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In: Loft 610, Salum, Fearing’s, Craft, Shinsei, Arcodoro/Pomodoro.
(I’ve got a lot to say, because I’m really excited about this one)
Restaurant Week kicked off for me last night in superlative style at Loft 610 in Plano, the snazzy restaurant and bar by Tre Wilcox of Top Chef fame. The five of us tackled a healthy cut of the menu and didn’t find a single ground for disappointment. For apps, the unusually shaped crab cake was fried perfectly, heavy on the crab and light on the filler. The addition of mint took it somewhere unexpected. A plate of sautéed shrimp and diver sea scallop also encouraged a few “Oh my Gods”. But for me, the winner was the BBQ pork spring rolls featuring a perfectly fried wonton around an unctuous filling of succulent pork and one of the better BBQ sauces I’ve had. Gimme a Shiner and about 10 of those, and I couldn’t get much happier.
Entrees impressed as well. My tenderloin with chipotle cheese grits was cooked perfectly to med-rare and had serious beef flavor, even though it clearly wasn’t the very peak of prime beef. Wild king salmon with black truffle risotto was also cooked perfectly (med-rare), and came topped with a citrus brown butter you want to lick off the plate. But, no question, without a doubt, by a mile, the favorite entrée was the pan-roasted Sea Bass. I’ll admit I didn’t know a lot about sea bass. As an amateur foodie, about the only thing I do know is that I’m not supposed to order it for environmental reasons. What I learned last night is “why” sea bass is overfished. It is DELICIOUS! The exterior was crisp, the interior melted-in-your-mouth, it wasn’t “fishy” at all. It was like a crème brulee in fish form.
Dessert! There were three options, but the five of us only managed to order two. The white chocolate banana bread pudding was almost perfect. No complaints against the pudding itself, which was essentially the moistest banana bread you’ll ever have in your life, but the accompanying rum sauce had almost no rum flavor. The chocolate cake was very good as well – classic, rich, and not a hint of dryness.
Service was friendly, helpful and on-the-spot. And the restaurant itself is gorgeous. It doesn’t feel like Dallas (or Plano, if you prefer). I felt like I was in the trendy new favorite somewhere in L.A. Even though it’s dark and sleek to its bones, it manages to be warm and inviting at the same time. The bi-level dining room with the open second floor really makes a visual statement.
There’s really only one downside to the whole night: Tre wasn’t on the line. Didn’t see him all night. Oh well. I recommend and endorse Loft 610 completely. This place sets the pace. My future Restaurant Week meals have a lot to live up to.
I always enjoy Restaurant Week, despite whatever issues are always associated with it, but I have never commented on any of my experiences. I had dinner at Salum last night, and it was one of my most favorite Restaurant Week meals ever. From being greeted at the door by Abraham Salum to our kind, attentive and informative server, the service was wonderful. The food was equally amazing! I had the caprese appetizer, pork entree and trio dessert. The fourth course of gnocchi with beef tenderloin was the best fourth course dish I’ve ever had, without a doubt. My friends and I all requested that the chef maake this a regular menu item. My friends were all equally pleased with their dinners, including the mussels appetizer, which was unbelievably good, and cappellini entree. If you haven’t been to Salum, make a reservation and go. I will definitaly be a returning fan.
I’m curious to hear what others have thought about Fearing’s before I give a full review. I’m not sure it’s worth the energy to go into full detail. At this point, all I’m going to say is that I will NEVER go back for any reason…and I have dined there sans restaurant week on several occasions.
Ah, come on lb, it’s not like what they say will affect your review anyway. At least it shouldn’t. You’re gonna tease us like that! I want to know what’s up.
Short review: Went to Craft this week. Sadly disappointed especially since I’ve had some great restaurant week experiences in the past. Food was under-seasoned, wait staff was lukewarm, and the ‘chocolate bread pudding’ for dessert was a brownie. Not that brownies are bad, but hey, I’d like some truth in advertising. I was planning on going to Craft for my anniversary, but now I’m not sure if it was a bad restaurant week experience or if I truly don’t like their food. Seems like an expensive gamble to take. On the other hand, a few years ago I went to Stephen Pyles for RW and went back later for a ‘real’ meal since I was so impressed with RW.
I enjoy Restaurant Week every year and use it to try out places I’ve wanted to go to but not gotten around to yet. I never saw any of the things people complain about, and have been introduced to some new restaurants over the years that I’ve returned to again and again, paying regular prices. It’s always been a fun, foodie advernture week –until last night.
