In the last few years, Greenville Avenue has evolved from being the go-to spot for college students, young professionals, hippies and artistic characters to a popular destination for food enthusiasts searching for a grown up dining experience.
And now, there’s a new kid on the block to give foodies just one more option, and they invited Dallas Food Nerd to sample some of their signature dishes.
Clark Food + Wine is a new form of Texas dining, combining European style with contemporary and traditional Texas flavors.Randall Warder, Clark, the owner, appreciated the neighborhood vibe that Greenville Avenue provides and created a restaurant with shared plate dining that features bold and fun flavors.
Upon walking into the restaurant, I was immediately impressed by the intimate seating and contemporary ambiance. The upholstered booths were comfy and chic and the perfect background for a romantic evening or a simple glass of wine after a long day at work.
The waiter quickly approached our table to offer us an adult beverage and then proceeded to inform us about their wine on taps. “Excuse me?” was my response. Yes, you read correctly. They have wines on tap – two white and two reds to be exactly.
One of my favorite things about small plates is that you can try a variety of items without the commitment of eating one item. For appetizers, we sampled the six-pack of brisket meatballs with balsamic glaze and a jar of Smoked Char Rillettes. These meatballs are my new favorite form of a six pack. All I needed was a big bowl of spaghetti and another glass of the wine on tap. Evening complete. The meatballs encompassed everything Warder hoped to create: smoky pieces of small bites that warmed the inside.
And if the meatballs don’t match your appetizer appetite, there are six-packs, boards, jars and small plates available on the menu. Although it wasn’t offered on the menu, we sampled the Smoked Char Rillettes Jar served with crostini. This jar was delicious, refreshing and the capers garnish did their job by providing a bright bite. It really reminded me of a grown-up tuna salad that I used to eat as a kid.
Under the small plates category, we tried the roasted bone marrow with ancho and truffle salt and the crab salad with avocado toast, arugula and a carrot vinegar. These two dishes were probably my least favorite of the entire meal. Bone marrow has an interesting gelatin texture that is truly an acquired taste.
This marrow, like the preceding dishes was smoky, but was somewhat difficult to remove from the bone. I had high expectations for the crab salad after the home run from the smoked char jar, but it was slightly underseasoned and had citrus ingredients where salt should have been used.
Even in their short period of business, the flatbreads have made a name for themselves on Instagram. Who doesn’t love pizza? I was very grateful to the Clark team for accomodating my lactose intolerance by removing the cheese from our pulled pork and fontina flatbread.The pulled pork was flavorful, but there was something missing from my dish. It was probably the creamy bite from the fontina.
If you can imagine, there was still the main entrees to consume, and this is where their special New Texas Smokehouse makes its debut. The proteins are served family style by the pound, and the sides can be ordered a la carte. Our entrees of the evening were the Wild Gulf Shrimp, Texas Bobwhite Quail and a side of herb fries. The shrimp were cooked well and well seasoned, but missed that intense flavor provided by the smoker. In comparison, the quail was perfectly tender, but had an unpleasant gamey aftertaste that was hard to overlook. These two entrees are only two of the nine options they serve from their smokehouse, and I would definitely go back to try the other proteins.
By the time dessert came around, I didn’t think I could stomach any more food, but I took one for the Foodie team. And boy, was I glad I did. To conclude our meal, my dining companion and I shared a Toffee Pudding Cake. Warder said they are still working on their dessert options, and definitely hinted at the fact that desserts weren’t primarily their focus. If this cake is any indication of what is to come, prepare your stomachs just as I did.
I’m always a fan of intimate wine bars. They provide a cozy environment to relax, enjoy good conversation with good people and eat delicious food. Clark provides a wonderful environment to achieve this scenario, and the food encourages a sense of community that echoes the vibe of Greenville Avenue.
If this post has encouraged you to visit Clark Food + Wine, we also suggest stopping by their happy hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday). The bar provides smaller cocktails for patrons to sample a variety of drinks for $4 each, including:
Prickly Rita, made of Z Blanco, Prickly Pear, Lime, Agave, and Cilantro
The Garden, Moody June Gin, Cucumber, Basil, Pepper, and St. Germain liqueur
Apple Smash, made of Apples, Buffalo Trace, Lemon Agave, Thyme
Grapefruit Splash, DE Grapefruit Vodka, Grapefruit, and Soda.
Also enjoy wine and beer on tap at $2 off, $7 jars and $10 flatbreads such as Smoked Catfish Dip and BTC Flatbread with smoked bacon, roast tomatoes, white cheddar, tomatillo salsa, cilantro, avocado, jalapeño and lemon mayo.
(Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary meal, and all thoughts are my own.)