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Even with four stars, Lucia still shines.
Even with four stars, Lucia still shines.
Lucia

Since opening, David Uygur’s rustic Italian restaurant Lucia has been one of the hardest reservations to get in town. It’s a fact that Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner notes in her updated review of the restaurant, which was formerly one of Dallas’ scarce five star restaurants.

Things have perhaps changed in Lucia’s five year history. In her most recent visits, Brenner found uneven cooking and unbalanced flavors:

Following a remarkable five-year run as one of Dallas' very few five-star establishments, Lucia no longer holds that rarefied status. While the cooking often thrills, especially the antipasti and pastas, the secondi and sometimes other dishes do so less consistently than one would expect for a five-star experience. One night a beef dish's deconstructed bagna cauda doesn't play well with an uninspired pea-and-green-garlic purée and mess of greens; another night the fabulous flavor of a succulent Berkshire pork short rib is nearly overshadowed by spicy handmade salame.

Four stars. Which leaves only two five-star restaurants – Uchi and FT33 – in the entire city. Still, Brenner notes that Lucia is one of the best restaurants in Dallas, and even provides tips from co-owner and sommelier Jennifer Uygur on how to score a reservation.

The Dallas Observer’s Brian Reinhart headed to Laili, the newly-opened "Silk Road fusion counter" at the Dallas Farmers Market. In Reinhart’s view, Laili has real potential to be the best restaurant at the newly-finished food hall:

Laili’s limited menu offers a handful of main-course treats. Bolani/gözleme ($10) is a stuffed flatbread, a bit like a crepe; the interpretation here combines spinach, feta and a big kick of spicy pepper flakes. "Bolani" is the Afghan name, "gözleme" the Turkish. At Laili, they use both to indicate the same dish.

Other standouts include the kebab wrap sandwiches ($10-14), with fresh bread and a side salad. In a beef wrap ($13), rib-eye meat is tastefully seasoned with a peppery rub, grilled and served with spinach. On the side is a spicy, supremely addicting cilantro cream sauce, which you can grab on its own in a to-go tub ($6).

Reinhart also notes that Laili plans to open a Plano location of the restaurant in coming weeks, which will feature more seating in a larger space.

Elsewhere, Escape Hatch Dallas’ Mike Hiller got a first look at Julian Barsotti’s freshly-opened Italian restaurant Sprezza, noting the highly seasonal nature of the menu. "You’ll have to hurry before those squash blossoms go out of season or the spring lamb is no longer perfect for the crispy lamb belly stuffed with more lamb then mounded with shaved asparagus, spring favas and a pool of yogurt," writes Hiller.

He also notes that there are around "two dozen" spots in the restaurant that are open seating, which means that you might be able to snag a seat even if (when) Sprezza is booked solid.

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