Leslie Brenner reviewed Oso Food & Wine: The food at restaurateur Michael Cox and chef Kelly Hightower's new venture at Preston and Forest is "pan-Mediterranean, drawing inspiration mostly from the Middle East, North Africa and Italy." That translates to dishes like a meze platter, "a thoughtful arrangement" that incudes falafel, hummus, and baba ghanoush, and "a superb" kofte, and an excellent braised lamb shank over apricot-studded couscous. Less successful were a trout crudo overpowered by its dressing, underseasoned chicken meatballs, and the pork chop Milanese, which Brenner deems "an oversized assault on the senses." Best of the dessert options is "a delicate panna cotta" with citrus. Despite some excellent food, the critic says Oso "suffers from a case of fuzzy identity," caused in part by "decor [that] never lets you forget you’re in a North Dallas strip mall." Service, however, is "every bit as professional and polished as you find at the city’s top dining destinations." [DMN]
Eve Hill-Agnus checked out Proof + Pantry: D's newest restaurant reviewer describes Michael Martensen and Sal Jafar's One Arts restaurant as "the land of mixed messages," where you might dine on $125 steak while sitting under a shelf full of toilet paper. Nonetheless, there are some stunning dishes including the bone marrow with tomato jam and hazelnut gremolata, "juicy and tender" roast chicken, pasta with charred lobster, and a fantastic chocolate and passion fruit pavlova. Less successful was baked burrata ("a mess of oil and string cheese"), while hamachi with foie was served with a potato pancake that didn't seem to belong. Overall, both the food and the beverage sides have "wonderful things" to offer, but what’s needed is the equation that brings it all together. [D]
Teresa Gubbins reviewed Pho & Grill: This recently debuted Vietnamese restaurant in Fort Worth is already a favorite. As far as the pho goes, "its broth is sublime, with a golden hue and a well-rounded flavor combining savory notes with sweet. Ingredients are fresh, and portions are large." Another standout dish is crispy rice with your choice of protein, "an extremely flavorful dish with lots of sensory pleasures." Drink options include the usual high-octane sweetened iced coffee as well as "an unusual green sugarcane juice ... that tasted a little like liquid rock candy, cool and sweet." Don't be surprised if there's a wait when you arrive: "The food’s good, and the locals know it." [DFW.com]
ELSEWHERE: City of Ate checked out the fish tacos at Coconut's and a fruity dessert at Lark on the Park; SideDish tested Champagnes; DFW.com went to The Quarter Horse in Keller and sampled Rabbit Hole Brewing's newest beer.