Welcome to "You Like This," in which we ask chefs two questions: 1) What's the best-selling dish at your restaurant? and 2) What's your favorite dish at your restaurant? We hope the answer to the first question will open your eyes to the fan favorites and the Dallas palate, and that perhaps the answer to that second question will inspire you to go out on a kickass food limb once in a while. This week's You Like This features chef/owner Janice Provost and Parigi Restaurant.
Hey, chef! What's the best-selling dish at Parigi?
We change part of our menu every two weeks, but the favorites get a place on the permanent section of the menu.
The most popular savory dish at Parigi is the seafood pappardelle. It is lobster, rock shrimp and crab claws. The sauce changes with the season and right now, it is a tarragon cream sauce with tomatoes. In the summer it will be a white wine sauce with tomatoes, capers, garlic and a little butter, and in the winter it is with sottocenere and mushroom cream.
The chocolate glob, if asked, might say it was the most popular dish at Parigi. It has been on the menu since 1984, same recipe, and is not going anywhere, for fear of customer retaliation. It has a huge following.
What's your favorite dish at Parigi right now?
Probably the Berkshire pork chop — there is not a better chop out there. Right now we are doing it Southern-style. We brine it overnight, pan sear it and serve it with apple-cider demi, a sweet potato stuffed with maple-pecan butter and collards with bacon. The bitterness of the greens counters the sweetness of the potato.
But if the glob got a mention, I would also have to say the Caesar at Parigi can do no wrong. It even won the Caesar salad competition a few years ago.
If you could give any advice to a Dallas diner who's scared to venture out and try something new, what would it be?
I think texture messes with people and causes them to not try things — like a mushroom or sushi or snails. Take baby steps. If you are afraid to try something because of texture, try it with a cracker or something crunchy like a wonton or little piece of crispy toast so that you can at least taste the flavor. You won't know if you don't at least try it.
We once watched Chef Janice Provost eat a1,000-year-old egg
in order to prove to her fellow Dallas chefs that it wasn't a big deal, so you know she's got advice you should listen to if you're thinking about trying something new and different. If you haven't been to Parigi in a while, get over there — the food is a thing of beauty. You like it. We promise.
Parigi, 3311 Oak Lawn Ave., parigidallas.com
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