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Here's What Got Served When Amberjax and Saint Rocco's Threw Down in Trinity Groves Last Night

Last night was Fork Fight at Trinity Groves, the third in a series of eight events that features a cook-off between the upcoming restaurants in the new development just west of downtown.

While their prospective spaces are still under construction, this friendly competition gives foodies a taste of what's to come in the "restaurant incubator concept" that aims to foster growth for start-ups.

See Also: -- Round 1: SOUK vs. Casa Rubia -- Round 2: Kitchen LTO vs. Chino Chinatown

Thursday night featured Amberjax Fish Market and Grill, a seafood restaurant with a New Orleans influence, and Saint Rocco's Italian Italian Food (yes, two times; no, we don't understand either). Dinner consisted of four courses from each chef, served side-by-side. The wait staff would emerge from the kitchen about every 30 minutes and, in a well-choreographed dance of the plates, serve the entire room from east to west in about 10 minutes.

Here's what got served:

Course 1 Top: Saint Rocco's. Jumbo wild mushrooms, three cheese ravioli with truffled butter sauce. Bottom: Amberjax. Yellowfin sesame tuna tartare, avocado, spicy citrus and wasabi aioli with crispy wonton.


Course 2 Top: Saint Rocco's. Italian wedge salad, baby iceberg lettuce, cannellini beans, pancetta, tomatoes and roasted garlic gorgonzola dressing. Bottom: Amberjax. Chili-lime lump crab salad, heirloom tomato and avocado.


Course 3 Top: Saint Rocco's. Braised beef short rib on creamy sweet corn polenta with Chianti horseradish sauce. Bottom: Amberjax. Parmesan crusted Alaskan halibut, orzo, spinach and tomato.


Course 4 Top: Saint Rocco's. Old-style ricotta cheesecake with Drambuie créme en glaze. Bottom: Amberjax. Old fashioned New Orleans bread pudding, praline ice cream (from Harry's in Plano) and sea salt with caramel.

Plate by plate, the competition was very close, until the final round when Amberjax's bread pudding blew everything out of the water. From the scoop of praline ice cream atop the croissant-like bread pudding to the rich caramel sauce underneath it, the dessert was amazing. From a quick glance at the forks at the end of the night used to tally the winner, Amberjax appeared to be the overall winner.

Fork Fight Round Four is next Thursday and features L.U.C.K and Resto Gastro Bistro.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.