Friday, January 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022
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Dallas’ High-Flying Vegetarian Tasting Menus

FT33 and Flora Street Cafe now offer a three-ring circus of vegetable delights. Let's take the taste test.
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FT33’s shaved kohlrabi with El Dorado cheese and kale powder. Kevin Marple

Two of the city’s top chefs, Matt McCallister of FT33 and Stephan Pyles of Flora Street Cafe, have become vegetable-reverent ringmasters. Treat their seasonal vegetarian tasting menus like a three-ring circus where you get to simultaneously witness all of the magic. Between the innovative ingredients and technical fireworks, you won’t miss the steak.


The Fixe: Even if you are dining with carnivores, you can opt for the four-course prix fixe menu and choose the vegetarian dishes ($75, plus $55 for optional wine pairing).

The Ethos: McCallister’s specialty:  rustic-chic, with hyper-local sourcing and complex flavors from pickling and preserving.

The Junk Food Tribute: In a vegetal version of taquitos, shaved kohlrabi is brined, filled with a mixture of crème fraîche and cow’s milk El Dorado cheese, rolled up, and dusted with kale powder and toasted benne seeds.

The Surprise Element: In the toasted rye tagliardi, sheets of rye pasta slip in a compound butter made with sauerkraut and preserved lemon. The rye and caraway seeds are patiently toasted in a pan for an hour for the pasta. It’s a perfect rye-caraway marriage.

The Best Use of Foam: A creamy, aerated Parmesan Mornay piped around house-made ricotta gnocchi is like a cloud of béchamel. Caramelized fennel and a “cracker” of toasted cheese complete the picture.

Take It Up a Notch: Use the vegetarian tasting menu as a chance to sample sommelier Mychal Trujillo’s collection. Try a Vin Jaune, a wild wine with bitter gentian notes, or a Pinot Bianco with terrific acidity that plays with vegetal companions.


Flora Street Cafe’s whimsical heirloom carrot amuse-bouche.

Flora Street Cafe

The Fixe: You’ll need to convince your whole table to commit to the elaborate 10-course vegetarian tasting menu ($95, plus $100 for optional wine pairing).

The Ethos: Visual theatrics and Texas ingredients come together in playful, creative forms.

The Junk Food Tribute: A tiny empanada is filled with the savory corn fungus huitlacoche, and topped with dots of guava gelée and corn pudding. The dainty finger-food morsel rests on a bed of multi­colored dry heirloom corn.

The Surprise Element: A winter salad composed of hibiscus leaves from a farm in Ohio and crimson-veined baby radicchio is topped with burrata, yogurt sorbet, pickled beets, pomegranate seeds, and cocoa “soil.” It feels like a walk in the woods.

The Best Use of Foam: In a variation on the jasmine-essence scallop dish, dry-ice mist spills around a clear glass bowl that holds jicama, coconut flesh, and mango topped with a passion fruit vinaigrette.

Take It Up a Notch: As if 10 courses aren’t enough, the meal isn’t over until the mignardises arrive—a parting gesture from the kitchen. House-made chocolates with Jackson Pollock splatters include flavors like Fig Newton and maple-bourbon.