Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oh So Tasty: Ida Claire

So, here's the thing. My general rule is that this blog is about Dallas and the people, places and events that make Dallas such an amazing city to live in. Plano, Mesquite, Addison, Frisco, and Garland may be suburbs of Dallas - but they are not Dallas. And since I am only one person and this blog is not my full-time job, I've had to circle the wagons (so to speak) and set some geographical boundaries because there is only so much that one person can physically do. However, occasionally I make an exception to the rule, and such an exception was recently made when I received an invitation from Ida Claire on Beltline Road in Addison.

Touch your mouse to the image below to flip through a delicious slideshow:
Ida Claire in Addison, Texas
some photos c/o Ida Claire

First off, can we just all acknowledge that Ida Claire is about the cutest name in the history of names. I am a total sucker for anything paying homage to Southern culture and the fun play on the classic Southern saying of "I declare" was too adorable to resist. Ida Claire is a one-off owned by Fork It Over Restaurants, the group that brought us Whiskey Cake in Plano, the Ranch at Las Colinas and Twin Peaks. The website explains that Ida Claire is "South of Ordinary" and that diners can expect an intriguing, southern-inspired destination for relaxing suppers, slow weekend brunching or a meeting hub for business lunches and happy hour. They claim that Southern hospitality is not something one does, it's the way one is. It's an attitude and way of life that is engrained in Southerners that makes people sincerely welcomed. I couldn't agree more!

When you arrive, you are greeted by an unusual exterior sign featuring a hamsa, which is an ancient symbol of protection popular in the Middle East and North Africa (See photo #2 in the slideshow). What on earth does that have to do with Southern food? A press release explained that chef de cuisine Fitzgerald Dodd's dishes are "served in an untraditional way with subtle global influences." Huh. Still doesn't explain the sign to me so I'm gonna go with "Say it to the hand...". Dishes of note include blackened trout with ras el hanout (a North African spice mixture) - which you can see in the above slideshow - cast iron okra served with ponzu and biscuit sandwiches. Because everything is better on a biscuit.  Highlights from the bar? I have three words for you: Punch. Bowl. Cocktails. Yaaaaas, hunny! Ida Claire has a great patio, which they call an "outdoor garden" complete with a vintage Air Stream trailer that can be reserved for large parties and private events (it seats up to 20). They use a painted brick wall to show movies at night, making it a great date night destination. Ladies, Wednesday's are the night to meet your gal pals at Ida Claire because from 4pm to close they offer Rosé wines at 50% off. Overall, I give Ida Claire two thumbs way, way up for ambiance, decor, a cool vide, an awesome patio and delicious food.

Ida Claire serves lunch and dinner. Brunch is served on Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. But why limit yourself? You can enjoy their brunch menu late nights on Friday & Saturday from 11:00pm – 2:00am. Party on! Ida Claire is located at 5001 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254. (214) 377-8227