Best Use of a Pheasant Carcass (2004)

Roasted pheasant broth at Landmark Restaurant

Pretty much everything on Joel Harloff's menu at the Melrose Hotel's signature restaurant is stunning. It's set up in courses instead of the more prosaic appetizer/salad/entrée arrangement. Most diners will focus on second or main course standouts. Among the initial offerings, however, is a simple broth. Now, broth is the sort of thing a cranky old man slurps down when the grandkids have "borrowed" his false choppers for a quick game of street hockey--an easily digestible soup consisting of water, for the most part. Yet Harloff's version, created from the roasted remnants of pheasant, stands out as one of the most exquisite first-course offerings in Dallas. The flavors of wild game and smoke linger with unexpected intensity. A few slivers of shiitake mushroom, a sparse handful of diced roma tomatoes and a slight swirl of pumpkin-seed oil add texture and enhance the natural wildness of the broth. Otherwise, it's a dish true to the heritage: mostly water and very simple. It's just about perfect, in other words

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