The French Room Interior. Photo by Kevin Marple

Restaurant Review: The French Room

An evening in the stately French-Continental dining room at the Adolphus.

The French Room in the Adolphus Hotel is still one of the most stately venues in Dallas. You dine in a jewel box of rose, gold, and blue under Venetian glass chandeliers. A soirée organized around a tasting menu (a three-course meal starts at $80, the chef’s tasting menu at $110), with all attending formalities of service, feels special. Meanwhile, the food remains stuck in an époque of fine dining when curry was first exciting. A lump crab cake, bound with egg whites, is an elegant starter with lemongrass lobster sauce and quenelles of tomato jam and mango. A cube of pork belly served over beluga lentil ragout with creamy edamame purée and crispy shallots was extraordinarily rich but satisfying. But veal tenderloin, lacking all personality, wasn’t aided by a disastrously sweet Chambord lingonberry sauce and curry lobster risotto that was simultaneously soupy and stiff. Dover sole fillets came coated in a sticky lemon verbena beurre blanc that also painted over whatever delicate notes might have been intended from salsify, white asparagus, and crab. One can’t help but feel that the space deserves better. That feeling recedes a bit when the hour comes for the signature souffles, and wheeled carts bear a cargo of clouds: a cumulonimbus of white chocolate, an altocirrus of Grand Marnier. 

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