The Office Grill: Perfect Escape from Cubicle Hell

Staying late at this office is no problem.

It's the rare restaurant that announces its intention to satisfy every possible segment of its customer base with its sign. But for The Office Grill, open since March off a clamorous expanse of the Dallas North Tollway near Trinity Mills Road, its placard says it all: "The Office: Sports, Stocks, Grill."

The "office" ambiance starts with its tony appointments: lush green carpet, cushy leather banquettes, starched tablecloths, heavy flatware and the satiny finish of cherry wood abounding on partitions, doors and columns worthy of the Parthenon. All in all, the décor lends the restaurant the soft glow of a law office or a highly ethical hedge fund.

But—and this is where The Office makes a transparent move to distance itself from a decade's worth of former steakhouse tenants (Fleming's, Rick Stein's and Tre Amici)—the restaurant has replaced an old wine-storage space with a comfortable nook where any aspiring master of the universe can email, make hundreds of copies or send out reams of faxes. In this virtual office, Wi-Fi comes with your breadbasket.

Lunch at The Office takes on a whole new meaning.
Sara Kerens
Lunch at The Office takes on a whole new meaning.

Location Info

Map

The Office Grille and Restaurant

18020 N. Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX 75287

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Carrollton/ Farmers Branch

Details

Lobster nachos with black bean hummus $16 Asparagus tempura with lemon aioli $8 Seared crab cakes $14 Board of Director’s Caesar $8 Seared lemon-thyme gnocchi $12 for half-order; $22 for full order Grill Colorado lamb loin $29 Crystal Creek grass-fed hanger steak-frites $15 Molten lava cake $8 Lavender crème brûlée $6 Truffles $4

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But there's more: A notary public is available from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. to seal that elusive oil-lease deal. Lockers, holding everything from a stapler to a laptop, can be rented, and two back rooms open up to form a conference area, catered to by The Office kitchen and primed for that PowerPoint presentation.

"Stocks" refers to The Office's attempt to have at least three of its 11 flat-screen televisions tuned to a business show broadcasting a stock-ticker crawl. The other flat-screens cover The Office's other main entertainment concerns of food programming (there's Rachael Ray on the Food Network) or, naturally, sports, which often means plenty of bloviating from ESPN's SportsCenter.

Obviously the "grill" in The Office's name refers to the primary mode of cooking adopted by its skilled kitchen. That's a tad misleading as executive chef John Kleifgen proves himself to be a versatile master of myriad cooking techniques, beyond branding some grill marks on some flank steak.

If The Office were a person, he would dress in natty pinstripes, call Wall Street home and "always be closing" a deal, any deal. The Office has serious aspirations of being North Dallas' answer to such macho downtown businessmen hangs as Morton's or Fort Worth's Del Frisco's. Its drink menu says as much, as it trumpets cigars starting at $12 and has dubbed $14-$15 drinks as "board of directors."

That business-like precision runs throughout almost all of the nearly dozen dishes sampled at The Office. Precise and often very tasty, The Office's food chooses to play it safe, eschewing the adventuresome for often flawless execution and a steady rate of taste return.

Among the starters, the lobster in the lobster nachos is as fresh and meaty as one can hope for, and it pairs well with an earthy-tasting hummus base along with a glistening tomato salsa spiked by rich guacamole. The asparagus tempera is a paragon of skilled frying, its light cloak allowing the asparagus batons to peek through as if pushing up the soil in a mid-spring bloom. So enjoyable a package is the asparagus with its breading that its accompanying lemon aioli can be relegated to the sidelines.

The same adroit frying touch can be found at a lunch-time portion of seared crab cakes, whose panko-light bread crumb exterior never overwhelms the delicate crab interior. The unctuousness of the crab is nicely offset by the slight acidic notes from a tomato puree and a thatch of anise-flavored pickled fennel and cucumber.

And if the Board of Director's Caesar is momentarily let down by a steroidal, vaguely stale crouton, it more than recovers with its crisp romaine lettuce, shaves of tart Wisconsin Parmesan and the meal's most welcome surprise: a mini-geodesic dome of breading, concealing a perfectly soft-boiled egg, a truly beloved emissary from breakfast. One fork slash and the egg spills its yolky treasure all over the Parmesan-flecked lettuce. Sheer heaven.

If one subscribes to the maxim (OK, Italian restaurant maxim) that any ambitious restaurant should be judged by the quality of its gnocchi, then The Office's seared lemon-thyme version certainly flatters the eatery. The dumplings are appropriately pillowy, and their taste is pushed and pulled by the mild acid of cherry tomatoes, the sweetness of curried corn and the crunch of green beans. Strands of Gorgonzola make for a tangy drape to the dish.

Meanwhile, the grilled Colorado lamb loin is cooked to a lovely roseate middle and is flavorful and almost fork-tender thanks to its constant coddling in an olive oil poaching bath. Each of the portion's six slices pack so much juiciness that the accompanying red pepper emulsion is nearly irrelevant. That's a real feat considering the lamb loin is much leaner than the more popular rack.

