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'Supermarket Desserts' at Bouchon 1314; 'Old Godmother Shrimp' in Plano

What the critics are saying this week

Bouchon 1314

Critic Brian Reinhart believes that every neighborhood should have a French bistro, but it sounds like he'll take a pass on Oak Cliff's Bouchon 1314.  Reinhart does not hold back on pointing out the flaws:

I wanted to love Bouchon 1314, because a French neighborhood spot is something we can always use, and a wine bar this artfully decorated is worth rooting for. But the bottle shop concept proved half-baked, the menu is perplexing and your meal is set to the kind of music Satan plays in Hell’s elevators.

Other than the music, what was so bad? The servers are "awesomely bored," escargot is overcooked, octopus is "rubberized," brie is mediocre, steak is "aggressively salted," fries are soggy, and the ice cream is Häagen-Dazs. Reinhart enjoys a scallop dish and the lamb, but it's not enough to save Bouchon 1314.

Guide Live contributor Mark Vamos visits Plano restaurant Fish House Family Cuisine and comes back with a few good tips:

Expect spicy, but not deadly: "Much of the food is spicy, sure, with the heat of chiles and the buzz of Szechuan peppercorn, but it's less searing, less oily, and somehow subtler and lighter than you'll find in many other Szechuan places in town."

Bring your own booze:  "... there's no corkage fee, but be prepared to drink your wine from teacups."

Order the old godmother shrimp: "It's a rich, mildly hot stir-fry with thin-sliced carrots, button and tree ear mushrooms with savory fermented black-bean sauce ..."

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