January 05, 2010

Restaurant Review: Hibiscus (Dallas)

For my birthday, my sister and brother in law treated me to dinner at Hibiscus in Dallas. It was pretty fantastic! I think of it more as a steakhouse/seafood/american restaurant. From the outside, it looks like this tiny little restaurant but inside, it's quaint with a wood/rustic decor and actually very big (the restaurant is incredibly deep/long with about four different sitting areas).

We were seated promptly but right next to a bar so that was a tad annoying with folks coming, going, standing, talking and waiters walking by all the time.

Here's what we chowed on for appetizer:

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip which was really good and really cheesy. Perfect for a cold night. We read Yelp reviews prior and several people recommended this dish.

And for the main course:
Roasted Liberty Farms Duck Breast with grilled sweet corn and a bing cherry sauce. This was cooked medium and it was perfect. It had the crispy skin with just a tad sliver of the fat underneath and the meat was cooked very well. Eat it together with a bing cherry and it was pretty tasty. I wasn't a huge fan of the grilled corn - not a ton of sweetness or flavor but I think its because the cherry sauce overpowered it.

Prime Short Rib with potato puree in a zinfandel sauce. Eric had this dish and when it came out, there was a unison cry of "ooooooh." It comes out on the bone and was huge. I had a piece and it was pretty darn good. Some thought it was better than the duck. He said the meat was very tender.

Crispy Skate Wing with potatoes, pancetta, spinach and lump crab blanc. My dad had this dish and it was pretty darn cool asthetic wise and delicious! We didn't know what Skate was but the waiter explained its in the same family of the Stingray and has the texture and taste of crab. The meat comes in the shape of a wing thus the name. I had to wikipedia this sucker of course. Apparently Skate is similar to stingrays but their movements on the ocean floor are much more abrupt that they look like they are skating. It also looks like a big bat with tentacles - bleh! They have a slow growth rate, are at risk for being overfished so think about that next time you see it on the menu!

Pan Roasted Sea Bass with spaghetti squash and roasted tomatoes in a lemon vinagrette. My mom loves fish and really, you really go wrong with chilean sea bass. It was cooked perfectly and good - and more importantly, it was a big piece so you aren't left feeling a little bit hungry like so many other places. However, when at new restaurants, I typically stray away from sea bass since I always know it will be good and people don't really cook it any differently (sear or poached) - and I'm always up for trying new dishes I can't get anywhere else.

Overall, I give this place a 4 out of 5. Food was pretty fantastic but the seating was a little annoying and valet was a downside. Valet was outside and this station served three restaurants so it was situated a little down from the entrance meaning that on a cold night, it makes for a very brisk 5 minutes while waiting for your car! If I'm back in Dallas, I'd definitely come back here.

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