up by their marketing department. She sat us right by the window... where there was the best light. Was that a conscious choice on the restaurant's part? I'd like to think so! (It was definitely smart!) :) And the lighting was perfect that day. (The rest of the restaurant was quite dim if you like a more intimate setting.)

Dallas Fish Market
1501 Main St #100
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 744-3474
Price: $$$$+

The hostess gave us some menus to peruse but also explained that the chef was just going to send stuff out, so the menus were just for references. Soon after, we were served 2 glasses of champagne to start and some cucumber waters.

The first course came quickly after... Crab BLT (colossal crab, bacon jam, Thai basil). 
This was a cute little amuse bouche. OMG, it was so cute! Not only did it look good, it was yummy! The biscuit was buttery and flaky. The crab had great texture. And oh the bacon jam.... Yum! I also loved the use of Thai basil instead of Italian basil. It gave a sharper fragrance to the bite. Once the BLT was served, the chef, Chef Triptow, came out to greet us and kind of explained how the dinner was going to work. We basically sit back and let him surprise us with whatever he wanted us to try! Works for me! This way I won't have to choose between all the delicious sounding dishes. hehe.

We started with the Market Clam Chowder (little neck clams, smoked bacon, potatoes) $8~ 

I love a good chowder. And I like really creamy and hearty chowders. I'm usually not a fan of brothy soups. This hit on all my requirements for a good chowder. It was rich, hearty, and full of ingredients... Definitely lots of clams in every spoonful. It is a very rich soup. I'm glad we got to share it. Because if I had finished that on my own, I would've been full.

Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels (lemongrass, red coconut milk, thai basil) $14~ 
I feel like the chef is reading my mind. So far he's sending out all the things I would've ordered on my own. I had been eyeing the mussels from the start. I absolutely LOVED it! It's less soupy than most mussels I've had. Just an observation, not saying either way is better. But that sauce was amazingggg. It was creamy and flavorful... I can definitely taste every ingredient. I loved the combination with the grilled bread and the sauce. The mussels were cooked well and were nice and plump. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night.

Housemade Biscuits (jalapeno, cheddar, maple syrup butter, sea salt). 
This was an unexpected little bonus between the starters and entrees. The biscuits were buttery and flaky and warm. I was intrigued by the maple whipped butter. You can definitely taste the maple syrup. And the addition of the sea salt intensified that sweet and savory combination. Loved the savory biscuit with the slightly sweet butter.

For the entrees, we got Scallops with Cauliflower Three Ways (cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, raw cauliflower salad) $34~ 
Again... reading my mind? I love scallops, but I rarely order them at restaurants because most place tend to give you only 3 tiny pieces are sometimes disappointing. The last time I ordered scallops at a nice restaurant (I won't name names), it was expensive, small, and the scallops were gritty! This was not the case at Dallas Fish Market! It's still a pricey dish, but you get FOUR good sized pieces of scallops. And it was cooked to PERFECTION. I have not had scallops this good in a long time! Perfectly seared, perfectly tender and the plating was beautiful. 
All the presentation so far have been great, but we really start to see the artistry with the entrees. Also, I love cauliflower. I eat it weekly. The puree was creamy and luscious. The grilled ones were my favorite... cooked with browned butter, it had added so much flavor to the dish. I just wished there was more of it. And the raw cauliflower florets added a slightly crunchy texture. I also have to point out the grapes. I've never had grapes with scallops before and it was genius. Just slightly sweet, it paired so well with everything. I started cutting them in half just so I can have a bit of grape with every bite. A+!

Fennel Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna (mushrooms, sugar peas, serrano, black bean paste, mustard miso) $34~ 
The chef obviously read my husband's mind too because Ahi Tuna is like his favorite thing. Gorgeous plating, once again. That black bean paste was so bold in flavor. We've seen a lot of Asian influences so far and we're loving it. The tuna was tender and that crust was my favorite part of the dish. My husband really enjoyed the sauce and all the veggies in it. The serrano added a nice heat but wasn't overly spicy. The entrees didn't look that big, but were both quite full at this point.

