There’s something deeply satisfying about eating solo at the bar of a brand-spanking new restaurant. It’s the sights and smells. You have time to take things in. At Kitchen LTO, Chef Amoriello (of Driftwood, So & So’s, Rapscallion) is the brand new component. A caricature of him already hangs above the kitchen. Hints of fresh broccoli, with preserved lemon and pecorino, are carried on the air. Working in the kitchen, Amoriello, who has a thick beard and hair pulled back into a ponytail, calmly states, “Burger, medium rare” after I place my order.
Sitting at the bar solo, you have time to burger-ponder. "What’s the average price for a great burger in Dallas?" I wondered. Off-Site Kitchen’s landmark “stock cheese” is under five bucks. Knife’s Ozersky burger, a beautiful slab of beef, is 12. The prices of Dallas’ best burgers run the gamut.
Now there’s Kitchen LTO’s, one of Dallas’ great burgers while it lasts (Kitchen LTO’s concept states that they change chefs every six months), which clocks-in at 19 bucks.
Hang on. There are very good reasons. The burger is a 30-day dry-aged short rib blend. The bun is brioche, gone mad: It’s brushed with duck fat and toasted, I'm told. That's right. I said duck fat brioche. A bunch of other good words come with the burger, like bacon, shallot and Fresno pepper aioli. My personal favorite is “dirty American cheese,” which is none other than your favorite childhood star: the Kraft Single.
And hot damn, is this burger worth every dollar. American “cheese” lavishly hugs dry-aged beef, bludgeoning any notion of pretentiousness. There’s a pile of salt and vinegar chips, whisper-thin and crispy. This is your new way to food-celebrate. They should replace the Oscar awards with this burger. Leonardo DiCaprio deserves it. The kitchen knows what they've got too; they’ve named it “The Burger” (it’s got its own place square at the center of the lunch menu).
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The bun is worthy of worship. With that lacquer of duck fat, it’s like someone lightly fried a French breeze. The beef has richness and real smoke and a touch of funk. A round of white onion and that stupidly wonderful Kraft single bring the burger back home. You’ll feel it right in your heart muscle. The Fresno pepper aioli is pure addiction level 10. If it were a drug, it’d be sold by Walter White. The shredded lettuce and white onion, dressed, were enough to cut through the heavier elements. My only complaint was the bacon, which was borderline tough.
Don’t just ponder Kitchen LTO’s burger. It’s only here for a short time. Reward yourself with it before it's gone.
Kitchen LTO is located at 3011 Gulden Lane, Suite 108.