Tag Archives: 2nd floor bistro

The 2nd Floor Spring Menu

The 2nd Floor Bistro is constantly reinventing itself thanks to its incredible culinary team.  The latest change comes to us in the form of their new spring menu boasting bold, inventive dishes.  SDD Contributor Rico and I were lucky enough to get the chance to preview the new menu items a couple weeks back and were blown away.

The new dinner menu includes items like Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras (I’ll be back to get this … believe), Grilled Block-cut Akasushi NY Strip, and Crispy Confit Salad and the lunch menu offers a few Rustic Pizzas.

The evening started with some of their new cocktails thanks to their mixologist Seth Brammer.  They passed some of their new options around and one of my favorites was the House Tonic & Gin–a classic made amazing thanks to their house tonic.  We also enjoyed the Cucumber Sip (Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka, elderflower, strawberry, and soda) which was perfectly refreshing after experiencing humidity that you could cut with a knife that day.

Other new cocktails include: Muzzle of Bees (Rittenhouse Rye, lemon-infused honey, lemon bitters, and fresh black pepper), Meet Me in Rome (Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka, Cappelletti, Cocchi Americano, and bubbles), and the Quick Pittance (Four Roses Bourbon, Giffard Apricot Liqueur, lemon, mint, and ginger ale).

The meal began and we were delighted by item after item.  The appetizers that I died for were the Quail Wings, Deviled Eggs (WITH LOBSTER!) and the Potato, Leek, & Kale Soup.  (I can tell that the soup is one of those dishes that will pop into my mind at some point and I won’t be able to sleep until I get my mouth on some.)

Chef Scott Gottlich and his team joined us before each entree to tell us about the amazing new items they dreamt up in excruciating detail. (I mean that in a good way … we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into them once we’d been teased with the explanation!)  Of this group, the Pork & Seeds was the dish that really made a strong impression.  It was Executive Chef Andrea Maricich’s take on the dish she had as a child complete with housemade mustard to give some kick to the perfectly crispy pork belly.

The dishes kept coming and our bellies started to grow weary … but our palates didn’t.  Each dish had such unique flavors that each bite let us discover the depth of each ingredient.  I’m not usually a Shrimp & Grits fan, but they added Grilled Kaffir Lime to the giant Gulf Prawns which completely revolutionized the dish.  (And don’t get me started on the accompanying saffron cauliflower grits.)

Dessert, as always, comes too late in the meal.  Your stomach realizes by this point what you’ve decided to it with the previous courses and it’s usually too difficult to give it your full attention and appreciate it for how brilliant it really is.  We were given bites of the 2nd Floor’s take on Carrot Cake which was actually a cake filled with cream cheese accompanied by a pine nut cookie.  Take that, cupcakes!  My favorite of the two items was the Bananas Foster Pudding.  While not a huge bananas Foster fan, I thought the silkiness of the pudding really lent itself nicely to the taste.  I’d order the crap out of it again.

As usual, The Second Floor Bistro didn’t disappoint and intrigued me to the point that I’ll need duck back in to try out some of the new dishes for the spring.

To find full menus, visit their website.


The Second Floor Bistro

thesecondfloorrestaurant.com | @2ndFloorBistro
13340 Dallas Parkway (in the Galleria – Westin entrance)
(972) 450-2978

“Breakfast In Bed” Cooking Demonstration

Chef Scott Gottlich and Andrea Maricich and Mixologist Seth Brammer “Breakfast In Bed” Cooking Demonstration

2nd floorThis was my first experience with a cooking demonstration, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. The menu sounded decadent, and considering that it combines two of my absolute favorite things on this planet (my bed and breakfast foods), I was eager to attend.  We walked into The Second Floor’s Privé private dining room and were greeted with a drink buffet of coffee, fresh squeezed juices, teas, a fire and roses strewn across the table. (Let’s just say that it was fittingly romantic.)

The chefs gave a short introduction and put an emphasis on learning the techniques they were about to share with us. They explained that, of course, once you master the techniques you can play with recipes for all tastes and occasions. They demonstrated each dish, and then we were delivered a sample from the back kitchen.  You know … to make sure they did it right.

