100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 82: The Oxtail Ragout at Central 214

To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email Scott.

When you come upon the opportunity to dine at Hotel Palomar's Central 214, you must do at least two things: 1) Take advantage of the exposed prep kitchen to watch quiet genius chef Graham Dodds work his magic, and 2) for the love of everything holy, order the Oxtail Ragout.

This dish comes not without a story or two, best told by Dodds himself, but I'll share it here. Rather than a traditional gnocchi dough made from potato, his version makes inspired use of profiterole dough, or choux. This results in heavenly pillows of gnocchi that are crispy on the outside with a lighter-than-air inside, making the whole plate easier to finish off (which you most certainly will, so prepare accordingly). The pesto involved here is incredible, made painstakingly in a style Dodds picked up in Switzerland. Everything about this dish is delectable, from the fresh basil to the rich tomato broth to the meaty bits of oxtail. In a word, it's transcendental. Look for it on the fall menu at Central 214.

Hungry for more? Check back every morning for another dish, and download our Best Of App for Android and iPhone for more picks on the go.

No. 100: The Cleaver and Block Burger at NHS Tavern No. 99: The Bone Marrow at the Meddlesome Moth No. 98: Arepas at Zaguan Latin Cafe No. 97: Jalapeno Poppers at City Tavern No. 96: Elotes: Everywhere No. 95: Dan-Dan Noodles at Royal China No. 94: Smoked Ham Mac and Cheese at The Porch No. 93: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 92: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso No. 91: Devils On Horseback At The Chesterfield No. 90: Ginger Soy Baby Back Ribs at Tei Tei Robata No. 89: Croissants From Rush Patisserie No. 88: The Reuben At The Cock & Bull No. 87: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge No. 86: The Roast Chicken At Bolsa No. 85: Chicken-Fried Egg at Union Bear No. 84: Brisket Tacos At Manny's No. 83: The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at Smoke