Thursday, May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022
61° F Dallas, TX
Openings/Closings

First Take: Café Momentum

Café Momentum opens to the public on Thursday, January 29.
By  |
Image
Café Momentum. Photo by Catherine Downes.

I was invited to dine at Café Momentum Friday night for one of its soft opening dinners. The space has come a long way since I stopped in a couple of weeks ago. Dark wooden tables adorned with orange gerbera daisies lined the dining room, which was buzzing with a young staff dressed in black and white gingham pearl snap Western shirts. In between the lull of songs (primarily a mix of doo-wop and ’60s hits), the sound of entrées sizzling erupted from the open kitchen. It was a lively accompaniment to the neon white strobes of light that shot in every few minutes from passing DART trains. And while it wasn’t bustling (this was a soft opening, after all), a steady flow of diners was seated throughout the evening.

For the first course, my table ordered the cauliflower head with manchego powder, salsa verde, and mustard yogurt. It was literally a head of cauliflower. “Sure, CBD has a pig’s head, but we have a cauliflower head…” executive director and chef Chad Houser teased. We also ordered the shrimp and grits beignets with tasso aioli. The doughy, bite-size nuggets stayed true to the flavor of shrimp and grits, but in a State Fair-inspired, finger-food sort of way. They were fun. Other options were the fried pork rillettes with caprino royal goat cheese fondue; toast with carrot butter, muhammara, and eggplant caponata; and octopus tiradito with toum, olives, and aji amarillo.

The salad list included the Momentum salad with garden harvest greens, and red wine vinaigrette; roasted root vegetable salad with watercress and ginger vinaigrette; pea shoots salad with lemon, house ricotta, and crispy prosciutto; and the Texas caviar salad with black-eyed peas, bourbon cured salmon, and cornbread blini. I ordered the pea shoot salad. It was the best thing I ate all night; bright and tangy with generous chunks of ricotta, and salt-packed bits of prosciutto.

Entrées included scallops with ricotta gnocchi, rapini, sage, and brown butter; pork loin with cider baked beans, mustard seed, and cardamom; smoked fried chicken with red eye gravy, Randall’s biscuits, mashed potatoes, and braised cabbage; and beef braciole, marble potatoes, house italian sausage, Sunday gravy, and tomato jam.

The meal ended with a dessert plate crafted by pastry chef Sarah Green, and showcased three squares: cranberry, pecan pie, and kabocha squash.

Overall, the dining experience was pleasant. Services was beyond attentive, I couldn’t get through two sips of water without a young busser swooping in and re-filling my glass. And while my server didn’t exactly know how to pronounce “braciole” (to be honest, neither did my dining companion), he was beyond conscientious. I look forward to watching the restaurant blossom.

Café Momentum opens to the public on Thursday, January 29, and will be open for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Related Articles

Image
Events

This Weekend’s Food & Drink Events in Dallas: Aug. 27–29

Test your ‘cue skills at Pitmaster University. Sip fine whiskeys.
By 
Image
DFW Restaurant Week

DFW Restaurant Week Reservations Open Today

The annual dining week—ok, really, a whole dang month—is back to its usual summer schedule with 100 restaurants.
By 
Anthony Bourdain mural at Niwa BBQ in Deep Ellum.
Food & Drink

Remembering Anthony Bourdain’s Texas Ties

Today, June 25, is Anthony Bourdain Day, which is the late chef and world traveler’s birthday. Let’s look back at some of ways the beloved culinary thinker touched Texas.
By