Lovers Seafood and Market is part of a milieu of boutiques, juice bars and high-end nurseries that stud a short strip of Lovers Lane. These places act as pit stops on the road to income disposal for nearby Highland and University Park residents and nonresidents alike, granted they have beefy credit card limits. Outside Lovers Seafood, the valet stand looks ever-ready to receive guests; once inside, the interior-design wet dream of a lady who lunches comes into full view. Seafoam green accents, vintage glass pendant lights and scalloped woodwork give the place the look and feel of a veritable Nantucket beach house.
As you will at all good Nantucket beach houses, you will find fresh fish and plenty of it; booze, too. Touting bottomless mimosas and a shrimp-forward menu, the restaurant started serving Saturday and Sunday brunch a few weeks back.
The shrimp migas, shrimp enchiladas and shrimp tacos ($18 for each dish) occupy approximately one-third of the brunch menu's real estate. We opted for the sautéed shrimp and chorizo tacos in a nod to both our deep, abiding appreciation for tacos and our fear of brunch dishes that cost in excess of $25.
While a $9 taco is hardly thrifty — and indeed difficult to justify given the litany of excellent taquerias in Dallas — we wanted to see how the other half tacos. As it turns out, they aren't being deprived. Two toasty flour tortillas cradled shrimp that were both generous in size and in number, chorizo and just enough scrambled eggs to meld the two protein sources together. The shrimp were sweet and perfectly springy, while the chorizo packed plenty of spice and surprisingly little fat. Set off by a bit of fresh salsa and some sharp pepper Jack cheese, these puppies proved worth every penny.
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The remainder of the menu features a couple of fishless dishes and a delightful-sounding Maine lobster omelet and Cajun-inspired crab cake Benedict. While the omelet and Benedict might not set you back entire appendages, they reside firmly and proudly at the "treat yo self" end of the brunch pricing spectrum at $28 and $36, respectively.
An order of the avocado charred corn migas is both vegetarian and less pricey at $15 — because sometimes it's nice to not have to do a full cost-benefit analysis at 11 a.m. It's also one of the best brunch dishes to hit Dallas in months. It's not the migas itself that is so remarkable but rather the broken tostada that accompanies it — its creamy guacamole; charred corn kernels; smoky, verdant roasted poblano; toasted pepitas and nutty Mexican crumbling cheese. In a sea of brunch dishes that flatly mimic one another, this dish, with its many textures and dichotomy of lively and earthy flavors, sings.
Lovers Seafood and Market offers a slight divergence from the typical Dallas brunch experience. There are no “turn down for brunch” T-shirts, and the menu is devoid of chicken and waffles. In place of these omnipresent features, you can expect to tango with something a little more refined and, should you so choose, a great deal fishier.
Lovers Seafood & Market, 5200 W. Lovers Lane. Brunch served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.