Scott Reitz checked out CBD Provisions: The Joule's new "modern Texas brasserie" from Consilient became an instant downtown hot spot, and for good reason. Chef Michael Sindoni has a deft hand with offal: "The braised tripe is a revelation, capable of converting the most devout haters," and pig tails are "approachable and meaty." An impressive whole pig's head is loaded with crisp skin and tender meat, if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty. If that seems a little too out-there, there are "enticing" sandwiches like a Cuban and a mortadella grilled cheese; but Reitz found the burger on the dry side and the mac and cheese skippable. Overall, CBD is "plenty big enough to stand on its own without the Joule, and will lure far more than hotel guests to dinner." [Observer]
Leslie Brenner reviewed Tanoshii Ramen: While the ramen broth here "falls short of soulful," it's still satisfying enough to make a meal of, particularly the "rich, porky" tonkotsu version with "nicely springy and pleasantly firm" noodles. Lemongrass chicken soup loaded with tender dumplings reminds Brenner of "a Southeast Asian version" of something grandma used to make. The starters menu, including "frilly little gyozas" and pork belly steamed buns, is a bit too heavy on the starches. Cocktails "are well-conceived, though they're sometimes mixed too sweet," but there's a "small, well-selected list" of sake and Japanese whiskeys. Overall, "a very decent bowl of ramen," "winning personality" and "excellent service" make Tanoshii worth a visit.
Carol Shih dished on Royal Sichuan, Lion City Chinese Cafe & Noodle House: "The best of Dallas' Chinese comfort food" can be found at these family-owned, "under-the-radar" restaurants. Royal Sichuan is excellent for spicy Sichuanese cuisine, Lion City serves up "Singapore heritage cuisine" that's worth the long wait, and Noodle House is known for "one of the most respected beef noodle soups in Dallas." (Do read the entire article for more insight on all three.) [D]
Anna Caplan went to Sera Dining & Wine: "A menu stressing Spanish tapas, seafood and pork" is "nicely edited," with a little something for everyone whether you're adventurous (crispy pig ears, blood sausage croquettes) or less so (patatas bravas, Spanish omelet). Littleneck clams come in a chorizo-spiked cider broth that's "downright addictive," while squid ink fideo loaded with seafood "is a dish that you will be dreaming of, days later." A persimmon tart with goat cheese makes an ideal dessert paired with French press coffee; a small but growing wine list is "dedicated to France and Spain's best vineyards." [DFW.com]
ELSEWHERE: The Taco Trail revisited Chichen Itza on Lower Greenville; TMBBQ reviewed Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ in Austin; City of Ate tried Bonchon Chicken and El Come Taco; The Barbecue Fiend went to Meshack's in Garland.
[Photo: Margo Sivin/EDFW]