Olivia Dish

Local in Dallas

In Dallas, Local Flavor, Restaurant, Sweets on August 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm
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The Bar at Local

When an assignment had me toiling in the land of J.R. Ewing, I looked for an escape.  A little googling turned up the restaurant Local, which no surprise, specializes in using locally-grown ingredients.  It’s in Deep Ellum, next to a butcher shop, away from highrises.  As escape plans go, this one was coming together rather effortlessly.

Perhaps I should have thought it was too easy, that danger might be lurking.  At the restaurant, I backed across the bar to photograph a wider view of the place.  I was grabbed from behind in a bear of a clutch.

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Local Chef Tracy Miller

I had noticed the burly man at the bar, of course.  But I had not marked him as the aggressive sort.  Would I have to wrestle for my supper? Or at least wrestle before supper?  Since wrestling is one of the three activities that leaves me ravenously hungry, is there, perhaps, a sliver lining? So the mind works when dinner takes a surprising turn….

Turns out, he wanted to introduce me to his sister-in-law, chef and owner Tracy Miller.  She’s lovely, excited to talk about food, and a welcoming host.  She told me about the upcoming farmers’ market, where she’d be teaching a class on cooking with figs.

Then it was off to dinner.  On-line reviews had been mixed, ranging from “best food in Dallas” to “save me from shag carpet land.” I admit, I did look around for the hipster shag carpet–and found it under my very table.  Note to self:  try not to be too crumby.

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Lobster cakes were here

My dining companion and I chose appetizers for dinner, reserving some space in the stomach for dessert.  I cannot explain why, but I ordered the Maine lobster cakes.  Really–who goes to a restaurant in Dallas called Local and orders that?  I think it was the temptation of the crispy beet, carrot, and frisse slaw.

The lobster cakes were fine, tasty, no complaints.  And I did like the crispy beets. As you can see, I cleaned my plate.

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Local dessert: chocolate composed

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Local's slab o'peach cobbler

Then on to dessert, a peach cobbler for my colleague and something called Chocolate Composed for me–a souffle, a malted shot spiked with Ovaltine, and brownie cookies.  The souffle was very good, gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside, rich but not too sweet.  The malted shot was better than I anticipated, like a slightly cooler than room temp super-thick milkshake.  As for the cookies, if you like the corner pieces from the brownie pan, these are for you.

My colleague raved about the “Warm Peach Slab Pie” so enthusiastically that I was finally convinced to give it a try (though fruit never seems decadent enough to qualify as dessert to me).  It was fantastic–flaky crust, just-right peaches (not cloyingly sweet or mushy) topped with vanilla ice cream and a bourbon caramel sauce.

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