By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
That lamb sirloin could have been removed from the heat a touch sooner, as could that jiggling egg whose yolk was close to set. Hammer's kitchen tends to cook with a heavy hand.
That charcuterie that's hanging in the morgue is another sticking point. Rendered into a pasta sauce, guanciale eats like the king of bacons, but while it's safe to do, it's not all that common to see guanciale served uncooked, probably because the experience shares a lot in common with eating raw bacon. The lardo on a charcuterie board was a little unsettling too, cut so thick you had to chew it a little, when you'd rather it melt away on your tongue like a pleasant memory.
Desserts, including a banana pudding filled with Nilla wafers in a jar, come off clunky, which is a shame because you want a meal that started off with a quenelle of smoked trout rillettes and perfectly shucked oysters to end with just as much fanfare.
4513 Travis St., 214-520-0900, est-dallas.com, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, $$$
Trout rillette, $8
Scallop sashimi, $12
Duck wings, $10
Somehow, the missteps and execution errors come off as potential improvements instead of a list of disappointments. Hammer has a rough-cut gem in the ornate dining experience he's crafted for The Establishment. There's an appreciation for quality ingredients and a sense of adventure that's taking shape here, and it's in stark contrast to the surrounding restaurants. It's time to polish the stone.