Tag Archives: seafood

C’Viche

There’s a new chico in town … and his name is C’Viche.  Get your ass into this play ASAP, because it’s f**king delicious.

Their cocktails pack a punch and are a perfect complement to their Mexican and South American food.  They have an extensive full bar with some more exotic options, so you can get traditional margaritas or get a little crazy with Pisco drinks.  Check out some details of my visit below.

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We started with their complimentary chips & salsa while we poured over their menu.  Their food options are limited in the most perfect way–they don’t do all that much, but what they do, they do really damn well.  Their menu is literally five simple sections … ceviches (obvi.)and crudos, specialties, quesadillas, “snacks”, and tacos.

In the meantime, we ordered a couple drinks with the help of the owner and chef, Randall–Jackie* went with their mojito and I opted for a Pisco Sour … because Pisco.  Jackie hadn’t tried Pisco, so we were given small tastes to sip.  If you want to know more about Pisco, check out #SDDContributor Brian’s review or mine from ages ago!

Their bar is pretty extensive, offering “100% agave Mexican tequilas & mezcal, Caribbean rums, Brazilian cachaça and Argentinian Pisco”. You can also opt for their local or Mexican & South American beers on tap or some wine.  But, when in C’Viche …

Their food is unexpectedly good.   Though, they’re owned by the same guy as Clark Food & Wine Company, so I should have known better … because that place is legit.)  The food is inspired by Mexican and South American cuisine and makes the food its own in a special and delicious way.

My absolute favorite food item we tried was the Tuna Crudo “Poke Style” (tuna crudo, tamari, ginger, and scallions).  Jackie and I had a little fork fight over who got the last piece … I kid you not.  We also got into some serious queso business along with their Street Style Corn and Avocado Fries.  Not to be missed is their fresh fish, which you can choose which fish you prefer, chopped (ceviche) or sashimi style (crudo), which style you’d like (Baja, Peruvian, island, or Asian), and you can even have them make it into a salad for just $2.

The atmosphere is decided casual thanks to the nice natural light it lets in, red metal bar stools, industrial lights, and cement floors.  The music keeps it light and the staff lights to kid around … which just makes things a little more fun.

Stop into C’Viche soon and get you some of their tuna crudo to accompany their new happy hour specials.
C’VICHE & TEQUILA BAR
www.cvicheandtequila.com
1922 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 238-3509

*Jackie is my new friend who happens to be a fellow blogger … check her our at Pretty Petals! You’ll hear about her again.

THE WILD SAINT | San Salvaje (CLOSED)

Stephan Pyles is a Dallas, nay, Texas culinary legend.  I was quite excited when San Salvaje invited me in to try some of their offerings … like … beyond excited.  Pyles has been a bastion of Southwestern cuisine and is branching out to a new cuisine … Peruvian.  Nestled in the former Samar space on Ross Avenue, San Salvaje opened May 13 with bar, restaurant, and outdoor seating.  The decor threw me a bit at first — it’s a bit of a juxtaposition of crosses and skulls (after some research, he apparently did it on purpose as his travels showed people leave church, do something sinful, and head right back into church).  Overall, expect bright colors and little touches just about everywhere in the open plan (the kitchen opens right up to the restaurant).

The entire staff was as considerate as they could possibly be.  (The valet walked me from my car to the restaurant and opened the door … that’s serious service.)  Out waiter, Tony, was very knowledgeable and helped us along the menu.  Our entire meal was determined by Chef Pyles himself and Molly Hagler, the bar manager.  (I have to admit … since I hate making decisions, that was the way to best enjoy a new restaurant!)

We started with a Peruvian Welcome Drink (Pisco Porton, Chica Morada, passion fruit foam) which was as flavorful as it was colorful.  The foam made it really delightful and extremely unique and the tartness struck just the right balance.  Round 1 of food was the Three Cheese Arepa (a small corn dough filled with cheese and served with salsa verde), the Causa Limeña Classico (no words — the best I can do is a Peruvian deviled egg on steroids topped with shrimp and a little quail egg hidden inside), and the Sweet Corn Humita (a lobster and avocado corn tamale-type delight).  I could have left a happy woman after the first course.  I am no foodie, but I know that food was day-yam good.

