Mark Vamos reviewed Abacus: Right off the bat Vamos acknowledges that Abacus is quite pricey, and while "they play to every cliché about showy Dallas excess," the 15-year-old flagship restaurant from Kent Rathbun also puts out some damn fine food. "The elegant dining room is a soothing refuge" in which to enjoy "unusually well-executed" sushi rolls, "triangular butter-browned ravioli stuffed with lamb belly and fresh ricotta," and "exquisite" beef tartare, though a few dishes suffer from "too much of a muchness" and an excess of components. Steaks are excellent, particularly when paired with "the intensely cheesy mac and cheese studded with bits of crisped pork jowl and topped with sourdough croutons." He feels the service "could use a wee bit more formality," though. Four stars. [DMN]
Scott Reitz went to Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.: The recent Bishop Arts addition has "a sharp-looking dining room that seems almost out of touch with the humble menu." The sandwich lineup includes a classic white-bread-and-American-cheese combo that pairs "harmoniously" with tomato soup enriched by stirring in compound butter. It's best to keep it simple, as "Often, the further the kitchen gets from the basic recipe, the more its flaws show." Other sandwiches such as the Cuban suffer from "food-service grade" ingredients. Overall, "Given a little practice and access to a farmers market, most of us could best them easily." [Observer]
Preston Jones checked out Dugg Burger: "The menu is about as straightforward as you’ll ever find," offering build-your-own burgers with an array of toppings, fries, and drinks. The burgers are "seasoned well, and plenty juicy, with the tangle of toppings enhancing rather than masking its beefy flavor" for an overall "terrific" taste. "Addictive" fries are "thin and crispy." Overall, "Dugg Burger holds its own, and offers plenty of bang for the buck," even in an area where there's plenty of fast-casual, customizable burger competition. [DFW.com]
ELSEWHERE: Fort Worth Weekly ate at Kin Kin Thai and Social House; SideDish taste-tested chocolate macarons; City of Ate went to Kolache Heaven and ate ramen at Sushi Robata; Daniel Vaughn went to Gerard's Barbecue in Beaumont.