Leslie Brenner reviewed Casa Rubia: She lavishes four stars on the modern Spanish venture from Driftwood chef and owner Omar Flores and Jonn Baudoin for "taking Spain's small plates beyond the much more modest ambitions of traditional Dallas tapas bars." Said small plates are "mostly wonderful," like "crisply fried baby artichokes" garnished with salt-cured tuna and buñuelos de pollo, "hot, savory doughnuts" with Serrano ham and chicken, and "splendid" steamed mussels with housemade potato chips and trout roe. Some of the small plates like merguez-stuffed quail are difficult to share, though no less delicious; paellas are much less successful, and the desserts' "modernist fussiness" make a cheese plate finale all the more appealing, especially paired with one of the many sherry selections. [DMN]
Scott Reitz checked out The Rustic: FreeRange Concepts has created "the most outwardly Texan space in Dallas," dressed to the nines with cattle skulls and a flag made of beer cans. The Sharon Hage-designed menu executed by Matt Balke offers plenty to like, including starters like excellent chorizo fritters and deviled eggs livened up with fried chicken skin; both make worthy accompaniments for one of the many Texas beers on offer. Entree highlights included molasses-brined quail and grilled skirt steak "that bests the fajita renditions at many local Tex-Mex restaurants." A burger arrived cooked to a "melancholy gray," though, and desserts are mostly too sweet, though key lime pie is "thankfully tart and surprisingly good." [Observer]
Malcolm Mayhew went to Clay Pigeon: He gives high marks to chef Marcus Paslay's new Fort Worth spot for doing farm-to-table without all the pomp and circumstance; "quietly and naturally, as if there's no other way." Bone marrow is served simply, with parsley, salt, housemade bread and a perfect little salad, and guanciale flatbread offers "cracker-crisp edges and [a] soft, chewy center." Flounder with spinach and cauliflower puree is is "perfectly cooked," and housemade tagliatelle with pork ragu is another excellent entree choice. Still-sizzling apple cobbler in a skillet may seem a bit out of place here, but it's well-executed and served with housemade pecan praline ice cream. [DFW.com]
ELSEWHERE: Fort Worth Weekly went to the new Velvet Taco; TMBBQ tried Lenox Bar-B-Q down in Houston; DFW.com tried Fort Worth's Mariscos La Marea; The Barbecue Fiend went to City Meat Market in Giddings; Dallas Beer Snobs tried the beer at Cobra Brewing Co..
[Photo: Garrett Hall/EDFW]