We aren’t doing as many restaurants this year as we have in years past. I had to check out the Mansion’s newest chef, since I have not been there since Tesar departed. We didn’t catch a glipse of Davaillon, but the food did not disappoint.
First of all, the service is fantastic. Our waiter greeted us by name and was very attentive without being there too much. One of the things I like best about their service is that the waitstaff seem like real people. They know they work in one of the best restaurants in town. They don’t need to have an attitude about it. The service is formal but friendly. Our waiter even said, “Best chew on the menu” when I ordered the chicken. That was a new one for me. But, if I was intimidated by the place, I would have been put a little more at ease by a phrase like that. He said it in a very cute way.
The amuse was a Poblano Vichyssoise served in a slender shot glass. It was lovely. Creamy with a little bit of a kick.
The starter was a hard choice for me. I wanted the Summer Zucchini Soup with goat cheese fritters. When Hubbard ordered it I was immediately torn. I always want to try as many dishes as we can. I ordered the Watermelon Salad with local feta cheese, crispy prosciutto and pink peppercorn vinaigrette. While the salad was fantastic, I wished I would have ordered the soup. The soup was served chilled with two small goat cheese fritters floating in it. Hubbard inhaled the fritters because he said they were so good that he just couldn’t share. The soup itself was nice and creamy smooth. The watermelon was served in about five chunks, each topped with feta and crisped prosciutto. I’m trying a version of this salad at home tonight. Mine won’t be as pretty. His had a nice zing to it and was very refreshing. Plus that little bit of salt from the prosciutto really made it great.
The soup was paired with Sancerre, Chateau de Sancerre, Loire Valley 2008. I had a glass of this before our meal. An excellent summer white wine. I had the Gruner Veltliner, Laurenz V, Neiderosterreich 2007. Perfect white with the salad.
Entree. Hubbard had the Braised Veal Breast served with Texas field bean succotash and natural jus. The wine pairing was Dow’s Vale do Bomfim, Douro Reserve 2006 from Portugal. The veal breast meat was formed into a roulade and was very juicy and tender. The original menu I had seen online said that this would be served with eggplant. I think the succotash was a much better choice. And while I never order chicken at a nice restaurant, this just sounded so unusual that I had to try it. Crawfish-Stuffed Texas Chicken, roasted potato, baby spinach and a shellfish reduction. I’m not even a big fan of crawfish. I think of those little hunks of tail meat when I think crawfish. But, this was made into a delicate stuffing. The chicken thigh meat was cooked sou vide for several hours and then filled with the stuffing and crisped up a little. The flavor was outstanding. Hub said, “That might have been the best chicken dish I’ve ever tasted”. Served with a Chardonnay, “Ritchie Vineyard” Tandem Cellars Russian River 2005. Very, very good.
For dessert I had the Peach Sundae which consisted of a glass half full of vanilla panna cotta, topped with poached peach, almond crumble and peach ice cream. I’m a fool for panna cotta and peaches. So, this was perfect for me. It was paired with a Muscat Beaume de Venise, Domaine des Bernadins, Rhone 2007. Hubbard picked the Chocolate Caramel Tart. The tart was complimented by soft caramel, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. The tart tasted like a creamy piece of fudge. If you like chocolate, you would love this. The wine for this dish was a glass of Dulce Monastrell, Bellum el Remate, Senorio de Barahonda, Yecla, Spain 2004. Dessert and the wine was excellent.
While the Mansion has had supplemental entrees on past Restaurant Week menus, this time it was straight up. No additional charges for something better than standard RW offerings. They did have a nice option when it came to wine. You could add $28 for all three wine pairings or just $19 for wine pairing with the first two courses. I thought this was a nice touch since everyone doesn’t want dessert with wine.
After dinner, we couldn’t bare to go straight home. We went to the bar where Hubbard ordered an Old Fashioned. I’m not much of a cocktail drinker. I usually go for wine. They have a specialty cocktail menu that intrigued me. I ordered a Cucumber Spike and it’s creator, Stephan, poured it up for me. Unbelievably refreshing. Tito’s vodka, “cucumber mash”, Midori, Tabasco and 7-up, if I remember correctly. Not spicy, just a little pepper at the end and a pretty shade of light green. Best cocktail I’ve ever had. Dangerously good, if you know what I mean.
Sorry, no pictures. I just don’t feel right about pulling out a camera in a place like this. And honestly, iPhone photos just don’t do it justice.
The Mansion is a Dallas institution. If you haven’t been, you should go. Again and again.