I'm having a hard time sitting on a recent fantasy regarding Meze, the new spot to be opened by the Ziziki's folks in One Arts Plaza. The Commissary may have been plagued with consistently poor service and other snafus, but they actually plated up an exemplary burger. Its recent shuttering was a loss for the Dallas food scene, and I'm hoping the Greek place brings something new to the table.
What if Meza were the only Greek restaurant in the loop that actually spit-roasted whole lambs and chickens. I've seen it done in other restaurants, why not here? What if they installed a hotter-than-hell oven and turned out freshly baked, blistered rounds of pita bread that released poofs of steam when you tore them open, something similar to the delicate beach balls that come out of Julian Barsotti's ovens at Nonna.
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According to David McMillan, the chef at the recently shuttered Screen Door, One Arts has a strong lunch crowd that's looking for a cost-effective meal. Spit-roasted meats and freshly baked bread would make for the most compelling sandwiches available in downtown Dallas. To round things out they should install a coal-fired grill to turn out kebabs as good as those at Pera Turkish kitchen.
And maybe they could nix the whole tapas style of dining we've beaten to a pulp. Small plates came into popularity a full decade ago and have moved beyond stale to become completely unfashionable. We've seen enough $6 plates bearing four cheese-stuffed dates and a sprig of parsley. Let's start a new trend, instead.
Give us sizable plates we can set in the center of large tables and devour family style. That grill could also fire whole red snapper to be shared between diners while using more of that fresh baked bread as a utensil. That's the kind of sharing we could use a lot more of.