Welcome to "You Like This," in which we ask chefs two questions: 1) What's the best-selling dish at your restaurant? and 2) What's your favorite dish at your restaurant? We hope the answer to the first question will open your eyes to the fan favorites and the Dallas palate, and that perhaps the answer to that second question will inspire you to go out on a kickass food limb once in a while. This week's You Like This features chefs Melody Bishop and Dennis Kelley from LARK on the Park.
Hey chefs! What's the best-selling dish at LARK on the Park?
Our scallop dish is consistently a best seller. Currently, we serve the diver scallops seared with parsnip purée, kale, crispy prosciutto, bacon vinaigrette, pomegranate salsa and pine nuts.
What's your favorite dish at LARK?
Bishop: From our lunch menu, the grilled pork chop with macadamia nuts, cauliflower, napa cabbage, jalapeño, cilantro and orange vinaigrette. Even though it's 10 ounces, the dish is still light enough you don't feel so weighed down after you eat it. I love the flavor combination and it has just enough of a spicy kick. I eat it all the time!
Kelley: Tagliatelle with roasted cauliflower, capers, anchovy, chile and Parmesan. The combination of the anchovy and capers with the olive oil and garlic all work nicely to complement each other. When all the ingredients come together, it brings out a lot of flavor.
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Any advice for Dallas restaurant-goers looking to step out of their food comfort zones?
Bishop: If you're intimidated by new foods, start slowly. Look at a menu and order a dish with a main component that you know you like but might have an ingredient or two you are unfamiliar with. If, for instance, you love lamb, order the dish as is. We pair the main ingredient of a dish with foods that complement them — not overpower them — so the flavor you know you like will still be there. After that, you can venture out and order a food you don't know at all, or even something you thought you didn't like. I don't know how many people have told me they didn't think they like beets or duck or octopus, for instance, until they tried them prepared in a different way.
Kelley: Trying something new or something that you have tried before but didn't like can be intimidating. If you are in a restaurant that you like and trust, you probably can feel pretty safe in trying or retrying a product that you may have had an unpleasant experience with before. In our restaurant we find new and exciting products and we want to showcase that to our guests and let them experience and hopefully be as thrilled with these items as we are. So go out there, and trust your chef and take that chance. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.