It felt so strange walking into Acme F&B on a recent weekday evening. The dining room was completely empty, except a couple of ladies at the bar, and outside the patio was only half full. Just under a year ago, the restaurant was one of the hot dining destinations of the summer, and people flooded the well-appointed space to check out the restaurant's innovative menu. Acme featured what they called a "whole animal allocation program," which partnered with Good 2 Go Taco and Goodfriend to utilize entire animals nose to tail.
Then Norman Grimm was announced as a new chef. And after that Colleen O'Hare and Jeana Johnson announced their departure from the restaurant. Brooke Humphries and Brianna Larson remained, but they seem like the only constant here.
Norman Grimm is no longer the chef at the restaurant, and nose to tail cooking is a thing of the past as well. Now Wednesdays are half-priced food night, and Thursdays are half priced wine nights -- specials you'd expect from Libertine Bar and Meridian Room, but not Acme F&B.
Teresa Roberts, a manager for the restaurant, says Acme is leaning towards more casual dining, adding more burgers and sandwiches to their menu and focusing on "a beer garden type of thing." The patio is definitely made for outdoor beer drinking, so maybe it's a good fit.
Back to my recent visit where I sat in a nearly empty dining room and snacked on a charcuterie board that was nothing like the one we photographed for our cheese board slide show. The pate and rillettes were replaced with store-bought charcuterie. One of the sausages had a quarter-inch ring of gray, oxidized meat around the perimeter and an off-putting texture. The arugula on the plate had started to wilt and a wad of blue cheese looked like day-old Play-doh.
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Thankfully a burger I tried, while slightly over-cooked, was much better. And a crispy flatbread was topped with a nice chickpea puree, feta and crisp, fresh vegetables -- not so bad for health food.
At half-off, those items would be a great deal. At full price I think you can do better. Still that patio is one of the finest in Dallas. With half-off bottles on Thursday nights it's a great place for a glass of vino.