Private Social Hears No Evil, and That's the Problem

The loudest restaurant in Dallas can't hear (or see or taste) its mistakes.

Dessert was fine. A galette holding sweet pears could have used a flakier crust, though, and the lemon sorbet it was plated with felt out of place. (The salted caramel ice cream elsewhere on the menu would be so much better here.)

The composed cheese course was a bigger flop: mounding cheese and marmalade and honey and greens and radishes on more of that terrible bread. If I could compose the bite myself I'd choose less of each ingredient. I'd also ditch the toast. Derry serves them up as a crostini, stripping diners of all control. A cheese for dessert course is one of the few plates that actually should remain deconstructed.

Private Social feels staged to me, even though the dining room is packed with paying customers. It's like the set of a television show, where dishes are preened like costumes and the make-up is caked on thick. The plates look pretty, and sauces and soups poured table-side from polished porcelain vessels invoke a dressy feel, but unmasked with a fork the dishes crumble into an unmemorable pile of unmet expectations.

Private Social, where cameras roll, crowds roar and Tiffany Derry presents food less memorable than last season's TV schedule.
Jay Barker
Private Social, where cameras roll, crowds roar and Tiffany Derry presents food less memorable than last season's TV schedule.
Private Social, where cameras roll, crowds roar and Tiffany Derry presents food less memorable than last season's TV schedule.
Allison V. Smith
Private Social, where cameras roll, crowds roar and Tiffany Derry presents food less memorable than last season's TV schedule.

Location Info

Map

Private Social

3232 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204

Category: Restaurant > International

Region: East Dallas & Lakewood

Details

Private Social
Top Chef Pork Buns $12
Sweetbreads $14
Bone marrow $14
Monkfish $36
Braised veal $26
Cheese plate $12

During one visit, when I asked about a camera crew filming in the restaurant, my waitress told me she had to sign a waiver to work there. "You never can tell what's going on here," she told me. I could barely hear her, but I got the feeling she was suggesting that big things were always happening at Private Social. That's probably true when the chef and her flock are viewed through a camera lens, but not so much when frame is focused on the cooking — a shame, considering the price of admission.

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8 comments
Marvin
Marvin

The crust gave way to protein that tasted like the most tender, delicious chicken nugget, lightly salted by that briny liquid.

Why not just go for the delicious chicken nugget then. It's way cheaper, and less disgusting.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Sometimes I think critical reviews of overhyped restaurants are more valuable than rave reviews of better ones (or at least the lessons are more portable). This is one of those times.

Thanks for reminding us that more important than a checklist of trendy entrees & ingredients that changes frequently (and varies by cuisine) are simple ground rules restaurants should follow but seem to have forgotten: in this case, don't serve crappy bread (more generally, monitor the quality of all ingredients daily), and loudness is not a good substitute for real socializing.

Stephen Whitley
Stephen Whitley

it used to be that fame came AFTER a long slog through various kitchens and after a chef has proven themselves with amazing food. Sounds like this is a case of the cart leading the horse...or rather, someone believing their own press...

seabird20
seabird20

I wrote a review on yelp http://www.yelp.com/biz/privat... back in November. It is sad to see that those flaws are still prevalent.We certainly won't go back - unless we hear that it has improved.And just to compound the felony, their customer service department is not firing on any cyclinders. After a pretty negative review in social media (yelp), I would have expected some kind of reaction from the restaurant. None, nada. As we say in England the place is "all mouth and no trusers".

food69
food69

went to see what the hoopla was all about - will never go back - enough said

G-man66
G-man66

Huh? So based on this assessment they should be closed by the Spring.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

they should, but they wont, because as is pointed out here quite often, dallas diners are often duped by good food, and the chance to be on camera or have pictures taken with someone famous overrides actaully have a good dining experience from begining to end.

 
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