FT33 is One of Dallas' Best, So Why Aren't There More Like It?

Unlike many restaurants entering their second year, Matt McCallister's Design District gem is gaining momentum.

You won't be able use the same fib to excuse the charcuterie board, which is as fine as any served in Dallas. The kaleidoscope of meat includes salamis, prosciutto, pâté and even slices of pickled lamb's tongue, while mustards, pickled fruits and vegetables and other condiments provide a choose-your-own counterpoint to the fatty cuts. Health be damned, this plate alone is reason enough to come here. And there are still more.

Halibut served in a potato and cheese sauce sounds heavy but doesn't eat that way. Trout with smoked greens tastes like another fireside meal, provided you camp like a Kardashian. Each of these plates provides something new and unexpected without barrelling through the boundaries of what most would recognize as dinner. Despite being inventive, McCallister's cooking still resembles food. And Dallas is clearly very hungry for it, as evidenced by a consistently busy dining room.

But not everyone. One night, as I sat at the bar, I watched a slender brunette push salmon around on her plate with a fork. She didn't like the consistency, she told me, which a bartender confirmed was a common complaint. Salmon cooked sous-vide has the same consistency as salmon that's not cooked at all, and customers have apparently been unsettled. According to that same bartender, another diner left because there was no wedge salad on the menu, a friendly reminder that while some Dallasites are ready for change, decades of pandering to unsophisticated palates has left a persistent groove.

One of Dallas' best charcuterie boards.
Catherine Downes
One of Dallas' best charcuterie boards.
An outstanding rye tagliardi.
Catherine Downes
An outstanding rye tagliardi.

Details

FT33

1617 Hi Line Drive, Suite 250, 214-741-2629, ft33dallas.com. 4:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $$$$

Rye tagliardi $15

Smoked potatoes $12

Flap steak $34

Halibut $34

Crab salad $17

Houston and Austin have been forging ahead for years, and they've left Dallas spinning its wheels in refried beans and ranch dressing. But maybe Dallas doesn't need a new set of diners to realize its full potential as a culinary destination. Maybe it needs a new set of chefs.

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7 comments
Cade Wright
Cade Wright

I heard that place is amazing, hadn't been though

matthewt69
matthewt69

This: Maybe it needs a new set of chefs.

Dallas is a big place. We have been waiting for envelopes to be pushed...

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@Cade Wright It's still open!

 
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