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Eat This Now: Rigatoni Bolognese from RedFork in Dallas

People are saying that Fitzhugh is the new Henderson.  I’m not really sure if I buy that yet, but I am willing to admit that Ole Fitz is definitely moving in the right direction.  Maybe you’ve heard about some of the melodrama surrounding the fairly recent goings on at RedFork.  Circulating rumors focused on the early loss of two of the three founding chefs (Matt Balke, formerly of York Street, and Jeff Harris, formerly of Craft), a bit of hot dish which left many questioning if this new Dallas hotspot was even worth a try.  With chef Ryan Carbery at it’s helm, RedFork was determined to press on.

The question remains: can the food still hold its own? Is this place still worthy of the early buzz once surrounding RedFork’s opening?  The answer, my friends, is a resounding yes.

Carbery vows to keep the menu fresh, constantly changing with the seasons and availability of local ingredients.  However, I pray there is one item that sticks around for a bit, the Rigatoni Bolognese.  Rarely does a pasta dish speak to me like this one did.  Perfectly al dente pasta swims in a succulent sofrito of tomato, onion and carrot.  A savory blend of ground pork shoulder and veal is heaped upon the bed of pasta.  The entire dish is then gently decorated with rosemary, sage, and pecorino cheese.  Truly, this dish is a beauty to behold. From the first bite, I found myself oddly protective of my food, fearing beyond all reason that my dining companions would dare ask for a taste.  Parting with any bite of my sweet pasta would have been more than this fragile heart could stand.

To be honest, I could go on about a number of fantastic items on Carbery’s new menu.  The ever-changing “Snout to Tail” trio of pork dishes, the dainty charcuterie and cheese boards, the drool-inducing fudge brownie with bruleed banana.  Sources also tell me the brunch menu holds some of the finest blueberry ricotta pancakes this side of the Trinity.  Not to mention (and I realize this statement has been made half-a-million times) they produce one of the finest bacon cheeseburgers in the city.  And I know you love a good burger.

If Redfork is the beginning of the culinary facelift coming to the humble Fitzhugh, we have a lot to look forward to.  Go now, and partake.

9 comments on “Eat This Now: Rigatoni Bolognese from RedFork in Dallas

  1. Ergh. I will probably go to Redfork and I wish them all the success it would appear they deserve, but Dallas can live without another Henderson Avenue. Have you tried the unassuming Thai place in a scabrous old strip mall a block or two up the street? The one that abuts a used tire store? Hands down, it is the most authentic Thai food in Dallas proper. I will rue the day when it is torn down to make room for some high-concept, or worse, low-concept-is-our-high-concept den of culinary pretension aimed at trend-sucking, self-conscious, beautiful-people dilettantes. That is all.

  2. I don’t wish for a new Henderson either, though I would be fine with Fitz resembling some older and fonder memories of Henderson.

    Thai Noodle & Rice, or TNR is the Thai place you speak of. It’s my fav too and BYOB to boot. My first visit to Red Fork was actually pretty great. If this facelift includes some dimmer lights, I can’t wait for the next one as well.

  3. I love Red Fork and was concerned about the change in leadership since they had such a strong start. I ate there last night for the first time in weeks and it’s still good. As for the bolognese, they used to make it with pappardelle and it was AMAZING. I am not as excited about rigatoni but hey, I’ll try it.

  4. I have been to redfork multiple times since the opening. It was great to begin with. I feel that chef Ryan has surpassed what the menu was before. The rigatoni is certainly one my favorite things on the menu. Along with the steak salad, the chicken Milanese, and the crispy half chicken. Brunch is fantastic as well i went on a Sunday when they had white chocolate banana pancakes and they were amazing! Chef Ryan Carbery never ceases to impress. I LOVE redfork and I hope they go as far as they are destined.

  5. Next to Smoke, Redfork is my favorite place. The pappardelle was a better pasta choice, but delicious nonetheless! Try the beef cheek – it is the best I’ve ever had. Haven’t been for brunch. Maybe this weekend!

  6. Ate there the other night for the 1st times since the 1st round of chefs walked out. Had a nice micro brew beer. Can’t remember what it was but very tasty….much like Blue Moon. Also had a cheese board and sliders (weird combo..I know). They were very good. Glad to see things back on track. When the weather cools down, I can’t wait for them to open the windows and catch some college FB. Best of luck !

  7. Any comments from a non-owner or employee (i.e. someone not desperate to save this place) would be appreciated

  8. Oh Terroir you are so cynical! I do not work there, and I am far too cautious to invest in any restaurant except the old fashioned way – spending my hard earned dollars to eat and drink :-)
    I visited just this weekend and had the delicious and refreshing beet salad. It is not the same beet salad as it was at the beginning, nevertheless, it is tasty and well balanced with red and golden beets perfectly cooked, a nice rich smear of cheese and crushed almonds duting the top. Ryan seems to be doing quite well with the menu.