Food News

A Look at Meridian's New Four-Course, Prix Fixe Experience

Braised oxtail pappardelle with berbere spice, smoked ricotta and creme fraiche.
Braised oxtail pappardelle with berbere spice, smoked ricotta and creme fraiche. Lauren Drewes Daniels
Meridian is forging a less-taken path with a new prix fixe menu. Before you grumble about being told what to eat, hold your skittish horses. It's nuanced. And compelling.

Meridian opened in The Village in 2021. Chef Junior Borges introduced Dallas to the Brazilian dishes and flavors of his homeland in a beautiful space. It's fine dining with a big open kitchen and convivial service that softens any rigid edges.

Recently, Borges and newly appointed executive chef Justin Mosley embarked on a new way to serve and dine. The old menus were tossed and fresh, new ones printed. For diners, instead of wandering — perhaps aimlessly — through a meal, there's a four-course prix fixe menu. This isn't like at an omakase experience or, say, Carte Blanche's six-course tasting menu where diners relinquish all input. A prix fixe is a touch humble — the less flashy cousin to the tasting menu.

It’s also an opportunity for a chef to guide the narrative, control the story more succinctly and, ideally, provide a richer experience. Borges says it brings more efficiency: his kitchen staff focuses on fewer things and does them better. He says there's also less waste. The hope also is that diners will try things they normally wouldn't.
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Wagyu kibbeh cru is one of the first course options.
Angie Quebedeaux
For $73 a diner gets four courses, with three to four dishes to choose from for each course. There's no skipping or eighty-sixing a course. Four plates will arrive in front of you. Usually, there’s a vegetarian option, fish, and, of course, a carnivore dish.
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Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian dish and a signature item at Meridian. Here it's served with flakey skate.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
We were invited for a media preview and two of us ordered different meals for each course allowing us to sample almost half of the menu. A board of Our Daily Bread (a fresh boule with housemade butter, oil and vinegar, and a smear of whipped lardo) arrives at every table, which is great for picking at while working through the menu.

The first course is a lighter dish, the middle two heartier, and a light dessert finishes things off. Your main might be in the second or third course. For me it was the braised oxtail pappardelle with creme fraiche in the second course, followed by a skate moqueca (one of Meridian’s signature dishes) in the third.
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Anolini en brodo.
Angie Quebedeaux
My dining companion got four light duck confit dumplings in a broth (anolini en brodo) for the second course, followed by quail stuffed with linguica calabresa for the third course.

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Pavlova.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
House-made pavlova with a grapefruit cremeux was a bright, light ending. There's also a devilish chocolate option.

Two menu items are on offer for an additional charge: a wagyu New York strip ($35) and yuca gnocchi with white alba truffle on the second course ($40). Wine pairings per diner are $40.

Borges says the menu will change as it needs to, in small increments (micro-seasonally); however, some things will stay for good, like the moqueca.

In the end, we tried things we normally wouldn’t have. I walked away with a better grasp of what the kitchen is "doing" and also a deeper understanding of Brazilian fare. And each course was just enough; one box was needed for a few bites that were too good to leave behind.

If you still just really want to get the beach cheese, no worries. There’s a four-item add-on menu. There's also an a la carte menu for the bar area. And the X-Tudo Burger is still on the happy hour menu (5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sundays and Tuesday – Thursday). See? Nuanced. And compelling.

Meridian, 5650 Village Glen Drive. Tuesday – Sunday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; closed Monday.
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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.

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