Celery with shaved fennel and Paula Lambert’s fresh mozzarella. photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Review: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Excuse the cliché, but the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is like the wife whose husband left her for a younger woman. (His initials are D.F.) When replacing your mate, you often go in the other direction, and that’s chef John Tesar, who took over after Dean Fearing left for the Ritz-Carlton. Where Fearing coddled with deference, Tesar comes off as fearless. One night as he stalked through the dining room, he paused at a table to confess he was jet-lagged. From an appearance on Food Network, perhaps? Nope. Snowboarding in California.

The remodeled Mansion has breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a sleek new dining room and outdoor patio. Or you can roll the dice in the new chef’s room, with a six-course avant-garde New American tasting in meat, fish, or vegetarian versions, paired with wine. That’s 18 dishes. Tesar craves risk. That said, steer clear of the abalone with uni emulsion—very bitter. But the vegetarian excelled, starting with a gorgeous, potent mushroom consommé with thick, juicy porcini slices. Sunchoke gratin rumbled with irresistible earthiness. Roasted creamer potatoes, tender-soft, refreshed with a tomato confit and caviar. A carrot “presentation” of roasted baby carrots and a creamy soup made a clever ending, its natural sweetness a smart segue to dessert.

This extreme high-end dining experience came rife with all kinds of bells and whistles, amuse bouches, and freebies, ending with a portable candy counter from which the server culled gratis goodies—cotton candy, lollipops, caramel, all hand-crafted. “For the lady,” he purred.

Get contact information for the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.


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