Eat This

Who Needs Plates? Not Dallas Restaurants, Apparently

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Kathy Tran
Water Grill's crudo sampler with wild Maldives bigeye tuna, wild sea scallops, farmed Faroe Islands Atlantic salmon and a slate plank. Bring a piece of chalk with you and you can write a little note on the slate after your meal: "Are you sick of carrying all this heavy slate?"
We're all familiar with the metal tray of barbecue or a greasy burger served in a little red basket at our favorite dive, but in all styles of Dallas cuisine, the plate seems to be increasingly passé.

Lately, creativity is spilling out onto the plate — or non-plate, as it were. We've seen some, uh, creative serving vessels, from bread served in a terra cotta planter to lightbulbs filled with bubble tea and shrimp served in a teeny-tiny fryer basket. Some work better than others — there are occasions, like charcuterie, when a typical plate just isn't the most functional choice — but some just leave us wondering how far this anti-plate trend will go.

In this slideshow, we'll explore the array of non-dishware items that are frequently taking the place of plates at Dallas restaurants.