When it comes to breasts, we prefer veal vs. fake.
And at Central 214, where they’ve just launched an inventive seasonal menu, we get our wish. But don’t jump to the main courses quite so fast.
Start off with a warm Mulled Shine Wine. From beautiful master bartender Amber West, wine and moonshine combine with cinnamon, star anise, clove, orange zest and ginger. On a cold day, it’s a hug in a glass.
Then move on to a few of our favorite dishes from Chef Graham Dodds, a man with a gift for taking ingredients we don’t like and turning them into something we crave. Take the Scotch Eggs, for instance. We despise hard-boiled eggs, but wrapped in sausage and breading and deep-fried, they’re suddenly on our hit list.
Sweetbreads (the organ meat variety, not the Mexican pastries) are also something we typically avoid. But his chicken-fried “popcorn” preparation is sublime. And no, it’s not just that these two dishes are fried that makes us like them. He takes the ingredients to a whole new level of flavor. Deep-fried is simply a bonus.
Shaved celery root salad is an ideal light second course, but you’ll want to throw in some roasted delicata squash with zip code honey for a fresh-from-the-harvest accompaniment.
Mains are a little tougher to narrow down, but the braised rabbit is among the best we’ve ever eaten. The veal breast (above) is substantial and tender. Or if you prefer to play it safe, the Wagyu bavette steak with shaved fennel is expertly prepared.
Finally, order another Mulled Shine Wine as the perfect winter nightcap.
Well, except maybe a real nightcap. But those just make you look stupid.
Central 214 (inside Hotel Palomar)
5680 North Central Expressway, Dallas