Friday, July 15, 2016

Cedar Grove Brings Class and Sass To The Dallas Dining Scene

Touch your mouse to the image below to scroll through a gallery of images:
Dallas Dining: Cedar Grove
photos c/o Kevin Marple and Cedar Grove

According to the press release I was sent, Cedar Grove was described to me as "an imaginative nature-inspired concept which has transformed the former DISH Cedar Springs space into a modern forest within the dining room and bar, featuring a farm-to-table menu developed by award-winning Executive Chef Taylor Kearney." If you aren't familiar with Kearny, he has been named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” and Culture Map Dallas’ “Rising Star Chefs for 2016” (so he come to the table with a bit of street cred). The exterior entrance to Cedar Grove is made from fresh cedar planks which encase the building and "begin to set the nature-themed design". The interior 6,000 square foot space offers seating for 212 guests,  and "is designed to bring 'the outdoors in,' featuring a grove of twenty-four modern, stylized trees standing over twelve feet tall among the dining tables and reflected in floor to ceiling mirrors. The whimsical ambience is further elevated by the refreshing scent from the cedar planks lining the walls and ceiling along the entryway and enclosed patio. The 360-degree bar, with seating for sixteen, is inlaid with green ceramic tiles to create a leaf pattern." I am OBSESSED with this tile. Be sure to flip through the slideshow to see a photo of it.

Grove Skinny Mule
Beverage director and noted mixologist Trevor Landry has crafted a selection of “Instagram worthy” libations. I tried the Grove Skinny Mule made with new amsterdam vodka, lime, and top hat ginger beer and the Flower Power made with double cross vodka, house hibiscus flower syrup, lemon, orange flower water, and prosecco. The Grove Skinny Mule was fantastic. It's made with "Sonic ice" so it's nice and crunchy.

I normally love a champs cocktail but the Flower Power was too sweet even for me and had little of the "bubbly" effect. The menu offers elevated punches designed for groups of four to eight, such as Adult Lemonade Stand, made with a choice of deep eddy peach, grapefruit or signature vodka, served with cucumber infused lemonade and rosemary infused sweet tea. The drink menu also includes an R-Rated Root Beer Float, adult snow cones such as the Lemondrop Snowcone and IPA beers on tap. A curated selection of domestic and imported wines was developed by wine director and sommelier Brandon Smoot.

Strawberries & Cream Sundae
Everything on the menu is under $25, which I am a fan of and the menu offers sharable plates under Snacks, sandwiches and flatbreads under Breads and Buns, entrees under Large Plates, and Sweets. A little something for everyone. I let our server be our guide and we tried pretty much everything she suggested. I never request to know what they personally like. Instead I always ask, "What have been the most popular dishes to date?"

Among the dishes we tried were the Charred Okra with yuzu salt and lemon (two thumbs way up),  the Crab & Arugula Flatbread with lump crab, arugula, pecorino and lemonette (it was good but it didn't knock my socks off), a Hot Chicken Sandwich made with crispy chicken, tabasco, pickles, slaw, and served on a potato roll (my dining companion and I both agreed that this was our standout favorite dis of the evening), Grilled Pork Tenderloin served with cornbread, elote and charred peaches (the meat was tender and delicious but I found this trio of ingredients a strange combo), and the Strawberries & Cream Sundae with vanilla ice cream, and layers of roasted strawberries and a buttermilk cake (heaven in a Sundae glass!).

Seven days a week, Cedar Grove offers a $2 draft beer, $4 well drinks and $6 premiums. Cedar Grove is open seven days a week at 3:00pm with dinner service starting at 4:00pm. Saturday and Sunday brunch is available from 10:00am – 4:00pm. For further information, go to