By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
This isn't to say Fearing's is not stunning. It most certainly is. His "mopped" rib eye is a welcome departure from Dallas steakhouse monotony. While researching Texas cooking, Fearing stumbled upon what might be a precursor to barbecue. In the 19th century, he says, West Texans would mount a half-steer over a barbecue pit and cook it for some 18 hours, basting it periodically with a mop from a bucket filled with a blend of German beer, molasses and vinegar to keep it from drying out. Fearing mops his rib eye with a similar mixture over a mesquite grill.
Fish gets good too. Soy-glazed wild salmon in miso clam broth is a lurid rush of flavors in glistening pink. The seared five-spice hamachi with avocado wasabi cream and spicy ponzu plus a salad of hearts of palm, Japanese pears and basil leaves, is so exquisitely meshed you focus on one singular vibration that rings from lip to throat and beyond.
For more feats of ardor, skip the regular menu and delve into Fearing's interpretation of Sunday supper. There's a slow-cooked slice of prime rib, brutish and red, flowing with juice, blasted with smoke. Though more gummy than crispy, Granny Fearing's bag-shook fried chicken drips with juices and ripples with flavor, more so when dipped into the side of smoky tomato gravy. Wood-grilled coriander lamb chops may be the best we've tasted. They tease with a raciness that never unravels into gamy chaos. They whet with clean juices and deep red flesh and luxurious chews that can be made right up to the bone. Seasonings and treatments serve only the meat.
2121 Mckinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201-1873
Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn
Finishes reek with the same fervor: a soothing banana cream pie topped with a tuft of toasted meringue and a housemade coconut ice cream, and a raspberry crisp with chewy, slightly salty grit laced with a searing sweet-sour thread of fruit to keep the ennui at bay.
Consider Fearing's an evolving life form, one bubbling with plate-shifting potential. How will it unfold? Perhaps if Fearing shed his ambition of slapping Dallas back on the national culinary map and narrowed his focus to making Dean all that Dean can be, the food would be more uniformly sublime. The map placement would probably follow with such scaled-back aspirations anyway.
2121 McKinney Ave, 214-922-4848. Open 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m. daily, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday and 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Open for Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $$$-$$$$