Leslie Brenner reviewed Smoke Plano: The northern expansion of six-year-old Smoke at Oak Cliff's Belmont Hotel "is not some tossed-off, cookie-cutter copy; it's a bigger, more ambitious restaurant" thanks in no small part to "a dramatic, 10-foot brick hearth" in the kitchen. Some dishes are carried over from the original location, including "pimento-cheese croquettes cradled in grilled romaine and served with a smooth red guajillo- tomatillo salsa," pork jowl bacon, and "the cabrito-filled masa pocket" that Brenner deems "one of [her] favorite dishes anywhere." Gumbo had good flavor but suffers from too-large pieces of protein ("kind of awkward for a soup"), but scallops over white beans are even "more delicious than they are at the original Smoke." Several dishes varied in execution from night to night, leaving the critic to pronounce Smoke Plano "a work in progress." Three stars. [DMN]
Scott Reitz went to Stonedeck Pizza Pub: "The place is as much a bar as it is a pizzeria," says the critic, noting that its late night hours (open till 2 a.m. on the weekends) and plentiful booze "might give Stonedeck an edge in the neighborhood." The pies here "are so unconventional they leave traditionalists scratching their heads, with a "a tough, dense crust that gives a good snap when you bite down." (In the next sentence he declares the crust also "light and crunchy," so who knows.) The best topping options are the weird ones, including a chicken tikka masala version with scratch-made curry, but be forewarned that "pizzas straight from the oven can melt the skin off the roof of your mouth." Overall, "if you're drunk and you need sustenance late at night in Deep Ellum, Stonedeck is by far your best option." [Observer]
ELSEWHERE: City of Ate had donuts at Jarams and sampled veggie burgers; SideDish ranked delivery pizzas and ate vegan nachos; The Star-Telegram reviewed Hoya Korean Kitchen and Social House in Fort Worth; Fort Worth Weekly also went to Social House.