By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Sea Grill is an established seafood restaurant that recently moved from its old Plano environs on Central Expressway to new digs on the Dallas North Tollway near Trinity Mills. It occupies the space that was formerly Ricardo's Ristorante Mexicano, and it's a reasonably comfortable space with lots of sea-type trinkets on the walls such as ships and pictures of salmon. The environs are cast with lots of hard surfaces such as unclothed tables, wooden floors and upscale tract-home cabinetry that make for a fairly noisy dining environment if you happen to suckle your oysters during a rush.
Or spoon your risotto. Wild mushroom risotto, more separate and coarse than creamy and smooth, was infested with wild mushrooms, scraps of lobster flesh and a trio of tempura shrimp. Tempura shrimp were deeply rich, swelling with succulence sheathed in a sly crispness that added an ingenious textural contrast. The lobster added a contrast, too, though not a welcome one. While the flavor was near compelling, the flesh was like silicone rubber and so tough it was hard to cut with a knife.
The broiled Lake Victoria perch needed no knife though. In fact, it was so delicate it barely needed a fork, though a straw would have been too gauche. The fish formed an isle in the center of the plate. Around it and above it were sweet corn and crab meat in a plum wine-lemon butter sauce. The sweetness straddled the line between sufficient and overwhelming. I longed for a touch of pungent flavor to foil it, as the fish flesh was too mild to assume the burden. It wasn't until the center of the isle was reached that more savory flavors balanced this cloying sweetness.
17617 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75287-7314
Region: Carrollton/ Farmers Branch
Shrimp and sea scallop pot stickers: $8.95
Shellfish combo: $13.95
Surf and turf: $39.95
Wild mushroom risotto: $21.95
Broiled Lake Victoria perch: $20.95
Grilled jumbo Gulf shrimp with pad Thai noodles: $19.95
Trio of sorbets: $5.95
Warmed orange cheesecake: $5.95
Balance was struck in the grilled jumbo Gulf shrimp with pad Thai noodles slathered in a paprika-Thai chili sauce. Like every example at Sea Grill, this dish contained meaty, firm and rich shrimp with moist flavor. Plus, the well-sauced pad Thai noodles were supple and not sticky.
Desserts were good, too. The trio of sorbets--strawberry, lime and mango--were lush with clean fruit flavors. The warmed orange cheesecake took a much different stance, proffering a deliciously delicate cheese custard mated to an aggressively coarse graham-cracker crust, satisfying all of the palate senses.
Sea Grill's service was gracious but a bit uneven and rickety. We were waited on immediately after arriving on a congested Friday night, but there were long pauses between menu delivery, water dispersion and drink orders. But the servers are well-briefed on the menu, and they consistently offer worthy recommendations.
Now if only they could get those weasel fish to talk like mob button men.