I knew there was going to be dessert but wasn't sure what we're going to get because desserts weren't listed on the menu.

The waiter brought out these cute little Black Sesame and Yuzu Ice Cream Cones (truffled honey, toasted quinoa). 
My eyes lit up as soon as I saw the black sesame ice cream. I'm obsessed with it and I'm sad that you can't really find much of it in Dallas. But what? We're at a non-Asian place and were served black sesame ice cream?! I'm officially impressed now. Biting into it, I also tasted something like lemon. So I asked the waiter what else was in it and he asked the chef. The chef actually incorporated Yuzu into it. Another ingredient I absolutely love but is really lacking in the Dallas food scene. NIce! The waiter also told us that this is not on the menu, and the chef decided to make it specially for us. Awww... He definitely made it for the right people because we love all these flavors. It was the perfect little bite to end the dinner.... Or so we thought...

But wait. There's more! (Of course! haha). My husband's eyes got really wide when more desserts came because we were both so full.

They brought out a Molten Chocolate Souffle (creme anglaise). 
The creme anglaise was poured at the table. The souffle was so hot, you could actually see the sauce pulsating inside of it. Since it was a molten souffle, the inside was a little denser and molten-y than a typical souffle. Which I enjoyed because I like denser desserts. Sometimes I find souffles too light. haha. Have you noticed I like things with more substance and heft? I also loved the top crust. That's usually my favorite part of a souffle. The chocolate was dark but not bitter. And it wasn't overly sweet. :)

The chef came back out when the desserts were served to see how we were doing and introduced the desserts. We found out then that he had just returned from a trip to Japan. His first time! We talked for awhile about our experiences as well as his. This is where the idea of the black sesame yuzu ice cream came from. He also said that he discovered more flavors from his trip that he's going to try and incorporate into future dishes. He's already got some ideas. That's really exciting. My husband and I both loved Japan and we look forward to what Chef Triptow brings to the table in the future. If he's already incorporating a lot of Asian flavors, his trip to Japan would definitely bring more creative ideas into the menu.

The last dessert was a Beet Ice Cream (citrus buttercream, chocolate crumble, candied beets) $8~ 
It was absolutely gorgeous. Basically art on a plate. The chef said he wanted to do a more savory dessert. This dish is actually not on the menu right now. They will debut it on the Mother's Day Brunch coming up this Sunday 5/14 (you can find the menu on their website). And then after that, I believe it will be added to the regular menu. The dish looked like a beautiful spring garden. The chocolate crumbles (made with hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts) is the earth, and it's covered with bold colors of pinks, greens, and yellows. The beet ice cream was so good... you can definitely taste the beet but it wasn't weird. We both love beets so we inhaled this dessert. My favorite part on this dish though... that citrus buttercream. It's bright and creamy. I kinda want the Chef to create another dessert just around that citrus buttercream. So good!

What a wonderful dinner. I'm kicking myself for not going to the Dallas Fish Market sooner... it's been around for a long time (since 2007)! For a city that's not close to the ocean, I have to say that Dallas has some great seafood restaurants! We loved everything that the chef chose for us. I actually like being surprised like this. It takes the pressure off of me to choose what I want. Because I always want everything! haha. And the chef and I were totally on the same vibe because I probably would've picked everything he sent out anyways. The quality of the ingredients were top notch. The presentation was also great. And we had fantastic service. Multiple people waited on us, perks of going early when the restaurant is not full yet! Our water glasses never got past half empty (which my husband REALLY appreciated), and the timing between each course was just right. I would totally recommend it for a date night or special occasion. And a huge THANK YOU to Dallas Fish Market for having us out and filling our bellies. :) Can't wait to come back in the future.

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own. Plus, always tip your wait staff even if you get a free meal!*

Quality of Food: 



Value: (comped)

Overall Experience: 


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