• m

    Abacus last night was fantastic. Our server, Robert, may have been exhausted but he didn’t show it. He was very friendly, offered up some great recommendations that showed he had an understanding of the menu, and never rushed us, despite Abacus’ RW time limitations. I started with the crispy pork belly steam bun which was fantastic. If Abacus delivered, I’d be calling in an order for more of them right now. My entree was the pork chop with smoked cheddar white polenta, asparagus, and apple cider reduction. I almost never order a pork chop as I don’t eat a ton of pork (hard to tell by my two choices, I know) but this may change that. It was perfectly cooked inside and had a really nice sear on the outside. The polenta was great on its own but a really great compliment to the pork and the apple cider reduction was so good I’d probably drink it by the bottle. Oh, and the portions? BIG.

    Dessert was a sampler of chocolate cake, deconstructed blueberry lemon creme pie, and and a peanut butter mousse cup with a peanut butter cookie. All three were insanely rich – I could barely dent them. The cake was best, followed by the blueberry, and lastly the peanut butter which wasn’t nearly as good as it sounded.

    The only disappointment was the truffle frites which didn’t even have the slightest hint of truffle oil. But by that point, we were too stuffed to eat them anyway.

    It was a nice reminder that certain places still care about RW and know how to do it right. Because of that, I’m happy to give Abacus my money during the other 11 months of the year…especially if it means getting more pork belly steam buns.

  • Gipson

    Can I pick’em or can I pick’em? Four Restaurant Week dinners, four exemplary evenings. My luck dodging the event’s alleged gargoyles continues. I believe that bitter chefs serving bad food to ungrateful plebeians must exist somewhere, but not at Loft 610, Lonesome Dove, Al Biernat’s or The Second Floor. Those four really make it feel special.

    Last night at The Second Floor in Dallas, the food ranged from great to “Wow!” An amuse of watermelon, heirloom tomato, balsamic and top-quality olive oil invigorated the evening with pure freshness. As my wife said, “It reminds me of spring!”

    Unable to decide between the English pea soup and smoked duck fettuccini, my wife and I decided to each order one and share. The fresh taste of the peas were front and center in the soup (a good thing!), with just a gentle waft of truffle to give it some extra warmth. But I think my fettuccini with duck, morels and wilted spinach won the course. The pasta, house-made I’m pretty sure, was perfect.

    If you decide to go (they’ve extended through Sept. 4), I strongly recommend everyone in the group orders his or her own supplemental course. This sumptuously rich bowl of gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes is among the best things I had across Restaurant Week. Only Loft 610’s sea bass and Al Biernat’s oxtail ravioli compete.

    For mains, my wife and I both ordered the short rib (concluding a beef-heavy week). The short rib was luscious and flavorful, and elote risotto fondly reminisced the Mexican staple, but the surprise stars of the plate were the crispy baby carrots spiced with schichimi togarashi. A first for the both of us, this Japanese spice mixture brought remarkable complexity to the carrot. I’m definitely buying some.

    Dessert was no contest. We both went for the coffee pot de crème with cinnamon froth and chocolate beignets. This was my wife’s favorite dish across all of Restaurant Week. At our server’s instruction, we took each mini-beignet in our spoons and dipped into the pot de crème. Hot and cold, light and rich, sweet and bitter – this dessert hits on every level. Phenomenal!

    As with our experiences at the other restaurants, service at The Second Floor was courteous, efficient and warm. No clandestine sneers, no veiled contempt. Just a nice smile and enthusiastic temperament. (So sorry I can’t remember the name. She was the only female server on the floor).

    I don’t know, after reading so many negative comments about Restaurant Week experiences over the years, it makes me wonder if I’m just easy to please. Regardless, The Second Floor is a great choice if you’re looking for a third week splurge.