Leslie Brenner re-reviewed Stephan Pyles: According to the critic, "after several years of ups and downs, Pyles’ namesake restaurant is re-establishing itself as a culinary showplace." She credits some of this to current executive chef J Chastain, who brings "a vibrancy and thoughtfulness" to the food "that [Brenner] hadn’t seen there in some time." Ceviches are the best in town and Chastain even manages to make played-out pork belly taste fresh, "tenderly basking on a superb mole poblano." Other standout dishes include "rabbit sausage resting on 'melted' cabbage (like tender sauerkraut, minus the sour)" and suckling pig porchetta, though the plates suffered noticeably "on an evening when Chastain and Pyles were both out of town." Desserts are "pretty lovely" and service, while "attentive and well-versed in the menu," is "perhaps not as polished as desirable in a restaurant of this caliber." Four stars, a major step up from the three-star review Brenner filed back in 2013 when she wondered if the restaurant was "on cruise control." [DMN]
Daniel Vaughn scoped out Clark Food & Wine: Randall Warder's Lowest Greenville restaurant posits itself as a "New Texas Smokehouse," so naturally the @BBQSnob had to scope it out. Smoked arctic char boasted "a skin so crispy it was close to cracklin’s," though it was lacking in the smoke department, as are all of the other proteins. Chile-rubbed shrimp are also a standout. Brisket offers "tender beef and buttery fat," though "it was closer to a good oven-braised brisket than it was smoked meat." As for poultry, "the turkey was bland and dry, while the chicken had a crispy skin and juicy meat." As for accompaniments, "a stack of fresh tortillas would have been more functional" than the baguette slices that come with each protein. Overall, Vaughn recommends "the seafood and the salads"; "just don’t come looking for smoke." [TMBBQ]
ELSEWHERE: Scott Reitz raved about the tortas at Taqueria Latina; D went to ¡C. Señor!; SideDish scoped out the fancy new bowling alley Pinstack; City of Ate tried the burgers at Rodeo Goat and the burger at Fat Rabbit; DFW.com's resident vegetarian went to Lili's Bistro in Fort Worth while Malcolm Mayhew chowed down at Grapevine's Meat U Anywhere BBQ.