Thursday, May 21, 2015

Oh So Tasty: CBD Provisions

Executive Chef Richard Blankenship has recently taken the helm at CBD Provisions and brought with him a fresh perspective to the venue's modern Texas cuisine, with a focus on locally-driven, seasonal ingredients and a “nose-to-tail” cooking. The name comes from its Central Business District address, in case you were wondering. I was recently invited in to see how Richard has added his own personal flair to the menu. Among his changes? The new “Provisions” section, offers a range of items meant to be shared with a group, served with a loaf of housemade sourdough bread. Options include Chicken Liver Mousse with pepper jelly, Spicy Oil-Cured Peas with chile de arbol and mint, and Preserved Shitake Mushrooms with fried rosemary Chef’s Texas Charcuterie Board, featuring a variety of smoked Texas meats including German garlic sausages and “urban BBQ” tri-tip; Texas cheddar pimento cheese; a mix of bread and butter-style pickles; pickled jalapeƱos; housemade mustards; and housemade potato bread. Larger format dishes including the roasted Windy Meadows Chicken with Nelson’s greens and preserved citrus, and Mediterranean-inspired Braised Lamb Shoulder with fresh chickpeas and harissa yogurt.

A dish that everyone has to get at least once is the Berkshire Pig Head Carnitas. And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. A pig's head. Well, half of one anyway (see photo). I had a conversation with a chef at another restaurant one time, who smacked his head and exclaimed to me that creating this dish was nothing short of pure genius because the pig's head is, in essence, generally considered trash. It's typically an unused part of the pig that, upon butchering, gets pushed aside. CBD Provisions has taken a piece of the pig that virtually no one else wanted and is charging $50 a pop - for a half a head. Genius marketing and smart business. And it's darn tasty too. The DMN calls this a "showstopper" and says, "Its different parts have varying textures and flavors — luscious, melting cheeks; rich and velvety tongue; and a chewy, crispy ear." The dish easily serves 4. Order this and a bottle of wine and you'll scarcely need more.

Texas Monthly says, "There is a down-the-rabbit-hole aspect to CBD Provisions. If you step from the arty, modern Joule Hotel lobby into this cleverly designed dining room, you may think you’ve wandered into a secret chamber that was boarded up decades ago and only recently rediscovered. Dish-towel napkins, old buff-brick walls, and reclaimed-wood floors speak to farmhouse aesthetics. They also reinforce the “Texas brasserie” menu." If you are looking for a romantic date night spot or place to impress out-of-toners, you won't go wrong here. The DMN says of the place, "The tableau is edgy — and incredibly cool. It signals downtown Dallas’ newly earned status as the place to be... Did you arrive early for your reservation? Well, good — take a seat (at the bar) and prepare to be impressed." Need to entertain business clients or taking the family? "If you have a large party, reserve a table in front of the exhibition kitchen and take advantage of the family-style offerings," recommends D Magazine. In short, all the experts (and me) agree that CBD Provisions is a good bang-for-your-buck experience in terms of visual aesthetics, good food, strong drinks and service. Who could ask for more?

CBD Provisions is located at 1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201.(214) 261-4500,

Photos provided by CBD Provisions via Facebook