100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 88: Lucia's Foie Gras-Stuffed Prunes

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.

Simple, yet fancy. Cheap, yet luxurious. Tiny, yet hugely flavorful. Sweet, tart, fatty, puckery. Lucia’s most famous appetizer costs only $1, but it contains multitudes, and we recommend ordering multitudes of it. It’s the foie gras-stuffed prune, a treat that sounds like the territory of one-percenters but costs less than a convenience store candy bar.

The foie gras-stuffed prune has become a bit of Dallas legend. Brave Lucia’s complex table reservation system, or secure a coveted walk-in seat, and the starter can feel a bit like a prize for your persistence. The stuffed prune is a friendly welcome, intended to remind you that despite the hype, Lucia is a friendly neighborhood spot, not a shrine of elitist fine dining. “See,” the prune would say if it could talk, “we’re not so fancy after all. I’m the most delicious thing you’ve had today, and I’m only a dollar. And by the way, prunes aren’t just for old people.”

But forget context. These things are simply delicious, and the key lies in all those contrasts. Yes, the stuffed prune is the size of an olive, but the flavor lingers for ages. The fatty sweetness of foie is matched by the fruit. Together, the odd couple sings in perfect harmony. Just don’t order too many, because after Lucia serves its prunes, one of the best meals in Dallas is yet to come.
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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