Always known as one of the nicest in town, this fine-dining restaurant has lost an executive chef and several key members of the kitchen staff over the last year. The Adolphus has also changed management companies. We set out to check the level of the cuisine.
Preparations didn’t start auspiciously. The hotel web site still reports Jason Weaver as executive chef—six months after his departure. Our reservation phone call was auto-forwarded back to the hotel reception, which manually forwarded it to maitre d’hotel Jim Donohue’s desk phone, where we left a voicemail. A staff member called us back 24 hours later. Are these signs of staff reductions?
The contrast on our visit could not have been greater. Staffing was profuse in the dining room, and service was correspondingly attentive. Furthermore, the same faces that served us back in February, prior to the changes, served us on this visit. The menu ($78 prix fixe for three courses) had only minor tweaks from the one that existed under the régime ancien. The pork belly, cooked sous vide, is a reference point for opulent starters. The lobster appetizer showed a delicate touch. A duck entrée, rich with foie gras and confit, was far from dry; the soft meat was bathed in natural juice. Veal medallions narrowly won as best entrée of the evening. For dessert, the classic French Room soufflés are still de rigueur, although the perfectly firm texture of the Grand Marnier selection could have used a heavier hand with the orange liqueur. We left satisfied that the French Room is still a gorgeous dining room and a safe bet for haute cuisine in Dallas.
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