First Course: Red Velvet Crépes with Cream Cheese Mousse Filling and Raspberry Coulis
Watching these chef’s make crépes made it all seem so simple. It’s all about the batter … if you can mix it right, you can really make any flavor–sweet or savory. The coulis only took about five minutes to reduce, and it made such a fresh alternative to syrup or Nutella. (Not that we’d ever consider replacing Nutella … we aren’t communist.) When it came time to sample this dish, there was definitely something left to be desired … in that I wanted five more helpings. They included orange zest in the filling, which was so refreshing and cut right through the richness of the cream cheese and chocolate batter. The raspberry coulis was the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Let’s just say I had to resist the urge to lick the plate.

Tip from the chefs: Make sure to turn the pan in a circular motion to spread all of the batter thinly and evenly. This ensures even cooking and a proper crepe.

Red Velvet Crépes with Cream Cheese Mousse Filling and Raspberry Coulis
Red Velvet Crépes with Cream Cheese Mousse Filling and Raspberry Coulis

Second Course: Oysters Eggs Benedict with Tasso Ham, and Wholegrain Mustard Hollandaise Sauce
This was another twist on a classic breakfast dish. Since this was one of the dishes Chef Maricich served when interviewing for her position at The Second Floor, I knew this was going to be a winner. The chefs went into detail about how exactly to mix the eggs and fat to emulsify properly in order to make the perfect hollandaise. They added stone-ground mustard and Tabasco to give it a little zing, and then moved on to poaching the eggs. They brought out the sample, and the portion was huge! The oysters were perfectly battered and crisp, yet still juicy. Unfortunately they served us regular Hollandaise and I was so disappointed. (I guess this served as more motivation to make the dish on my own.)

Tip from the chefs: Use a bit of vinegar and create a vortex of spinning water in the pot to helps keep the egg together and round.

Oysters Eggs Benedict with Tasso Ham and Wholegrain Mustard Hollandaise Sauce
Oysters Eggs Benedict with Tasso Ham and Wholegrain Mustard Hollandaise Sauce

Third Course: Lobster and Asparagus Omelet with Fontina Cheese and Arugula Salad
This was by far the easiest of the dishes to prepare. (Which means I may try it first.) The lobster was fresh, sweet and not overcooked, and the asparagus added texture. There was plenty of cheese and it oozed out of the center with every bite. It was very rich, but considering the fact that this was all for a special occasion, I didn’t mind. (Who am I kidding? I never can have enough cheese, regardless of the occasion … gluten intolerance be damned.)

Tip from the chefs: You may add water in an omelet, but no milk! Milk is reserved for scrambled eggs and will change the consistency of the omelet.

2nd floor omelette
Lobster and Asparagus Omelet with Fontina Cheese and Arugula Salad

Then it was time for cocktails! Mixologist Seth Brammer came out and demonstrated
A) a slew of drinks with fresh ingredients that were just what we all needed to liven us up for the remaining presentation, and
B) a bunch of pretentious drink-snob jabs while simultaneously being so full of knowledge and expertise that he was himself a real pretentious drink snob.

It was the perfect combination … not only did I learn how to make the best quality, fresh squeezed and strong mimosa, a made-from-scratch Bloody Mary and the tried-and-true Irish Coffee … I now know how and where orange juice is made and why it never really tastes like real oranges, what vodka ratio is the best for a true bloody mary (4 parts mix to 1 part vodka) and how to whip cream just perfectly thickened enough for any dish or drink. In Seth’s own words, “people don’t whip their own cream anymore, and that’s what’s wrong with America.” (Amen, my friend.)

Fresh Pressed Mimosa
Fresh Pressed Mimosa

Tip from the mixologist: In order to make the cream float on top of the coffee in an Irish Coffee, flip a spoon upside-down and pour the cream over the back of the spoon.

Irish Coffee
Irish Coffee

After we all had each of the three cocktails, the chefs came back out and did a quick demonstration of a simple and classic “Egg in the Hole” paired with The Second Floor’s own maple-cured salmon. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to eat this dish! This was a huge menu, and Chef Maricich even joked that she maybe “bit off more than she could chew.”

Egg in a Hole & Salmon
Egg in a Hole & Salmon

In the end, I could have certainly bitten off and chewed even more because this entire spread was top-notch. I’m looking forward to practicing and mastering the techniques they shared with us!

For details about the second floor and other events, head to thesecondfloorrestaurant.com.