Disher Review #7: The Mansion (Revisited)

Here’s another RR on the Mansion. Everyone is working so hard! Keep em’ coming!

The Mansion for Restaurant Week
As we pulled up to the valet I told my husband, “I’m kind of nervous. So, you do all the talking”. Maybe it’s silly. But, I was a little intimidated to be visiting one of the most desirable restaurants in Dallas. I’ve heard about The Mansion all my life, it seems. Now I was finally going to dinner. It didn’t take more than a minute or two for their gracious staff to put me at ease. No more nerves, just pure excitement.
It’s a beautiful place. We had a nice seat in the corner where we could overlook the entire room. Hub ordered a Maker’s Mark and I studied the menu. More choices than I had thought. For supplemental $$ you could get a nice seafood salad or braised short ribs. Short ribs are one of my weaknesses.
Next time we’ll go to the bar first. The Maitre D’ lead me through the bar towards the ladies room. Though I was glad to have his assistance, I decided that it looked like a very good place to get lost. Nice and dark, beautifully appointed. I can see myself spending a little time there, for sure. When I got back to the table they served bread and an amuse of chilled tomato soup with herbed creme fraiche. The herbs came from the garden that Tom Spicer planted on the grounds. Terri, our server, said that it’s nice to see the chef going out every day to harvest the herbs they will use.
We decided on the Herb and Paula Lambert’s Crescenza Ravioli with tomato compote, tomato vinagrette and Mansion garden pesto. The pasta was so delicate and tender, with just enough cheese filling. Super fresh tasting sauce with tiny little buttons of pesto scattered around made it a tasty dish that was visually fun, as well. It was served with a Sancerre, Chateau de Sancerre, Loire 2006. My favorite wine of the evening. Very clean and crisp, complementing the tomatoes perfectly.
I had to go for the short ribs, despite the extra $20 charge. Hub chose the Chile rubbed loin of pork with cheddar grits and roasted Texas peach relish. It was fabulous. Here is the difference between me and Chef Tesar, he can make pork loin taste like something out of this world. When I make pork loin it tastes good. But, no one is crying for me to make it again and again. The pork was juicy and full flavored. Paired up perfectly with it’s dishmates. Hub’s wine was Malbec, BenMarco, Mendoza Argentina, 2005. Very nice.
The short ribs, however, stole the show. Braised for seven hours and served with no bone, just a big hunk of cut-it-with-a-fork tender beef rib meat. Terri told us it was broiled just a little before serving to give it a nice crust. It was the definition of savory. The reduced wine demi-glace just made it that much more decadent. Served with little morsels of sweet corn, chanterelle mushrooms and scallions. I loved it. The kind of dish that you wish would never end. The Syrah, Montes Alpha, Colchagua Chile, 2006 was very good. But, all I can really remember was that meat and the sauce.
For dessert Hub had the Three Chocolate Torte: White chocolate mousse, milk chocolate cremeax, dark base chocolate. Served with chocolate sorbet. Served with Brachetto d’Acqui, Rosa Regale, Banfi, Italy. Hub is really the dessert person between the two of us. I’m almost tempted to ask for another appetizer and skip dessert. We did really enjoy our choices, though. I got the Strawberry Shortcake: Buttermilk shortcake, macerated local strawberries and sweet cream, served with a Moscato d’Asti “La Cascinetta”, Vietti, Piedmonte, Italy 2006. Very good. My mother would have cried over this dessert. And I liked that the wine was sparkling. There’s something special about a sparkling wine.
What did I like best about the evening? It was Restaurant Week and, other than the packed dining room, I couldn’t tell. No one there even hinted that we were anything other than desirable clients. No one was hurried or distracted. When we arrived we got a little envelope with our names on the outside and a card inside thanking us for dining with them for Restaurant Week. When we left we were presented with a card that offers us a free dessert wine when we have dinner there again. Our server, Terri, was so nice and seemed genuinely happy to be explaining our food and the history of the establishment. Brian, the Maitre D’ stepped out to our car to say goodbye as we left.
I settled into the drive home feeling like I love to feel… fully sated and pampered. Places like The Mansion are why I love Restaurant Week more than Christmas. And I’ve been a really good girl.

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