Nosh Euro Bistro Plano
Brunch served Sunday only
Veteran Dallas chef Avner Samuel and his wife, Celeste, have finally struck a successful culinary vein. They closed their fine dining restaurant, Aurora, in 2010, and reopened the Highland Park space as the more casual Nosh Euro Bistro. The New American menu features a few of Avner’s greatest Mediterranean hits, and, judging from the crowds, it’s a match made in heaven. Recently the couple opened a second location in Plano, and that is where we found ourselves seated at a large community table sipping bottomless sparkly sangria ($10) and brunching with an almost-full room of late-morning diners. The brunch menu is basically the Nosh lunch menu plus five brunchy items: braised short rib tacos, buttermilk fried chicken breast and thigh with biscuits and gravy, Spanish chorizo hash, and a traditional eggs Benedict, as well as a rogue version made with beef tenderloin, “melted onions,” bacon, and béarnaise. The best bites came from the finely diced roasted potatoes mixed with strips of chorizo and red peppers topped with a pan-fried egg and drizzled with a smoked paprika aioli. The dark yellow, almost orange, yolk was firm. Once pierced by the tine of a fork, however, the lavalike liquid swirled slowly around the tasty potato hash. We could not resist the temptation of the butterscotch pot au crème. Sweet sin on a Sunday, this thick, rich pudding with two shortbread cookies is evil genius in a cup.
Brunch served Sunday only
Expensive cars idle in the valet line, but inside Al Biernat’s at brunch, jeans and flats have replaced suits and heels. The dim lights of dinner service have been raised, giving the dining room a brighter, lighter vibe. But besides a costume change and a flipped dimmer switch, not much else goes casual at Al’s in the morning. The service remains impeccable, and the food still meets every expectation. A basket of pastries comes gratis, and it takes a hearty helping of willpower to keep from filling up on croissants and iced cinnamon bread. But resist you must, because the brunch menu offers two full pages of deliciousness to explore. The lobster and scrambled egg tacos, for instance, consist of two large flour tortillas piled high with sweet lobster chunks and fluffy egg; they are accompanied by chips and salsa. The side of cheese grits comes with a bit of a conundrum: too good to share, too big not to. Another not-so-casual
element? The price. Brunch for two can easily reach $100.
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday
The crowd is well-heeled and the vibe cosmopolitan at this chic neighborhood cafe serving the well-to-do of Oak Lawn and the Park Cities (translation: the gays and the grays) for more than 25 years. Owners/chefs Janice Provost and Chad Houser and chef Rolando Garcia champion local, seasonal ingredients on their tight yet tasty brunch menu—usually six items in addition to their typical lunch menu—with choices changing biweekly. That means one visit you might indulge your sweet tooth with decadent Nutella-and-banana-stuffed French toast or classic blueberry pancakes with walnut cinnamon butter. The next visit you might opt for a savory creation such as baby buttermilk biscuits covered in Italian sausage gravy or a sandwich of bacon, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cheese, and eggs in a flaky, buttery croissant. The people-watching is top-notch as well, with some of Dallas’ best interior designers regularly frequenting Parigi. Who knows? Maybe you’ll pick up a decorating tip or two.