Scott Reitz reviewed Monkey King Noodle Co.: The fact that people queue up here even when the weather is cold "is testament that something exceptional is happening at Deep Ellum's newest takeout." Hand-pulled Chinese noodles are impressively made to order, and while they "can be inconsistent at times" in thickness and texture, it matters little in the context of the incredible spicy beef noodle soup that is "one of the most soulful soup experiences that can be had anywhere in Dallas." Dan-dan noodles, "bright and spicy" wontons with chile oil and soup dumplings that "explode with broth when you take a bite" are also solid choices. [Observer]
Teresa Gubbins went to Lonesome Dove: Tim Love's flagship restaurant shuttered after an August fire, but reopened just two months later better than ever. Staff is attentive and diligent, and while the menu remains focused on its signature wild game offerings it also has plenty of new innovations, like a creamy and intriguing scallop crudo with raw squash and a tasty collard green salad topped with a runny egg. Squid ink pasta is overwhelmed by chorizo, but beet home fries are sweetly addictive. Overall, the Dove remains "a quintessential restaurant for its neighborhood and its city." [DFW.com]
Mark Vamos checked up on Taverna: Alberto Lombardi's recently relocated restaurant "runs like a well-oiled machine," and the food is "pretty good," if not quite as Italian as it would like to think. Garlicky Manila clams and a solid caprese salad make for good starters, but Parmesan risotto is served oddly, with a "gooey melted dome" of cheese on top rather than incorporated; the much touted "chef's flatbread" is "really just pallid flatbread"; beef carpaccio is cut too thick and lacks acidic zing; and many other dishes lack seasoning. Fresh pastas are "beautifully glossy" and tender, if not always put to best use. "The wine list's a head-scratcher," relying heavily on American vineyards, but desserts like a hazelnut budino are "appropriately gooey and satisfying." [DMN]
ELSEWHERE: D reviewed Joyce & Gigi's, Village Kitchen and Shady's Burger Joint; SideDish went on a quest for the best hummus in Dallas; Zagat ate at Truck Yard; Confection Confessions tried Plano's new Sugar Ray's Bake Shop; The Barbecue Fiend went to Big Boy's Bar-B-Que in Sweetwater.
[Photo: Becky Ryan/EDFW]