Dallas Morning News contributor Mark Vamos filled in for critic Leslie Brenner this week, and headed to Deep Ellum to scope out Armoury D.E., a bar-restaurant with a decidedly Hungarian influence. Vamos, who has his own Hungarian roots, preferred the dishes that didn’t fit the theme.
Hungary is a landlocked country known for its pork and grains (think Iowa, with more zithers). So it's weird to find octopus on this menu, but who cares? Armoury's pulpo is terrific -- a huge portion of tender charred tentacles. Other non-Hungarian offerings include a dandy short-rib- and-brisket burger with aged cheddar and pickles on a challah bun, and deep-fried duck wings with mango-peach chile sauce. There's also Elmer's Reward, a tender rabbit leg that's braised and then deep-fried, served over two potato pancakes. Armoury also recently launched a Hungary-meets-hangover brunch menu featuring tacos, omelets and sandwiches.
Vamos also enjoyed Armoury D.E.'s "gorgeous" charcuterie board, which features paprika-spiked Gyulai sausage. Two stars.
D Magazine’s Eve Hill-Agnus weighed in on The Theodore, and found that Tim Byres’ NorthPark Center restaurant is much better as a lunch option than a dinner destination.
Time and again, when I went for more formal options at dinner, I couldn’t rejoice, much as I wanted to. Beef Wellington (how wonderfully retro!) had flaky puff pastry encasing tender filet with foie gras and an earthy duxelles of mushrooms. But the meat was so salty, it was impossible. A sweet, syrupy au poivre sauce overrun with peppercorns only abetted the assault. Our only recourse was the whipped potatoes and garnish of bitter greens, smartly dressed. Another night, I could scarcely swallow salty halibut whose consommé, aggressively flavored for the delicate fish, was nowhere near the "velouté" our waiter had described. Generally, the kitchen could go far with half the salt.
Elsewhere, new Dallas Observer food editor Beth Rankin has filed her first official review. The new-to-Dallas critic scoped out Irving’s Fortune House, and found plenty to love. According to Rankin, Fortune House’s xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are a sure bet, as is a classic fluffy egg white and seafood dish.