100 Favorite Dishes, No. 48: Misti Norris' Shio Ramen at Top Knot's Summer Ramen Series

Just look at that paper-thin pig ear terrine. Just look at it.EXPAND
Just look at that paper-thin pig ear terrine. Just look at it.
Beth Rankin

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

This is one of those ephemeral Dallas dishes that existed for one night only, enjoyed once and never to be slurped from a Felt and Fat bowl again. Which is a shame, because this was a truly exceptional bowl of food.

Top Knot, Uchi's playful little upstairs sister, launched a summer ramen series that, once a month, brings killer Dallas chefs into Top Knot to create a one-night-only ramen special, the proceeds of which benefit No Kid Hungry. The first round featured Lucia's Justin Holt and on Monday night, Small Brewpub's Misti Norris took the reigns. Unsurprisingly, she did not disappoint. Norris' shio ramen was a rich bowl filled with ham dashi, mayu pig ears, pickled mustard greens and cured yolk. The broth was dark and meaty, causing my dining partner to proclaim that it tasted "like drinking the perfect steak." The pig ear terrine was sliced paper-thin and was the most delightful thing that's even been between two chopsticks — it was fatty, it was rich and it was sent into the stratosphere with the burst of freshness from happy little dill blossoms that came from a local farm run by veterans. 

Wheat and Sour helped Norris and Top Knot chef Angela Hernandez with noodle R&D, and the resulting noodles were wheaty and perfect for this particular ramen. The punch from the pickled greens, the gelatinous creaminess from the cured yolk — when it all came together, it created the perfect summer bowl of ramen. To achieve that in Dallas in 100-degree heat is no small feat. 

The final round of Top Knot's summer ramen series, featuring chef Matthew Hoa of Ten Ramen, is Aug. 29.

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