This Way In >>

Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa intro’s new fall menu, but star is F&B guy Alex Aland


 

the campy interior of Dragonfly

Dan Landsberg is the chef of Dragonfly

Dragonfly's scallops with ramen noodles and bacon-dashi broth

Hotel ZaZa's F&B director, Alex Aland, is a really really good somm.

Ok, I’ll admit it right up front: Dan Lansberg, the executive chef of Dragonfly in the Hotel ZaZa, is a great guy. Talented chef, charitable, creative, personable, caring, kind. His food and his cooking reflect all that. So I wasn’t the least bit surprised that Lansberg’s new fall menu is full of vibrant, hearty dishes that make you happy, even if the one-sheet list is, by Landsberg’s own admission, a bit porcine heavy.

He complements a hefty shank of pork osso buco with pancetta-braised collard greens and a pool of grits enriched with just the essence of butternut squash. To prove that even the most humble ingredients can be sublime, Landsberg roasts then purees the squash, passes it through a fine-mesh sieve, and, finally, employs  only the the remaining drops of golden liquid as the base for the grits.

The small dining room has the feel of a campy parlor — plush, quirky, lit with those Edison bulbs that make everyone look like a flapper. Landsberg borrows from  NYC’ chef David Chang (Momofuku) for a dish with chewy housemade ramen noodles (Landsberg adds diver scallops and a bacon-dashi broth) and goes back to Chang again for starter of salty, sweet pork belly,  cooked first in a hot oven to crisp the pork then in a lower oven to render out much of the fat. Landsberg’s touch: a spoonful of  parsnip puree and a drizzle of Spanish chorizo oil.

The portions are just right, which means you’ll have plenty of room to savor any number of wines from an excellent collection curated by Alex Aland, Hotel ZaZa’s equally talented and affable food and beverage director. If Aland is working the floor– and it’s worth the effort to make sure he is — take a cue from any good sushi restaurant and go omakase (“I’m in your hands”). The guy will throw down some amazing bottles, even if you just want to try a glass or three.

Landsberg’s new menu is good, but Aland’s wine service is even better. Valet your car, get a room upstairs, and sleep late. Dragonfly is worth it.

Recently Published

»

Dallas restaurant inspections reveal failing grades for some notable restaurants

Flipping through the most recently posted restaurant Dallas ...

»

LA import Slater’s 50/50 brings its big bacon burgers to Texas today with debut of its first Dallas burger bar

As we revealed in March, Southern California-based Slaters 50/50 ...

»

New name, new chef, new menu bring broad appeal to Next Bistro in Colleyville – and fancy $450 Louis XIII dinner tonight

No one celebrates new like the French, but since we aren’t in ...

»

Norma’s Cafe brings its “Mile High” pies (and free chicken fried steaks) to Plano with opening of new restaurant tomorrow, June 13

Norma’s Cafe brings its brand of home-style cooking to Plano ...

»

Cafe Salsera dumps Caribbean and Salsa themes, switches to New American with Armando Aguilar as new top chef

I guess the Caribbean restaurant with a coffee bar and salsa-dancing ...

»

Damn, this all-vegetable wine dinner at Grace on June 9 looks fantastic!

Grace Restaurant, the venerable luxe restaurant in downtown Cowtown, ...

»

New location falls through, so after 33 years in downtown Dallas, The Palm steakhouse calls it quits

At one time, The Palm steakhouse in downtown Dallas drew every ...

»

Ruth’s Chris Uptown launches new Thursday “Sizzle, Swizzle, Swirl” happy hour that’s one of the best prime deals in town

Crab BLT Ruth’s Chris Uptown’s blackened, seared ahi tuna ...

»

Iron Chef tv star Akira Back to open namesake restaurant in Dallas

Iron Chef TV star Akira Back says he’ll open a namesake ...