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Three Stars For Bolsa and High Praise For Gemma

Leslie Brenner reviewed Bolsa: Departed chef Jeff Harris was "a hard act to follow, no doubt," but under the leadership of recently arrived Andrew Bell, "the 6 1/2-year-old farm-to-table spot is as laid-back, lively and appealing as ever." The chef's "thoughtful cooking celebrates the seasons" with dishes like gently poached shrimp with cucumber mint sauce, venison tartare with yucca chips and fish "accessorized with wax beans, fiddlehead ferns and bits of braised rhubarb," and a spring-y lemon panna cotta. Cocktails by Kyle Hilla show "imaginative good taste," and service is "relaxed and professional." Three stars. [DMN]

Nancy Nichols went to Gemma: Husband and wife duo Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder are "doing modern food like [Matt] McCallister and the other young guns, but without the faddish attitude." The "lovely" dining room is "controlled, not chaotic," even when it's at capacity. Fried olives with warm pecans makes for a "dangerously addictive" starter; the best of the entrees is the braised veal cheeks, "modern comfort food at its finest." Overall, "although the food at Gemma wasn't perfect, it was memorable," and excellent service means Nichols would "choose to dine here over many other restaurants in the same price point."

Scott Reitz checked out Palapas Seafood Bar: The revamped building on Lowest Greenville "look[s] like some seaside cabana in Mexico," and the food tastes like it belongs there too: Ceviches are bright and sunny, with "your choice of shrimp, young octopus or scallops that taste like they were purchased from a sushi bar." Other good picks are fried mahi mahi, brisket or shrimp tacos with housemade tortillas, some of the best nachos in town and the hangover-curing camarón en agua chile. House margaritas are "a little cloying," though. [Observer]

Teresa Gubbins reviewed Bite City Grill: The new Fort Worth restaurant from former Pakpao chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin is turning out "modern American cuisine" with "an exciting fusion of flavors that feels worldly." He "refreshes familiar dishes" by incorporating Asian flavors, like charred octopus with ginger aioli and a miso-spiked Caesar salad. Thin, crispy flatbreads are "all excellent," including a short rib and horseradish version. Skip the lamb meatballs "drowned in an overly rich foie gras sherry sauce" in favor of seared duck with parsnip-cauliflower puree or "comforting" diver scallop risotto. Service is "young and a bit stilted." []

ELSEWHERE: Mark Vamos of the Dallas Morning News gave Palapas Seafood Bar three stars; D Magazine reviewed Barter and Kostas Cafe; Fort Worth Weeky checked out Eddy Thretipthuangsin's Bite City Grill; Daniel Vaughn went to 4-T's Bar-B-Q in Forney.

[Photo: Bolsa/Facebook]


335 Bowery, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 505-7300 Visit Website


614 West Davis Street, , TX 75208 (214) 367-9367 Visit Website