We Got a Hot Tip and On A Great Bistro Burger | Dallas Observer


Sure Bistro 31 Serves Refined European Classics, but Have You Tried the Burger?

We paid a recent visit to Bistro 31 and were surprised by the humble burger.
We paid a recent visit to Bistro 31 and were surprised by the humble burger. Angie Quebedeaux
Bistro 31 is a popular European-inspired restaurant in Highland Park Village, a retail area known for its upscale shopping and dining destinations. Founder Alberto Lombardi was inspired to open Bistro 31 after visiting Paris and falling in love with the city’s vibrant café culture. For more than a decade it's been channeling that charm as well as one might in North Texas.

It's a popular spot for people stop by and rejuvenate after doing their part to stimulate the economy at all the high-end shops nearby.
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The bar at Bistro 31 has Old World charm.
Angie Quebedeaux
Bistro 31 expanded its outdoor seating a few years ago with an atmosphere that does in fact feel like a Parisian café with a touch of Old World charm in the heart of the city. It's perfect for dining on warm Dallas evenings. Inside, a muted palette of soft grays, creams and gold softened by warm lights is refined and relaxing.
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This escargot dish is really about mopping up the sauce with the bread.
Angie Quebedeaux
The menu offers a variety of appetizers, but one of the most popular choices is the Escargots Persillade ($19). Six plump escargots baked in garlic, parsley and butter are served along with a crusty toasted French baguette to soak up every blessed drop of the rich sauce.
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Wagyu carpaccio at Bistro 31.
Angie Quebedeaux
Another great appetizer choice is the wagyu prime beef carpaccio ($18), topped with wild arugula, cherry tomato slices and long slender strips of Parmigiano Reggiano. Or try the ground lamb meatballs ($18) served over soft polenta, feta cream and spicy marinara, which adds a nice contrast to the richness of the meatballs. It’s perfect for sharing, but why in the world would you want to do that?

And as uncouth as it may seem for a refined French bistro, a fantastic choice here is the simple burger. Which turns out, isn't so simple. Chef Henry Johnson shared the secrets behind this half-pound burger.

Johnson says the staff orders whole brisket and chuck roll, trims and grinds it in-house, then add trimmings from the restaurant's prime New York strips and filet mignons. The burger is topped with Tillamook cheddar, house-made pickles and aioli along with Bibb lettuce, Beef Steak tomato and red onion. A brioche bun from Empire Baking holds the glorious results altogether.

My dining companion raved about the ketchup served with the fries. He swore the kitchen pressed the tomatoes upon order and thought it was some sort of fantastic homemade blend he never had before. Thankfully, there was a good view of the kitchen from where I was seated so I burst his bubble a bit when I told him it was H-E-B ketchup. It looks like we’ll be heading to H-E-B soon for our own.

Or perhaps we'll use it as another excuse to head back to Bistro 31 for the burger.

Bistro 31, 87 Highland Park Village, No. 300. Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 11: 30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. 
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Angie Quebedeaux is a freelance food writer for the Observer. A "ragin' Cajun" from Lafayette, she's been in Dallas since 2002. She is an HR director by day and loves to “laissez les bon temps rouler.”

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