Technically, The Standard Pour is located on the corner of McKinney & Allen but, if you live in Uptown Dallas, you might as well consider it Main & Main. Center of the Universe. With the closing of Sfuzzi Uptown, TSP has formally established dominance as the perennial powerhouse for all things haute-cocktails and gourmet fare. Combine that with a sexy interior and even sexier clientele, and you’ve got a place to spend an enjoyable evening.
Last night, I sampled a couple staples and a few new seasonal dishes by executive chef Peja Krstic. Each intelligently paired with a cocktail from co-founder and head mixologist Brian McCullough.
While you imbibe the first round, the mix & match charcuterie board is a must for the table. We selected a balance of meats, cheeses, picked vegetables, stone ground mustard, and jellies, alongside potted salmon rillettes, duck pastrami, country-style pate with pistachios and Surryano ham. Favored bites included the salmon rillettes and duck pastrami, which was wonderfully lean yet full of flavor.
A menu veteran, TSP’s fried chicken continues to be a definite “go to.” At $13, it certainly earns the “best buy” award, as it’s easily shared between two people. Brined for hours in bath of salt, peppercorns, honey, rosemary, ginger, shallots, garlic and bay leaves, the skin exhibits a dark brown hue, which is wonderfully crisp. The batter provides a pleasant crunch just prior to experiencing the tender, succulent white meat. Served aside a glass jar of fresh cole slaw and potato salad, this dish was a nostalgic reminder of my grandmother’s homemade buttermilk fried chicken in North Carolina many years ago.
The baby back ribs were a group darling, particularly when paired with the 12 year Yamizake based Honorable Death “Harakiri” – my favorite whisky cocktail of the evening. Served with pickled vegetables, baby carrots, breakfast radish and okra, each bite encapsulated summers past by way of its crisp char and brown sugar caramelization.
My personal favorite was the halibut, which was served with Bibb lettuce, fiddlehead ferns, English peas, young purple potatoes and white soy. Cousin of the flounder, the whitefish was light, flakey and packed with flavor. The fiddlehead ferns and English peas personified summer, and left me longing for the Atlantic.
The most unique dish of was the malloreddus pasta with fiddlehead ferns, Brussels sprouts, feta, bottarga, lemon and mint. The small, spiraled pasta played the perfect companion for retaining the complex elements emanating from each bite. Paired with a Torino “Cuma” Torrontés from Argentina, the dish was light and airy, yet displayed intelligent flavor profiles, notably by way of the demonstrative bottarga, which was sharply cut with lemon and mint. Ideal entrée for a summer afternoon on the patio.