Nancy Nichols reviewed Souk: After a rocky beginning and the departure of opening chef Najat Kaanache, Yaser Khalaf's Moroccan restaurant at Trinity Groves "is turning out food with consistency and panache." The kitchen plays it safe with many of the dishes but executes well; "straightforward" hummus and kebabs over couscous "will satisfy unadventurous eaters," and the pastille, a "savory and sweet Moroccan phyllo pie" is made with chicken instead of the traditional pigeon. Don't miss the $18 Souk Platter, a "sampling of spreads, breads, and treats" that makes "a perfect cocktail party nosh," especially when paired with a drink such as the gin/apricot/lemon/cinnamon Marrakesh Express, "a bargain at $8." [D]
Kim Pierce went to Bird Cafe: This six-month-old Sundance Square restaurant "is a kitchen cousin to [Shannon] Wynne's Meddlesome Moth in Dallas," with "a nearly identical menu." Elevated bar food like "on-point fried chicken skin 'chips'" and bacon lollipops pair well with the beer selections, but there are also more ambitious "farm-to-fork" dishes like a pot pie filled with "deeply satisfying shredded rabbit, collard greens and shiitake mushrooms," "springy risotto du jour" and Thai mussels in an "aromatic curry broth." Skip the heavy fried sweetbreads and "leaden" ricotta-filled "mothballs," though. Two stars. [DMN]
Scott Reitz reviewed Smoke: Tim Byres' five-year-old Belmont Hotel restaurant may be known for barbecue, but the critic encourages delving a little deeper into the menu. There you'll find dishes like grilled quail over lemony chickpeas, shrimp cocktail that's actually worth eating, and a standout dish of stewed cabrito "tucked inside a thick disk of soft, fresh masa like an over-sized pupusa." Overall, "You can have a fine smoked meat experience at Smoke ... but if all you experience is barbecue when you visit, you're missing almost everything." [Observer]
ELSEWHERE: D revisited Oak; Teresa Gubbins reviewed Table & Tavern in Irving; DFW.com's BBQ Safari hit North Main BBQ in Euless; Daniel Vaughn trekked to Hinze's BBQ in Sealy; Fort Worth Weekly checked out Joe's Coffee Shop.