Leslie Brenner reviewed CBD Provisions: The new Consilient venture at The Joule is "smashingly good." Cocktails are "are among the best in town," the restaurant itself is beautiful, and service is "absolutely spot-on." Chef Michael Sindoni's "modern Texan" fare is adventurous and inventive, from starters like toasts topped with avocado and cobia ceviche or "meaty fried pig tails" in a zingy barbecue sauce; a housemade pickle jar is "a must-have table accessory." Family-style mains like a whole pig's head and Wagyu rib steak are all "outstanding," though solo dishes like head-on shrimp and grits and roasted quail are just as satisfying. "Desserts can delight," though they're not quite on par with their savory counterparts; skip the breakfast, which was just ho-hum. Four stars. [DMN]
Kim Pierce ate at The Rustic: The newest venture from FreeRange Concepts offers "a little patch of Texas dreamin' amid Uptown's high-rises and cranes." Waits for a table can be long "on nights when weather makes outside seating impossible," but the menu of "high-minded comfort" food is worthwhile: Think "deviled eggs crowned with crackling-good fried chicken skin," wild boar meatballs, a cheddar-and-brisket-topped burger grilled over wood, "juicy molasses-brined quail," and a standout "peanut-butter-mousse pie on a fudge-draped, chocolate-cookie crust." 34 local beers on tap are worth a mention, though the wine list is less impressive. [DMN]
Nancy Nichols went to Mi Piaci: Recently relocated from Addison (and replacing the failed Ocho), Mi Piaci was "once the standard for fine Italian in Dallas," but "sadly, the cooking is as tired and limp as the withering leeks in tall vases on the tables." Service is erratic and inattentive, and none of the dishes were especially memorable, except for being tough (veal scallopine), overcooked (spaghetti), or bland (bolognese); Nichols "would go back only to sit on the patio, sip wine, and watch car accidents." [D Mag]
Steve Watkins hit up Billy's Oak Acres: This new-ish barbecue joint way out in west Fort Worth "hit[s] it out of the park on ambience," housed in an old building with sloping floors that dates back to the 1940s, although "they lose a few authenticity points for being so friendly" and for offering waitress, rather than counter, service. St. Louis-style ribs are "smoked to perfection," sausage is nicely snappy, and the brisket is properly moist and "tender without falling apart." Sides and desserts are all homemade, including chunky potato salad, coleslaw spiked with Sriracha, and "dangerously good" buttermilk pie. Overall, "this joint should be high on your list." [DFW.com]
Scott Reitz checked out Alligator Cafe: The new Deep Ellum location of the Cajun favorite lights up the former Rosemont space with lime green paint and faux gator skin, an extremely friendly staff, and food that's "in line with what you might expect from one of the casual cafés" in Louisiana. Dirty rice isn't quite dirty enough, and the gumbo can be uneven, but when the kitchen is on it's tasty, especially when spiked with the spicy Voodoo sauce that should hit every table. Other solid options include rich meat-and-rice-stuffed boudin links, a muffaletta, and a satisfying oyster po'boy. [Observer]
ELSEWHERE: SideDish sampled the new BonChon Chicken; Fort Worth Weekly ate at First Chinese BBQ in Haltom City; WoodSmokeMeat tried the barbecue at Deep Ellum's Work; The Barbecue Fiend went to Smoke; Almost Veggie tried Tanoshii Ramen.