The other night I was out — well, where I am far too often — sipping a gin and tonic at Cosmo’s. When Jackson Tran offered me a duck taco that’s going on the menu, I couldn’t turn him down.
As he crisped up the skin and warmed the juicy dark meat, he shared some news: He was excited to be going on paternity leave.
What I said out loud: “Hooray! That’s great!”
What I might’ve been thinking inside: “Who the hell is going to make the broth for your menu?”
Turns out, his menu will be taking a break from Feb. 26 until March 12. But have no fear, because what’s coming in is pretty much just as exciting.
During that time, chef Jennie Kelley of Frank Underground is taking over the kitchen, bringing a menu fit for a French bistro.
“[Tran] asked if I would do a ‘takeover.’ I immediately said, ‘Well no, I can’t do your food,’ but then we laughed and he said I could do whatever I wanted,” Kelley says. “So I started thinking of the history of Vietnamese and French cuisine. So once I decided on that, I decided to do a French bistro pop-up at the Lounge Here.”
And those dinners sold out quickly, by the way. So while the paper menu with Tran’s dishes inspired by family tradition will shelve those perfect dumplings in broth and savory kimchi for a while, we’ll be OK.
Kelley, along with Brandon Moore (Ocean Prime) and Madison King (Frank Underground), is bringing plenty to keep us satisfied in our East Dallas bar.
The tater tots won’t fully go away: “I’ll do French tater tots,” Kelley says.
Also expect duck fat cassoulet, escargot and Parisian ham.
Also expect something extra familiar to East Dallas: the Grape’s mushroom soup. Blessed by the Luschers, of course, Kelley’s bringing back the dish for this appropriate setting.
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Since Frank Underground has taken a hiatus, Kelley has been popping up for different events, as well as doing private dinners.
And for at least a few weeks, we’ll be perfectly happy that she’s taking care of our neighborhood bar’s kitchen.
(Extra tip: Those duck tacos and duck banh mi sandwiches are on the menu this weekend; don't miss them.)
Cosmo's Bar and Lounge, 1212 Skillman St. (East Dallas)