Some of the comments under yesterday’s comments post about Leslie Brenner’s picks for Best French Restaurants went a little east of France. Like to Italy. At one point I wrote:
“It took you a year of eating red-sauce Italian food and steak au poivre to come to the conclusion that the majority of Dallas diners do not have adventurous palates. (R.I.P Il Mulino)”
The line caused several commenters to steer off topic and question the quality/authenticity of IL Mulino. I used IL Mulino as an example of a restaurant that failed here because Dallas diners refused to accept the, for Dallas, adventurous menu. “Authentic” Italian or not, whatever that is around here, is not the issue. Whatever Il Mulino was—gasp, modern Italian?! New York Mob Italian?! French Italian?!—it was, in my opinion, a good restaurant. Why? Because, without going back to my notes or reviews, I can clearly remember (and taste) the food I ate—the ravioli in champagne sauce, the Dover sole, the complimentary appetizers. Strong taste memories are hard to come by when you eat food for a living.
Il Mulino was expensive—Dallas doesn’t like to pay for high prices for Italian unless they are in New York or Los Angeles or Italy. However, they don’ t blink at forking over $50 for an 8-ounce filet of beef. It’s a reality of how the majority of palates and pocketbooks in this city roll.
On another note, I don’t like using the term “authentic” to describe food from another country. For the sake of argument, an Italian recipe can be authentic but unless all of the ingredients are sourced in Italy, the resulting dish is not truly authentic. Chew on that one. And spit it out below.