The bird was the word when it came to this week's reviews—at least, for Dallas Morning News' Leslie Brenner and Dallas Observer's Scott Reitz.
Brenner checked out the two-month old Sissy's Southern Kitchen and Bar, the chicken-fried babe of Lisa Garza that comes laid out on what reminds most of Granny's Pink Vista and Blue Willow, but dressed in Billy Reid. She found the ham and cheese starter to be something from a "terribly hip Southern grandma who trained at the Cordon Bleu" and ultimately savor-worthy. She later devoted an entire blog post to Sissy's iconic layered salad.
But there's that fried chicken. The stuff people won't stop tweeting about. The stuff people say they celebrate finding in their icebox (what? It's southern) the next morning. Even Reitz called it "even better after a night in the fridge." ("Fridge" -- he's not southern.)
Brenner calls it "terrific." Says it is "juicy and flavorful. Succulent, even." But she urges patrons to try the other entrees, also prepared by chef Jeffery Hobbs, and just order chicken for the table. Why? Well, here it comes again:
You will have a bite or two — or a piece — at dinner, and then you will weep with happiness the next day when you find the bonanza in your fridge. Convince your dining companions that it’s for your children, or your neighbor’s children, or whatever is necessary to prevent them from absconding with it themselves.What is it with this damn chicken?!
Reitz spent some time with Jeff Harris' food at Bolsa, studying his bird. His brined, roulade-d, sous-vide bird with crispy, crispy skin sheets.
Reitz calls upon the Julia Child quote about judging a cook or restaurant by its roasted chicken, and finds that Harris, formerly of the Tom Colicchio School of Perfectly Roasted Chicken thanks to his time at Craft, has modified his methods, but for good reason. And with great result. "It's a balanced plate and a celebration of spring that supports chicken almost too lush to be real," celebrates Reitz. Of the baked chicken skin, he notes, "The broken shards, scattered about, are the final component of a beautiful plate."
Oh, sure, it wasn't all winged wonderment. There were other dishes discussed—some praised, some not so much—but after all that clucking, it was hard to pay attention.
· At Sissy's Southern Kitchen and Bar, fried chicken that rocks—and a whole lot more [DMN]
· At Jeff Harris' Bolsa, One Dish Reveals the Chef's Chops [DO]
· All Sissy's Southern Kitchen and Bar Coverage on Eater Dallas [-EDFW-]
· All Bolsa Coverage on Eater Dallas [-EDFW-]
Sissy's Southern Kitchen and Bar. [Photo: Sara Kerens/EDFW]