My first trip to the Screen Door in Dallas' bustling arts district was so much fun I decided to try it again. Pat Lawrence and I dined there before the Madeleine Peyrox show at the Wyly Theatre Thursday night.
According to their website, "the Screen Door is a polished yet comfortable restaurant featuring interpretations of modern, market-driven and classic southern dishes paired with a compatible collection of cocktails, beers, ales and hand-selected wines." What I like most about the place is that they use locally sourced produce and meats whenever possible, which really makes a difference in the freshness and flavor.
We started this trip with a sparkling champagne cocktail infused with apricot nectar and a frozen peach mango julip, served in a chilled silver tumbler. Both tasted like summer. According to our favorite server, Chance, the julip was voted the best cocktail in Dallas by D Magazine last year. No wonder. I could have had another and another and another ... and I really don't drink much.
Of course, we ordered the house specialty, fried green tomatoes ($9) with a chili buttermilk dressing. They really do live up to their billing. The spicy dressing offers up just enough of a kick to get your attention, but it leaves your taste buds in tact.
I took advantage of the Screen Door's $35 pre fixe arts menu and ordered shrimp and grits again. Can't miss with this crowd favorite, infused with fresh tomatoes, bacon, garlic, mushroom and cream. Doesn't hurt that the shrimps are cooked perfectly. A nice summer salad of greens, strawberries and a light balsamic vinaigrette was served prior to the main course. A fried cream cheese empanada completed the meal.
Good as they are, on future visits I want to try the fried chicken or the scallops or the pulled pork sandwich or the quail or the seared tuna salad or the Scottish salmon or the Commanche buffalo tenderloin ... okay ... I confess. I want to try it all.
Pat ordered one of the evening's specials, a hickory smoked grilled pork chop, bone in, cut thick like a steak, cooked to order, accompanied by a habanero hollandaise sauce, and served with a 3-cheese Yukon gold potato gratin, along with grilled asparagus, tomatoes and arugula piled on top ($30).
Our reservations were for 5:30 p.m., which left plenty of time to make the 7 p.m. show, a short two-block stroll away. By the time we left, the place was packed. We saw a lot of pork chops and fried chicken coming out of the kitchen. And the bar was buzzing, too.
When dining out in the city, you have a lot of choices. Picking the Screen Door is one of the best ones you can make.
Valet parking is available for $8. They also offer a complimentary Art Cart shuttle that can transfer you up and down Flora Street.
The Screen Door is open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday - Friday. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Tuesday - Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Happy Hour is Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Call 214-720-9111 for reservations, which are recommended. The reservation option on their website has not been operational the two times I've tried.
Click here to view a menu and start planning a visit into the city.
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