Drinks flowed and food just somehow appeared on the table.  If I wrote that much about each course, you’d check out like … a paragraph ago. (TL;DR below).

DRINKS:

  • Pisco Margarita (Pisco Portón, lime, simple syrup, lemon juice) – I posted a picture of this almost-too-pretty-to-drink cocktail on Instagram in real time and said that this margarita gets me as close to me liking a margarita as it’s going to get.  The rim is festooned (this verb is deserved here) with lime and lemon zest, and it enhances the flavor if you don’t drink it from the straw.
  • Saoco (rum, coconut water, hibiscus reduction) – this drink could be the best summer drink like … ever.  Order one of these out on their patio this summer.  My notes say, “It has coconut water … so that means it’s healthy, right?”
  • Rabo-de-Gajo (Cachaça, vermouth, sugar, angostura) – the Old Fashioned lover in me died for this drink.  Other than a cool name, it was the perfectly sippable drink for those of us who like a stout drink.  (Oh, and they use Luxardo cherries in it.)
  • Rum flight – we shared a few sippable rums to accompany dessert.  Ask Molly for recommendations as she knows the options inside and out.

FOOD:

  • Quinoa Salad – this was a delight and the slight crunch from the dried cherries were the perfect touch.
  • Yellow Fin Tuna Ceviche – the tuna pairs incredibly well with Kaffir lime and virgin coconut water.  This dish is served in a coconut and best enjoyed with a bit of each component … including the coconut meat.
  • Sea Scallops Tiradito – while this dish was extraordinary, it was my least favorite of the dishes we had.  It was very mild and perhaps a good starting point for those who aren’t ready to dive head-first into ceviche.
  • Pork Belly Tacu Tacu – weird word, delicious dish (it’s typically a Peruvian rice and bean fried cake).  The pork belly was perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the fig compote that accompanied it.
  • Wild Mushroom-Huitlacoche Emanada – get this … and don’t skimp on the guava sauce dip!
  • Fried Squid Taco – effff me these were incredible.  The tempura had to have been some magical mix of spices and it was perfectly fried … just perfectly fried.  Excuse me while I lose myself in a trance thinking about these tacos.
  • Fried Whole Red Snapper – served completely whole, this is more than just amazing presentation.  The flavor is mild and the fish tasted like it was caught an hour before and was easily forkable.  (That’s a word … right?)  The pickled lightly fried green beans were slightly sweet and were only somewhat addictive.
    Ask your waiter to carve it tableside for you.
  • Heirloom Bean Feijoada – I couldn’t pronounce this work for all the rice in China.  This was a large dish and the flavor was powerful, but wasn’t my favorite of the night.
  • Lucuma Suspiro – I can’t exactly describe the creamy goodness that was served to us, but I’ll say this: yummmmm.  It was topped with Maracuya meringue and served with a uniquely shaped funnel cake-type swirly thing (all of those are technical culinary terms).

DESSERT:

  • Alfajore Torte with Dolce de Leche – I’m not a huge torte fan, so this wasn’t my favorite.  While I’d be a good sport and share it with a buddy, I wouldn’t order it myself.
  • Picarones with Guanabana Ice cream – again … sounds silly, but this is serious dessertage.  The donut-type pastries are tossed with cinnamon and sugar with a slight hint of anise.  Don’t miss the ice cream.  Just don’t.
San Salvaje - Picarones with Guanabana Ice cream
San Salvaje – Picarones with Guanabana Ice cream

Something amazing about this meal was that we ate (and drank) a LOT and I left upbeat and satisfied, yet not too weighed-down … a testament to the brilliance behind the stove and bar at this new restaurant.

