Steak Town: A new chef is resurrecting The Palm steakhouse in Dallas and making it relevant again

palm-dinner-truffles-copyright-michael-hiller-3 palm-dinner-truffles-copyright-michael-hiller-4 palm-dinner-truffles-copyright-michael-hiller

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve been to the Dallas Palm steakhouse before.

Yes, the name’s the same, the restaurant’s dated decor and cheesy caricature graffiti is frozen in a 1980s time warp, and the West End location isn’t ideal. But scrape away the Dallas Palm’s sepia veneer and you’ll find good things surfacing at this classic downtown steakhouse.

Credit chef Terry Cook, a Tennessee transplant who, for the last year, has been kicking the Palm’s kitchen into high gear. While nearly every upscale restaurant in town can hit you over the head with a good steak, Cook delivered knockouts at a recent wine and Belbosco truffle dinner at the Palm, where the Hatch was an invited guest.

Chef Cook deviled eggs with lobster and truffles, whipped up perfectly al dente truffle risotto, and creamed roasted cauliflower into a rustic soup, drizzling a long swirl of good quality Belbosco truffle oil over it as if he were anointing it. Then he added a few crisped cubes of pancetta and a generous shaving of more truffles because, well, why not? On the side, a loaf of crusty bread and whipped truffle butter for spreading more tartufi love. Cook teamed filet mignon with golden chanterelle mushrooms and truffled polenta, saucing it all in an earthy gastrique of Guinness beer. The dinner finished with a flourish — a slice of dark chocolate tart sprinkled with truffled sea salt.

Daniel Wissman, Dallas-based Belbosco’s owner and truffler, seemed to love it, too, whispering to me that he’d tasted his Burgundy truffles in scores of excellent restaurant dishes, but none were as thoughtfully crafted as Cook’s.

I’m looking forward to returning to the Palm for Cook’s daily specials, where Cook says the Palm gives him freedom to riff on whatever suits him, from truffles to foie gras torchons.

701 Ross Ave., Dallas, (214) 698-0470