100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 76: Octopus at Casa Rubia

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.

If we can convince you of one thing, we'd like it to be that everyone should eat more octopus. The Finding Dory co-star has a bad reputation for being chewy and rubbery, and yeah, there are places in town with badly cooked octopus. Those tentacles can be kind of creepy, too.

But when cooked properly, octopus can be a light appetizer, with delicate flavor and a smooth, tender texture that’s closer to scallops. Sprezza makes a mighty fine octopus salad, as does Filament, which adds smoky grilled tentacles to a light Southern-style potato salad. Where did Filament’s former chef, Cody Sharp, learn to prepare octopus so well? At Casa Rubia, where chef Omar Flores is the reigning Dallas master of this sea creature.

Casa Rubia’s preparation is classically Spanish, with olives, pickled peppers and a bit of chorizo. It’s also an advertisement for how good this seafood can be when cooked right. Still a cephalopod skeptic? Maybe Casa Rubia can change your mind.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart