Madrina has been open for just a few weeks, but they’ve clearly worked out the kinks in short order. Dinner service at the Highland Park restaurant started in late September, and last week, Madrina announced they would begin opening their doors for lunch. If you work or live in the area, that’s got to be a pretty exciting proposition. Who wouldn’t want to eat fancy tacos in the middle of the day?
Already, chef Julio Peraza is shaking up the perception of the Highland Park restaurant, and the lunch menu here is no exception. A few stand-outs from the dinner menu, including the decadent duck confit enfrijolada and taco de chivo, carry over into the new lunch service, along with lighter options and the usual salad fare. You’re not going to see too many roasted goat tacos on menus in Highland Park, unless there’s a hidden taqueria within the city limits that we’ve somehow missed.
As a bonus, prices for these dishes are quite a bit lower at lunch than they are in the evening hours, which is great for plebes like us who have to drive to the good neighborhoods. Madrina certainly isn’t a place for cheap eats, but $12 is a bargain for anything that includes duck confit, as in the half-portion of the enfrijolada. In fact, $12 is a bargain for anything in Highland Park. If you’re strapped for cash, put on your best shoes and best non-stained T-shirt and indulge in the finer side of food during the 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. lunch service.
Somewhat disappointing, the cocktail menu is significantly pared down at lunch. Proof + Pantry, the other restaurant created by Misery Loves Company, is already one of the best places in Dallas to sip a mid-afternoon drink, and Madrina could have been equally great. Instead, you’ll just find a few drinks — a French 75, brandy old fashioned and on-tap Blanc Vermouth — as opposed to the full, French- and Mexican-inspired menu. Compared with the 20-plus cocktails on the dinner menu, five drinks for lunch looks a little paltry.
No doubt, the minds at Misery Loves Company are looking to replicate the success they’ve seen at Proof + Pantry. The lunch crowd there is robust, thanks to the flood of hungry workers from downtown offices. Now, though, they’re looking to satisfy the ladies-who-lunch crowd, and the menu is a reflection of that. Much like Proof + Pantry, lunch here will set you back quite a bit more than your usual fast food, but the extra cash you shell out will likely be worth it.