Welcome to Where Chefs Eat, a semi-regular Eater feature in which we grill local chefs to figure out where they dine when they're off the clock.
With a resume that includes stints at Oak and The Mansion on Turtle Creek, it probably shouldn't have come as much of a surprise to anyone that chef Brian Zenner's cooking at Belly & Trumpet has garnered glowing reviews from practically every major media outlet in town; his artfully composed plates infused with global flavors (he's lived in Thailand, Dubai and London) keep diners coming back to the McKinney Avenue small plates hot spot night after night.
Despite the carefully arranged plates that almost certainly hint at a pair of tweezers or two being utilized in the Belly & Trumpet kitchen, Zenner's tastes are anything but fussy. Eater recently got the lowdown on where he likes to eat when he's not tied to the stove:
Where do you go for a quick lunch?
Off-Site Kitchen is my favorite! Stock cheese and a PBR.
Go-to late night spot?
Adair's late-night ham & cheese sandwich with pickles hits the spot.
Date night destination?
The Mansion on Turtle Creek. The Mansion is the chance to eat Bruno [Davaillion]'s food, and I wish I had the chance more often. He is hands down the best chef I have seen in a kitchen. I check out the menu there just to see what he is up to. Lobster and blood sausage has my mind swirling.
Favorite pizza place?
Louie's. I enjoy the character of the place. Not too fussy. I like the thin, crisp crust. And anchovies.
Favorite ethnic food spots?
Our Place in Irving, my parents found this Indian restaurant and it's delicious. Chicken Makhani is my favorite. The butter sauce it is cooked in blows me away, so rich yet so balanced.
Any other favorite Dallas places?
Went to Tei-An last Sunday, every dish was amazing. The two most memorable dishes were shumai dumplings with hot mustard and the soba ice cream. Speechless after each.
Do you ever (gasp) eat fast food?
I eat fast food more than I care to admit. So... no, I never eat it.
What about when you're traveling in other cities?
Pok Pok and Laurelhurst Market are killer in Portland. Momofuko in NYC is on the wish list, as is Animal in Los Angeles.
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