First Look: Casa Pollastro's Brazilian-Italian Fusion Four-Course Prix Fixe for $30 | Dallas Observer

First Look

Casa Pollastro's Brazilian-Italian Prix Fixe for $30 Is Massive

Galeto al primo canto: 12-hour marinated and grilled young chicken, made three ways.
Galeto al primo canto: 12-hour marinated and grilled young chicken, made three ways. Hank Vaughn
Recently, we noticed a new restaurant called Casa Pollastro taking shape in the old Picasso’s Pizza building in Far North Dallas. Intrigued, we did some Googling and learned that this place was created by Italian immigrants from the Serra Gaucha area of southern Brazil, and they’ve combined the culinary influences of each country into an Italo-Gaucho marriage of Brazilian and Italian dishes. What really caught our attention, however, was this from their menu:

“We offer a fixe prix meal for $29.99 a person. Below you will find the courses included. Our goal is to make you feel at home, and at our house no one leaves hungry. Each course can be repeated as often as desired.”

Unlimited portions of a mélange of Brazilian and Italian dishes for under $30? Sign us up. What’s more, the grand opening was just days away (Jan. 25), so we made reservations for that night.
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Casa Pollastro offers a new prix fixe, four-course meal composed of an interesting merger of Brazilian and Italian cuisines.
Hank Vaughn
Executive chef Gabriel de Sa and chef de cuisine Simon Laredo have prepared a four-course prix fixe menu that focuses on a rotating selection of pasta dishes and galeto al primo canto, a traditional Brazilian dish prepared with a young chicken that is spatchcocked, marinated for hours and then grilled.

Casa Pollastro purports to be the only galeteria (a restaurant that serves galeto) in the country. Galeto refers to a way of roasting chicken (spatchcocked, with the backbone removed and the bird opened and flattened) and other dishes popular in the Gaúcho Highlands region of southern Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state.

The four courses (broadly speaking) are called entry, salad, main and dessert, but that sells it short. There are two entry options, two salad options, and the mains are subdivided into galetos, pasta and accompaniments. Each of these mains, furthermore, has several options: three different galetos, about ten pasta dishes and four different accompaniments.

It’s a lot to process, and we assumed we’d be asked to choose one from each course: one entry, one salad, one galeto, one pasta, one accompaniment and one dessert. That alone for $30 would be a great deal, but no. You don’t choose one from each course; you receive ALL the options from each course. It’s a lot of food. And, yes, you can ask for more of anything at any point during the meal. Did we mention that this was all for $30?
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Homemde bread with herb aioli, sun-dried tomato paté and eggplant tapenade.
Hank Vaughn
We buckled in and got started with the entry course: a round loaf of bread with three spreads (herb aioli, sun-dried tomato, and eggplant tapenade). The bread was fresh and chewy, and we both agreed that the eggplant spread won that round. The other item in the entry course was sopa de capeletti: chicken broth soup with capeletti and parsley. This arrived in an attractive large tureen that our server ladled into bowls for us. It was light and flavorful, and we were about to ladle some more when the server appeared and did it for us.
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Sopa de Capeletti: a never-ending bowl of chicken soup served from a tableside tureen.
Hank Vaughn
Next came the salad course, both a potato salad, which evidently has been in the family for seven generations, and a large bowl of mixed greens, colorful and crisp. The potato salad was okay if a bit salty, and the greens came with a serving of both homemade ranch and house vinaigrette for dressing.
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Salad of mixed greens with homemade ranch and house special vinaigrette as optional toppings.
Hank Vaughn
When this had been cleared away, we were brought the accompaniments for the main course: queijo assado com mel (coalho cheese with honey), bolinha de queijo (fried pepper jack cheese in puffy ball form) and polenta (both of the fried and grilled variety). All were good; the bolinha was reminiscent of pão de queijo in texture and taste, and the honey cheese was, perhaps, a bit too sweet.

Now we were about to get to the mains, and at this point, had I been able to loosen my belt without calling attention to it I would have. We passed on the Parmesan-crusted galeto and went with the traditional version and the piri-piri, which is galeto brushed with spicy and piquant piri-piri sauce. We received half of each (pictured at top).

These birds are bigger than a Cornish hen, but not by much, and were perfectly grilled and seasoned — moist white meat with crispy skin. The spicy version wasn’t too spicy but at the end of the day, we preferred the straight, unadorned traditional version of the galeto al primo canto.
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An almost never-ending serving of main accompaniments and pasta dishes.
Hank Vaughn
Before we could even put a dent into these birds the pasta dishes arrived. Not one, not two, but seven dishes of different varieties of pasta: Ravioli de abóbora, ravioli de goiabada, spaghetti al pomodoro, maccheroni alla Bolognese, linguine al quattro formaggi, trecce da marcella and conchiglie al funghi.

Did we mention that this is a lot of food? Of the two raviolis, we preferred the abóbora, which were filled with butternut squash in a sun-dried tomato sauce over the goiabada, which were filled with guava and seemed a bit sweet. The linguine was sauced in mozzarella, gouda, Parmesan and gorgonzola and was a rich cheesy bite with al dente pasta. The trecce had a poblano bechamel that gave it a bit of a kick but wasn’t overpowering, and the maccheroni were little rigatoni in a veal and beef sauce that probably would have been fine on its own but was a bit too heavy after sampling six other pastas and two chickens.
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Desserts: flan, sagu com creme and mousse de maracuja.
Hank Vaughn
Finally, the desserts arrived, and there were three of them: sagu com crème (tapioca reduced in red wine with cloves and cinnamon), mousse de maracuja (passion fruit mousse topped with shaved chocolate and fresh passion fruit seeds) and Brazilian flan. The sagu had a flavor profile like the wine-poached pears that I remember from my childhood. The flan was accompanied by whipped cream and a strawberry and was fine if not outstanding, and the mousse was really good for those who like passion fruit.

This was a lot of food, served in waves by friendly and attentive staff in an efficient manner, even if it was sometimes a bit overwhelming. It was so much food that we couldn’t take advantage of the offer to ask for more of anything (even though the servers repeatedly asked). Did we mention this was all for just $30 a person? When the check arrived, it turned out that it was actually just $25 a person. Maybe the $5 discount was a grand opening special, but two several-course dinners plus drinks for under $75 can’t be beat; we’ve paid almost that much for a single pasta dish elsewhere.

Once I purchase a bigger belt, we will definitely be returning.

18160 Dallas Parkway. Monday – Friday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon – 10 p.m.
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Hank Vaughn is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing and overthinking his food and drink experiences, both good and bad, from his culinary journeys with his wife across North Texas and beyond.
Contact: Hank Vaughn

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