While it may be new, the folks behind it aren’t new to Deep Ellum: Milkshake Concepts also has Vidorra, Stirr, Serious Pizza, Sky Rocket Burger and Citizen.
As a server will tell you about this new spot in The Epic, Harper’s menu is “globally inspired while focusing on local ingredients.” What that results in is a menu with foie gras potstickers ($19), Mexican street corn pizza ($17), a wagyu burger ($24) and a long list of steaks and chops with proud prices.
Land at a two-top, and you’ll be amid the low lighting from a battery-powered lamp on a super-wide table. Perfectly loud and beautiful wallpaper wraps around booths set for parties of six. In the distance, you get a sight of an oversized torch firing on a dish, making you wonder about the dessert list.
On the entree side, there’s Chilean farm-raised sea bass with spicy tomato and braised green lentils we’re already craving for next time ($38). It also surely would’ve been better than the selection of the Korean-braised beef rib ($56). Now beef rib can be a fantastic cut of meat — it’s tender, fatty, flavorful on its own and usually good for a few meals. What it doesn’t really need is getting soaked in a sticky sauce with plenty of sesame. The flavor clashes with the natural flavors of the meat for a meal we’re in no way craving again.
The rest of the meats listed seem to rest more on natural flavors or have worthy complements, such as the rib-eye with chimichurri ($85) or the double-cut pork chop with green mole-infused pork jus ($42). If those just sound too basic for you, you can splurge on the sharable Texas wagyu tomahawk with miso compound butter for $195.
The five-cheese mac with gemelli pasta and toasted panko is just fine, with a lackluster flavor and slightly grainy texture in the sauce ($13). A better choice is the crispy Brussels sprouts ($13). They’re mostly crispy with pickled Fresno peppers and a Chinese black vinegar aioli — for the sake of texture there could be less of that creaminess, but the flavor is welcome.
Harper’s has at least nailed the environment, with proper music levels, flattering lighting and beautiful aesthetics. It’s a place to land if you’re looking to celebrate a little something. On our way out, we stepped into the private dining room, which has almost a Palm Springs vibe we could get into with the right party.
Harper’s, 2525 Elm St., Suite 150 (Deep Ellum). Open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday and 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday.