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In the foreground, several dishes sit on the pass in a restaurant. A man in a chef’s jacket is in the background.

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Enjoying the Luxurious Comfort of Classic Dishes at Mister Charles

Chas Martin walks us through five dishes on the menu at this white hot restaurant

Mister Charles welcomes diners to it’s Knox-Henderson location.
Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

Chas Martin, one of the founders of Duro Hospitality, was not a fan of Eater Dallas calling Mister Charlessteakhouse-ish,” a play on how the group describes many of its restaurants (The Charles is Italian-ish, El Carlos Elegante is Latin-ish). He says it with a laugh when asked but gets serious quickly, saying, “We have a fantastic steak program, but it’s small. One day, if we get to do a steak house, it’ll have 30 cuts of meat. So I don’t think we’re that at all.”

Martin describes this restaurant as “an irreverent play on the classics,” aiming to honor the classic dishes that inspire himself and his partners. The menu takes inspiration from French and Italian cooking, broadly, with flavors from Asia woven throughout and even the occasional nod to American classics. And Duro has hired Brendan Frankel from the Mansion Restaurant as executive chef.

Martin walked us through five dishes on the menu to get a taste of Mister Charles for those who haven’t been in yet or are on the long wait list for reservations. And, amusingly enough, the selections feel like a play on classic dishes one might order at...a steakhouse, although Martin swears they were selected on that basis.

A5 strip loin on brioche with wasabi

“It’s adorable. We wanted a canape section on the menu because it’s a fun, old-school way to start a meal. We wanted it to be reminiscent of the Adolphus or some old, turn-of-the-century hotel where you’d sit down and have proper hors d’oeuvres.

“The A5 brioche is a tiny strip of Miyazaki A5 beef [a Japanese wagyu that comes with a certificate of authenticity] on top of a little piece of brioche with fresh horseradish and some wasabi to make an aioli. People experience value in different ways. We want people to experience things however it fits them. This item is a fun way to experience A5 beef without getting a $150 steak. If you want the steak, we have that as well. But this is a way to have that experience, and a little nosh.”

A silver tray holds four pieces of brioche topped with thin slices of steak, which are topped with an aioli. A man’s hand pushes them towards the camera.
On the edge of a table covered by a white tabelcloth, a sliver tray with canapes sits. It has brioche and steak appetizers. Next to it is a silver spoon, a martini in a coupe, and a plate with onions, pickles, and an olive.
Shot from above, a woman’s hand reaches to hold a steak canape. She’s lifting it off of a silver tray.

Little gem Caesar with anchovy caper vinaigrette

“We wanted a lighter, crisper play on the Caeser. Listen, I love a Caeser in the classic and expected sense. We wanted something different than that. We try not to do anything that’s super expected. We’re not using cream or egg yolk. It has a vinaigrette-based sauce. We like crunch and playing on the senses. Texture is one of those. A normal Caeser would have crutons, so we use bread crumbs to add texture to this salad.”

A woman in a pink dress holds a fork and knife as she cuts into gem lettuce in a Caesar salad. The salad is arranged in a circle on a large dinner plate, with a hole in the middle.
A woman spears a bite of Caesar salad onto a fork from a half empty white plate. Next to her is a large steak, sliced.

Truffle duck berlingot with artichoke and tomato

“As we messed with this menu, we went back and forth about having a pasta program. At the end of the day, we think that pasta can go on almost any menu — you see noodle varieties in many countries. This dish came about when the team was working on the menu at The Charles and just happened to have some duck confit. The thought was, ‘I’ll put that in some pasta!’ And that’s how the dish was born.

“The kitchen at Mister Charles took it and made it their own. It has pickled artichoke hearts, chopped up. The berlingot pasta is made by hand, which takes tons of work, and we do it as a spinach pasta. We dehydrate the tomatoes, almost turn them into raisins, and then bring them back to life with olive oil. And we’re using Chilean black truffles on top, because we go to the Southern hemisphere for truffles in the summer because the price is fair and the quality is good.”

Over an industrial stove, a man warms green, stuffed pasta in a pool of milky liquid.
A chef spoons sauce over a green, stuffed pasta that is in a white bowl on an industrial, stainless steel countertop.
A woman in a pink dress eats a bowl of spinach pasta that’s stuffed with duck confit. She’s cut open one piece, has it on a fork, and shows it to the camera.

16 oz. A Bar N Ranch wagyu New York strip

“We wanted an au poivre. We wanted the electric, peppery, slightly acidic, light-your-face-up sauce that remains classic. We believe in turning up the flavor. Some people believe in balance; we believe in getting it balanced and turning it up. In this sauce, that means more of everything: more spice, more acid, using a little bit of red pepper to give it some oomph.

“This steak is from a local ranch in Celina, and we’re using its platinum-grade wagyu beef. The A Bar N Ranch recently got purchased, so I don’t know what will happen with it. We’ve used their products at The Charles, and we think the quality for the price is outstanding. We went back and forth over which steak to use and settled on this strip because it has a good balance of tenderness and fat content. We put a slight crust on it with some breadcrumbs, a little mustard as a binder, and a little parmesan.”

A 16 oz. New York strip steak sits on a tray under an over. It is topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
A man’s hand grips a New York strip steak as he cuts it with a kitchen knife. The steak is topped with breadcrumbs and herbs.
A woman in a pink dress is eating steak from a large dinner plate. The steak is sliced and topped with breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs. She’s using a fork and steak knife to cut into one of the pieces.

Banana pudding baked Alaska

“This dish has two inspirations. My sister used to always make banana pudding for my dad and myself. We played with a few variations that were really good, and then someone suggested we make a baked Alaska. I can’t remember who thought we should set a banana pudding on fire. That’s how deep our collaboration is.

“No one has been lit on fire by this dish yes, which is good [laughs]. We’ve had to instruct the team that it might feel very natural to them to blow it out once it’s on fire, but do not do that. It is not your Baked Alaska.”

A hand holds a steel bowl that is pouring liquor onto a Baked Alaska.
A Baked Alaska is flaming, after having been set on fire.
A woman’s hand holds a large spoon that scoops into half of a Baked Alaska, which is banana pudding inside.

Mister Charles is open now and scant reservations are available. Check Resy to shoot your shot.

Mister Charles

3219 Knox Street, , TX 75205 (972) 920-9471 Visit Website
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