Yellowfin tuna tartare. photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Review: Dragonfly

Dragonfly, the restaurant at the forever-hip boutique Hotel ZaZa, has a new chef, for those who pay attention to such things. Of course, “those” likely do not include the giddy folks hanging out at ZaZa’s bar and pool, where it matters not who is wrapping the bacon ’round the skewered shrimp delivered alongside the Champana cocktail, a winning blend of Moet Rose and pomegranate liqueur.

Well, people, the fellow skewering your shrimp is Grant Morgan, who came onboard in May to replace Marc Cassel, who’d been at ZaZa two years. Young and conscientious, Morgan was at Luqa in downtown Dallas and, before that, at resorts in Colorado and hotels in Las Vegas, all of which primes him for life at ZaZa. He hits the basics, cooking the meat properly, applying the seasoning smartly, tossing in just enough novelty to stimulate without getting scary.

Tenderloin succumbed to the gentlest tug from a fork, topped by a spoonful of wasabi cream and a bouquet of broccolini, brightened with butter and ginger. Lobster ravioli—big, round discs—made pasta feel like a million bucks, with an undertone of fresh fennel and a succotash of firm fava beans and sweet corn, cut straight from the cob. Crusty-edged scallops quivered inside. Risotto had a subtle little “tooth” to the grains of rice and bits of shaved fennel that saved it from being boring comfort food.

Dragonfly is not a place for dessert, unless you like ice cream with a sticky, grainy mouthfeel. And don’t expect much from the servers, most of whom seem to be hired on looks alone. That said, they sure are pretty, for those who pay attention to such things.

Get contact information for Dragonfly.


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