By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
In addition to salads, Miller works brilliance with fish. Citrus-rubbed salmon is a beautiful composition, an intense peach-hued slab of fish on a bed of firm couscous. Bright green sugar snap peas are littered with sea salt specks and assembled on one end of the plate. Opposite is a grilled lime. Pinches of mint leaves were dropped throughout, including one shaped into a floral bloom and inserted into the center of the lime. The flaky fish, rubbed with a blend of lime, ginger, sake, rice wine vinegar and olive oil, was clean and rich.
Buttery sea bass on a bed of jasmine rice was even cleaner--an unabashed display of fresh fish flavors. The preparation leaves almost no chef footprints: lightly dribbled with butter and flurried with panko bread crumbs then finished in the oven.
Halibut is more fiddled with. Parked on grilled country bread (it grows soggy after sitting for a few moments), the fish is dusted with cayenne, crusted with hazelnuts and mustard seed, sautéed in a skillet with a little butter, then splashed with chardonnay and poached with thyme, kalamata olives and capers. The flavors (sweet and briny) and textures (brittle and satiny) foil one another without a distracting fight.
2936 Elm St.
Dallas, TX 75226-1596
Region: Downtown & Deep Ellum
Fried free-range chicken performs in a similar way, working homey comfort with provocative sensuousness. A clean breast is marinated in buttermilk, basil and salt, coated with flour, baking soda and baking powder, and fried in a big black iron skillet before it's finished in the oven. The juicy breast is like a deep-fried cloud (the baking powder gives the coat an airy rise), one with nary a hint of grease gloss, a wonderfully fitting innovation for Dallas.
Local is a tight little restaurant unsullied with pretensions. It is a slice of homegrown culinary dazzle that bubbled up organically from the Dallas pavement, steering clear of phony ambitions to pose like New York or L.A. And it can hold its own with whatever those cities might throw at it. (Note: Local will close for summer break August 17 and reopen September 3. )
2936 Elm St., 214-752-7500. Open 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. $$-$$$