By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Another imperfect Crescent moment. Service protocol in restaurants of the Crescent demands a fresh glass along with refills. After the pour we reiterate our food interests, worried she'll leave us to the bread basket. From the menu, we order five of the seven selections, physically pointing them out on the sheet after voicing the names proves too confusing.
We wait. And wait. We watch the valet outside the lobby park the Bentleys, Porsches, a Lotus and even a red Rolls Royce. We wait some more. We play slug bug with the Bentleys.
But the food arrives, finally: vanilla shrimp skewers, feta Roma tomato salad, black truffle chicken satay, Gorgonzola fries with bacon and balsamic reduction, and a pizza. Two of these things we didn't order.
"Tapas take longer than our regular orders," our waitress says. "They're so little, and they have to cut everything just right."
Well, sort of. The chicken satay is little rough bundles of dry breast meat bound to lemongrass stalks. Feta Roma tomato salad with pancetta balsamic vinaigrette is thick layered stacks of cheese and faded tomato interspersed with mint leaves: Stonehenge on a tiny platter.
But here's where it gets interesting. Vanilla shrimp skewers on pineapple jalapeño relish are a bloody skirmish. The shrimp rest at one end of the bowl with a vanilla bean, and the vanilla essence is gently embedded into the meat. Take a bite of the relish. The pineapple and vanilla kind of lull you with its harmonization with the marine sweetness. But then that jalapeño comes out from behind and rips your tongue out. You lean back stunned and invigorated, which is effective after watching the valet roll a red Rolls.
Humdrum settles back in. The Gorgonzola fries (chips actually) with fried pancetta and crispy parsley are cool and a little flaccid. Salmon on cashew rice is cool too.
Mini tuna burgers are the finale. Tiny pieces of grilled tuna are wedged in a tiny bun. You can pinch these things with two fingers. They are delicious. The buns are moist. The tuna is exceptionally well-seasoned with little bites of pepper popping up all over the place. The center of the meat is red. There's a Japanese soup spoon off to the side with a dollop of aioli, but it's pointless. These tiny burgers stand tall on their own.
400 Crescent Court, 214-871-3200. Open 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 2 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. $$