Where to Take Her: Gemma, new Dallas restaurant, is best in class
The husband and wife team of Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder have opened this nod to simple yet refined dining in an area of town lacking both. Rogers, formerly the executive chef of Napa, California’s acclaimed Press restaurant, executes a seasonally inspired menu with confidence and finesse, all if it precisely seasoned and artfully plated. Yoder, who ran the front of the house at Press, reprises that role at Gemma. The duo clearly know what they are doing. The one-page menu is a study in what used to be called California Cuisine but is now commonplace: a few raw seafood options, a bounty of roasted vegetables and crunchy salads, and a handful of familiar main dishes. “I am not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says Rogers. Maybe not, but he probably could. On a recent visit, our server suggested we order the veal cheeks, braised with demiglace and lemon thyme then surrounded with tender turnips, carrots, onions and crispy black-pepper spatzle. A bartender insisted we not miss the bok choy salad with shaved fennel, Asian pear, cashews and a zippy Meyer lemon vinaigrette. They were both right.
2323 Henderson Ave., gemmadallas.com or 214-370-9428.
From the February 2014 issue of 360 West Magazine