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Review: Daddy Jack’s Wood Grill

By Trey Garrison |

As Deep Ellum transitions from entertainment zone to we’re-not-yet-sure-what, it’s instructive to take a look at Daddy Jack’s Wood Grill, a restaurant that has survived where others—R.I.P. Green Room—have not.

The strategy seems obvious: good, almost hearty food, served in a friendly manner and at a friendly price. Yet few restaurants are able to follow through on such a simple plan.

Originally an offshoot of Daddy Jack’s on Greenville Avenue (along with branches in Coppell and Fort Worth), it has since spun off completely but retains the emphasis on seafood. Chef-owner Salvatore Gisellu, a native of Sardinia, worked at Arcodoro/Pomodoro and puts his facility for fish to good use.

His seafood stew is robust. His trout comes crusted in chopped pecans. His salads appeal, with their toasted nuts and crumbled cheese. And he’s initiated a chef’s menu, with three items of his whim for $30, an amazing deal.

Selections might include salmon carpaccio: thin sheets of salmon drizzled with olive oil, pine nuts, and chopped greens—fantastic. Or lobster risotto, boasting a good hit of saffron flavor and pleasing chunks of lobster meat. Or fish baked in parchment paper, with lots of mesmerizing, aromatic herbs.

You’ll be surprised at how few visits it takes to earn the friendly regard that’s extended to regulars. At lunch, the place fills with folks from Baylor and downtown; at night, the clientele switches to loft dwellers and East Dallasites. They linger in this fine old brick-lined room with tall windows that gaze out at Deep Ellum, such as it is.

Get contact information for Daddy Jack’s Wood Grill.

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