TL;DR: This place is a revelation.  The food and drink are unique and unexpected.  Try it out for a splurge dinner or enjoy their tapas and drinks to unwind from a tough day.


SAN SALVAJE by Stephan Pyles
sansalvaje.com
2100 Ross Avenue, #100 (Downtown)
(214) 922-9922

 

prime hour

The buzz around Ocean Prime in Dallas was palpable when it first opened.  The people of Dallas raved about it, but some critics weren’t didn’t feel the same about the new perfectly-located seafood restaurant.  My opinion:  don’t listen to the critics (except for me, of course), and make you own decision on this resto – I personally enjoyed myself the last couple of visits, as did my friends.

After all of my friends and I finally located the spot (it’s tough to find), we sat back to enjoy the two hour “Prime Hour” which boasts food and drink specials – most are about $4 or so off the regular prices.  Cocktails are $8 and apps start at $5.  The food is “shi shi” but still fills you up; definitely try the goat cheese ravioli and the fondue!  Also, eat as much of the popcorn as you can; at first you wonder why they would bring such weak sauce to the table – and then you try it … kaBOOM … the truffle garlic butter takes over and you can’t stop eating it.

For cocktails, there aren’t many choices on the Prime Hour menu, but they edited them well and there are some nice choices: the cucumber gimlet, the blood orange negroni, and the pineapple Finlandia martini.  Definitely try the aforementioned cucumber gimlet; the men at the table were sold on it after the first sip and couldn’t get enough of them.

The atmosphere is lively and the outside bar gets a little loud.  Inside you can enjoy live music and rub elbows with the businessmen from the Crescent and the *ahem* mature women (read: cougars) of Dallas.

Random additional comments:  they have extra large Sonic ice, the wait staff is très  attractive and sassy (in a good way), the bread basket is a must, ask for water refills, allow time for your drink to be made,  the bathroom doors need work so take a friend to guard it for you, don’t go in scrubby clothes, sit back and enjoy.

Drink strength: 3 
Overall: 4.3

Ocean Prime
dallas.ocean-prime.com | @oceanprimecmr
2101 Cedar Springs Road, Uptown | (214) 965-0440

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 4-6 p.m. | $5-8 select appetizers, $8 selectwines by the glass, $8 select cocktails

McCormick and Schmick’s

My favorite thing about writing these reviews is that I get recommendations for places I never would have thought had a good happy hour.  Case and point:  McCormick and Schmick’s.  My brilliant friend Matt told me about their killer happy hour specials and they really are incredible.  Where else could you get an entire meal at a nice seafood restaurant including drinks for $22?

Here’s how it goes:  cheap food, daily drink specials, and a crowded bar.  I tried the following:  a “marvelous” mojito (which it was!), red sangria, a ZiegenBock fish taco, sweet potato fries (delic.), a beef dumpling, and the McCormick’s half pound cheeseburger.  Everything was wonderful except for the burger which needed a little more spice – but for $2.95 I can reach for the pepper shaker.

The people in the bar area are varied, our waitress was nice, drinks were decently strong, and the music was incredible.  This place was quite the nice happy hour, a definite recommendation for a more chill evening.

McCormick and Schmick’s
msnorthpark.com

307 NorthPark Center (on the south side beside P.F. Chang)
(214) 891-0100

Specials:
Monday-Friday (4-6:30, 9-10 p.m.) and Sunday (4-9 p.m.) | food specials, sangria $5 
Monday | peach margaritas $6 
Tuesday | Captain Morgan punch $5 
Wednesday | mojitos $6 
Thursday | martinis $5.95 
Friday | Simi Rose wine $6 
Saturday | Franconia $4 
Sunday | bloody marys $4

Food specials
$1.95: ZiegenBock fish tacos, tempura vegetables, sweet potato fries, hummus
$2.95: McCormick’s half pound cheeseburger and fries
$3.95: buffalo chicken wings, beef dumplings, grill bratwurst, chile con queso
$4.95: buffalo shrimp, PEI steamed mussels, shucked oysters, BBQ ribs