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Campo Lacks Magic; Central 214, Union Bear Earn Fans

DALLAS MORNING NEWS -- While Matt McCallister is enjoying all sorts of attention on his upcoming Design District venture FT33, those dining at Campo Modern Country Bistro are missing the presence of the forager. Leslie Brenner awarded the Oak Cliff bistro but two stars, noting "unfortunately, much of the culinary magic vanished along with McCallister."

Not a great report for new execuchef Josh Black and his serving staff. While LesBren says there's still "lots to love," she thought Black needs some help in the handmade pasta department and some of the servers need a lesson in identifying what they're putting in front of diners. Oh, and this little tidbit seemed an especially valuable comment: "The prices haven’t gone up, but because the cooking isn’t as sharp, the plates aren’t nearly as satisfying and now they seem expensive."

DFW.COM -- The record is skipping a bit. Like most, Teresa Gubbins is on the verge of the Graham Dodds seduction. The goat burger and goat brisket were both hits, but like a new album from a favorite band, the menu wasn't entirely solid gold. She had some run-ins with grease and too much dressing, but pointed out that there were "neat surprises" (like the Scotch egg), and magic in the brunch and lunch menus.

Ultimately, though, Gubbins' Central 214 review reads like that of an excited, longtime fan: "His presence at Central 214 still feels tentative, but there's something heroic about it, too -- like seeing your favorite indie band playing at an arena."

CITY OF ATE -- If Union Bear were a dude, Scott "Hipster Dreamboat" Reitz might be BFFs with it. His review of the West Village includes mention of all the various beers he could want, chicken-fried egg on its Caesar salad (he otherwise doesn't focus on the roughage too much, of course), areas suitable for enjoying or escaping Dallas' weather, a hangar steak tartare with "bravado," and a Cubano that he loves so much it doesn't even get scolded for not being a real Cuban.

There was no "fantastic" or "best ever," just a review that conveyed while Alice Waters isn't doing the farm-to-table cooking, Reitz just might crash out in Union Bear's guest room if the "fine place to eat, a fine place to drink and a fine place to be" had one available.

Union Bear. [Photo: Union Bear/Facebook]

CampO Modern Country Bistro

1115 N Beckley Avenue, Dallas, TX 75203 214 946 1308

Union Bear

3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204 214 245 5330 Visit Website

Central 214

Hotel Palomar Dallas, Dallas, TX 75206 (214) 443-9339 Visit Website