As part of The Office's aura is all-business, meat-and-potatoes, one should definitely not pass up its Crystal Creek grass-fed hanger steak-frites. The meat comes already sliced on the plate and boasts a nicely burnished crust surrounding a perfectly ruddy middle. Lapping up against the beef is a heavily reduced red wine demi-glace sauce that is syrupy in consistency and lends the meat new depths of flavor.

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15 comments
DfwFoodCritic
DfwFoodCritic

We made a special trip out of usual "rotation" based on the review. The place is a recycled/not renovated steak house with an 80's feel. Don't know the owner and don't care. We left before we even ordered. Woefully understaffed....and the staff they had were inattentive. Valet stand unattended and chained to a pole. When the free rent portion of the lease expires, my bet is they will be gone. Don't waste a trip. Now the bright spot...we left to try Ziziki's Taverna on beltline.....terrific!

JuliaD
JuliaD

Hey Bill~ It was FUN last night! I can't wait for this Sunday's game. I'm with you~ GO The Office Grill! Go Mavs!

JuliaD
JuliaD

Oops~ I think you are still logged in on this computer~ SorryJulia

Bill345
Bill345

I was there last night and it was packed. There had to be 150 people having a great time. The food was delicious and the specialty drinks were wonderful. Don't know what the big problem is because this place was fun! @Jcorona~Guess if you really feel compassion towards the staff~ stop bad mouthing the place. I can't wait for this Sunday's Mavs Watching Party again!! Go The Office Grill! Go Mavs!

Jcorona
Jcorona

The Office is a cool concept for sure. I might even step in and grab lunch one day....but, you can't ignore the shady works behind the operation. I've read up well on Michael Costa and am married to an associate of Toni & Guy... After confirmation and reassurance, I believe NN. Just note, if I happen to stop in this place for a bite, I will feel obligated to heavily tip the staff. Gotta make sure they eat too. Go Mavs!! @Bill345

Bill345
Bill345

OK~ Just stopped in to support the Mavs and the place is packed!! Wanna come join me Rhonda221? hahahahahaha

Rhonda221
Rhonda221

According to the stories, this guy didn't pay his employees or vendrs and poured cheap booze into empty bottles of expensive alcohol, then ran when the TABC showed up. Do you really want to support his restaurant? If the media was making stuff up, Costa would have them in court! There are *police reports* documenting his nonsense. That makes me thik that Costa paid for this review.

Bill345
Bill345

So what is your passionate hatred of this guy Rhonda221? Should we ask if the real NN would stand up? hahahaha~ If he is truly "bouncing" checks all over the place, how the hell could he afford to pay for a review? Really, try and stick with one argument if you are gonna make one, but first, find a viable one! Get over it! It's a cool concept and the food sounds really great! Think I will try it out this weekend!

DallasFoodie#1
DallasFoodie#1

Lol, you can't pay for a review. As far as I know, they clearly have a suit and have started legal action. You shouldn't always believe what you read........I agree that this is a great restaurant and should be enjoyed. Look at the past, he has always been associated with running great restaurants. Nancys 15 minutes are up! I am going out to eat.............thanks to you Rhonda, I am goinjg to The Office!

Bobsbigandtall
Bobsbigandtall

Why is everybody in Dallas so hell-bent on keep up with Nancy Nichols' tabloid crap??? Why can't we just be happy to have another great restaurant???

Bill345
Bill345

Love this place! Lately, the afore mentioned writer has said many things that can be legally disputed. Just ask John Tesar of The Commissary! He recently slammed her on his FB page for making stuff up! It's just sad when one believes everything they read. This place is awesome! The food is amazing and it has a really fun atmosphere!! PS~ are you kidding about running ads? REALLY, get a CLOSER look at D!! Oh Rhonda, might want to get a better resource than a magazine who lets a "food taster" do an editorial without checking her facts for your references.

Rhonda221
Rhonda221

No mention of the well-documented fiascos surrounding Michael Costa? Is the writer completely unaware of stores in D about this sleazeball?

Or is The Office running an ad and being paid by The Office to shut up? It's not like the Observer to ignore the kind of controversy that Costa has stirred up.

CapGuy
CapGuy

Jaimie I totally agree....

Jamie D Corona
Jamie D Corona

Im curious....have you read the Pulse article in this month's D Magazine??? Nancy Nichols has her own review of this joint. This place and its affiliates seem crooked, especially regarding Michael Costa. Ironically, DO comes out in the same month with posch reviews..... Curiousity is killing my cat. Why write this review? Much respect DO, but im not buying it.

Bobsbigandtall
Bobsbigandtall

I wouldn't call Nancy Nichols' article a review. She didn't mention a factual thing about the restaurant other than some former employees were upset at one of the owners.

 
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