Could Dallas' sexiest dishes to share also be the smallest?


Restaurant critic LESLIE BRENNER on what you should be supping, especially on Feb. 14

Spoon Bar and Kitchen’s six crudos. Clockwise, from top left: Tuna crudo with oyster crema and crispy artichokes; geoduck with Himalayan pink salt and chile oil; cuttlefish and hearts of palm with jalapeño and pink peppercorns; spiny lobster with blood orange, mint and cilantro; uni with squid ink and caviar; Nantucket Bay scallop ceviche with dried corn. Photograph by Manny Rodriguez


Crudos — Italian- style raw fish served as a first course — have been showing up on Dallas menus for several years now. Nowhere are they quite as expressive, opulent and interesting as they are at Spoon Bar and Kitchen, John Tesar’s new Preston Center restaurant devoted to seafood.

What a dazzling way to dive into dinner: Choose two or three (or more) of the jewel-like bites from Tesar’s ever-changing selection. It might be slippery medallions of spiny lobster, a rare treat from the Pacific, drizzled with brilliant green onion-mint oil and set off with orange suprêmes. Or fine, frilly edged slices of geoduck (pronounced gooey duck), with just a touch of chile oil and pink Himalayan salt to give latitude to the giant clam’s delicate finish. Sea urchin roe, or uni, one of Poseidon’s most luxurious gifts, shows up as perfect lobes set on licorice-colored brushstrokes of squid ink. They’re crowned with golden Osetra caviar and strewn with gently perfumed shiso.

Oceanic reminders, all, that good things come in small packages.

LESLIE BRENNER is the restaurant critic and dining editor for The Dallas Morning News. Reach her at lbrenner@, or


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