For those in Dallas who think Galleria Dallas may as well be Oklahoma, The Second Floor should be reason enough to venture north of 635. In fact, I’d argue the food at The Second Floor compares favorably to the best of the restaurants inside the bubble.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a sampling of Executive Chef Andrea Maricich’s seasonal menu. And, let me tell you; Andrea knows how to assemble a menu, and The Second Floor knows how to host a dinner.The menu delivers on its goal of lighter flavors perfectly suited to the season. Every dish on this menu (four appetizers, a soup and salad, two entrees and two desserts) was excellent.
Picking a favorite among the appetizers would be a challenge. Crispy Asian Quail was prepared with a just-right sweet glaze. The Deviled Eggs were among my favorite – ever. The addition of New England lobster and a lemon parmesan crisp took them over the top. And Chef Andrea’s tribute to the Pork and Seeds of her childhood had me searching for recipes to try and recreate the remarkable bites. (There’s no hope mine will fare well next to the memory of hers.)
Both entrees were equally fantastic. The Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin was served with a rhubarb demi-glace and topped with rhubarb leather. It alone is worth a visit. Then, there were the Shrimp & Grits, made with saffron cauliflower grits. Trust me, you wouldn’t go wrong ordering this dish either.
Dessert samples included a Carrot Cake “Jellyroll”. The only complaint here was that I could have eaten five times the amount. And the Bananas Foster Pudding was sweet, caramel-y goodness for those with a real sweet tooth.
Each course was paired with a wonderful wine. If anything, it demonstrated the depth of both selection and wine knowledge present here.
Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention the cocktails. One was an elevated gin and tonic made truly special by a house aromatic tonic. I’d greedily buy this stuff by the bottle if I could. A tequila cocktail made with El Jimador and a kaffir lime leaf and coriander soda was exceedingly smooth with just enough coriander flavor. Again, the cocktails are worth a visit in themselves.
Here’s a list of all their new cocktails this season:
house tonic & gin: hand-crafted aromatic tonic, tanqueray rangpur gin, rocks
cucumber sip: crop organic cucumber vodka, elderflower, strawberry, soda, rocks
quick pittance: four roses bourbon, giffard apricot, liqueur, lemon, mint, ginger ale, rocks
muzzle of bees: rittenhouse rye, lemon infused honey, lemon bitters, fresh black pepper, large cube
meet me in rome: deep eddy grapefruit vodka, cappelletti, cocchi americano, bubbles
el burro: cabeza tequila, jalapeño, lime, ginger beer, crushed ice
dallas parkway cocktail: deep eddy grapefruit vodka, lemon, pomegranate liqueur, up
grilled margarita: char-grilled orange, el jimador
So, pack an overnight bag if you must (after all, the Westin occupies the floors above), and head to The Second Floor for a particularly special meal – and a from particularly charming executive chef.
(Disclaimer: I was invited to a menu sampling, and all thoughts are my own.)