Of Flies and Damsels

Dragonfly works to avoid the bug zapper

While the pool steamed, the coconut soup did not. But this chilled soup crafted by former Abacus pastry chef Shannon Swindle was a well-honed companion anyway. A shallow puddle of coconut milk is infused with basil oil and holds a fried wonton, pineapple and a clump of fruit relish. The result is smooth, light and aromatic, and blessedly not cloying.

Roast and confit of duck is not cloying either, which is remarkable considering all the dates, honey and balsamic packed into its preparation. These ingredients are applied to a breast, a leg and thigh, and dribbled with a sauce of duck stock, dates and more balsamic before it's finished in honey butter. The orchestration among the sweet strains, spice and tang is remarkably balanced. But the duck meat itself was desperately overcooked, leaving it dry, fibrous and a little rubbery.

Parched meat also afflicted the tea-smoked chicken salad, a potentially dazzling toss with Napa cabbage, arugula, glazed cashews (the menu lists them as sweet and spicy pecans), pickled onion and carrot strips. But the mix was generously riddled with thick carvings of dry white chicken meat, and a sliced section of under-ripe and flavorless Asian pear was parked off to the side.

This Dragonfly's digs are a long way from the pond.
This Dragonfly's digs are a long way from the pond.

Location Info


Dragonfly Restaurant at Hotel Zaza

2332 Leonard St.
Dallas, TX 75201

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn


Bean soup $5
Beef satay $8
Salmon-tuna martini $12
Foie gras $16
Miso cod $23
Roast duck $21
Scrambled eggs $10
Chicken salad $12
Coconut soup $8

Dragonfly even does breakfast, offering waffles, flapjacks and a thing called ZaZa Benedict, subbing the non-egg staples with crab cakes and creamed spinach. It's here that Dragonfly veered straight into a bug zapper. As previously mentioned, according to the menu, the scrambled eggs are saddled with Mexican frills. But ours arrived as a simple plate of bright yellow egg curds, a side of cubed hash browns with onion and three long, thick bacon slices. Discovering what this kitchen might do with simple Grand Slam fodder piqued my curiosity. The eggs were fluffy, almost creamy in texture, lending a richness that's more perception than reality. The hefty bacon strips had a vivid smokiness, making them seem as if they had just been pulled from a campfire. Potatoes were supple and spicy.

Which just supports the contention that some of humanity's greatest bangs were blunders. And a dragonfly veering into a bug zapper would create a hefty bang, considering their size and the kinds of things they do in flight.

2332 Leonard St., 214-468-8399. Open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. $$-$$$

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