Shinsei evidently has taken the $35 prix-fixe price point, deducted “their” $7 contribution, and told the chef to create a $28 plate with a food cost of 25%, or $7. Because how else can you explain a starter course of two tiny jalapeno poppers cut in half, a second course of 3 small to medium sea scallops on a tablespoon of risotto, and one sixteenth of a 9-inch chocolate cake?
BTW, my dining companion had the RW meal–I opted to order off the regular menu and had a great rainbow roll, a huge helping of asparagus tempura, and a generous half rack of baby back ribs, which I couldn’t finish (though my starving companion did.) My selections equalled $41. We also had cocktails and tipped generously.
RW is about fun, and contributing to a good cause, and filling restaurants during the dog days of Summer. This is the first time I’ve experienced it as being a rip off.
Arcodoro & Pomodoro, delicious as always, professional service and a very enjoyable experience.
Abacus was last night. Excellent service and the food was very good, as well. Many varied options for the first course and second course. I couldn’t have any of the desserts due to an allergy and I was surprised with a special dessert I could eat. Didn’t even ask. Love it!
Everyone around us seemed to be having a great time, as well. Lots of girl groups. The single man at our table was quite pleased.
Very successful dinner.
Had a great time at Charlie Palmers last night.
First time, and will be back for sure.
Preview weekend, Salum with friends; one of our favorite regular neighborhood spots. Abraham is always so nice and welcoming. Our party of four had four different entrees from the RW menu; all were great, steak, to seafood.
Pssst; don’t tell your friends, I wouldn’t want it to be more difficult to make reservations, ), let’s keep it our little secret.
Last night, Bolla at the Stoneleigh, this is one of our regular RW stops and we are always very pleased, the service is top notch; for example, we asked for a red wine by the glass, not on the wine list; and were accomodated.
The entire RW menu was outstanding, from amuse, to salad (wedge), to entree (short ribs), to dessert (chocolate).
Tonight, the new Perry’s on McKinney for steaks, we visited during their first week, and looking forward to going back.
@lb and mr, I’ve stated my views on both Craft and Fearing’s before — I avoid both. Had one horrible and one not good service experiences at fearing’s and Craft is wildly overrated, IMHO.
Have been to Fearing about 6 times. The past two times it has been just AWFULLLL!!! The last time we didn’t even finish, Went to to Mansion bar and Had a Burger. I hope that Dean is reading this because I really do want the old Fearings back… Where are you Dean?
I had to comment after reading the comment about Fearing’s. I have been 3 separate times, this last one was during restaurant week. I thought it excellent. The service was good and the food was great! I will go back.
My husband & I had reservations at Loft 610 for Restaurant Week. I have always had great experiences with RW participants, so I was excited to give it a try. I am a big fan of Tre Wilcox & his food – so, although I had read a few negative reviews of the restaurant’s service, I figured I would give it a try.
We were seated upstairs in the loft area. Our waiter was not friendly and became even less so when we opted not to order cocktails. Although he was within 10 feet of us the entire night (they had expeditors bringing the food, so he never left the immediate area), we had difficulty getting his attention and had to specifically ask (more than once) for our glasses to be refilled even when he walked by and clearly saw that they were empty. I have honestly never had anything other than excellent service in a fine dining establishment, so I was not impressed.
The expeditors and other staff seemed very disorganized and brought us someone else’s order first. My appetizer was the BBQ pork spring rolls, which were outstanding and by far the best thing we tasted all night. My husband had the shrimp & scallop appetizer, which was underseasoned and the shrimp were overcooked. For our entrees, I had the sea bass and my husband had the salmon. The salmon was, again, overcooked but served with a tasty black truffle & english pea risotto. The sea bass was very nicely cooked but I did not care for the curried rice it was served over.
For dessert, I had the white chocolate banana bread pudding. It had no white chocolate flavor and was very dull. I did not finish it. My husband ordered something they were calling a dulce de leche cake, which was basically a very rich, dark chocolate cake with a dab of caramel in the center. He did not enjoy it and also did not finish it.
Our waiter didn’t bother to ask if we’d like coffee with dessert (we would have), although he seemed to ask several of the patrons around us.
Overall, even at restaurant week prices, the meal wasn’t worth half what we paid for it and the service was unacceptable. We are disappointed and won’t be back.
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