Taken from this month's D magazine, which hit the stores November 17th, the Meddlesome Moth took second place in a 10 restaurant line up covering Dallas's best new restaurant for 2010. What an incredible accomplishment for all of Chad's long hours and dedication to this restaurant. I'm proud to be married to one of the most creative chef's in Dallas. Way to go Love! Keep up the great work :)
Five Spice Pork Belley
Too many Dallas taprooms call themselves a gastropub but serve nothing but standard bar grub. A true gastropub combines fine food with the casual atmosphere of a pub. And plenty of good beer, preferably even some rare and unusual stuff. That’s Meddlesome Moth. Owner Shannon Wynne, his partners Keith Schlabs and Larry Richardson, and executive chef Chad Kelley have created the finest gastropub in Dallas.
Schlabs, the palate behind the beers, has traveled the world and uses every contact he has ever made to keep the list of brews current and cutting edge. The global list includes 120 beers, with 40 of them on tap. Schlabs goes out of his way to procure one-of-a-kind suds. He ships empty firkins to small breweries and asks them to fill the wooden casks with something special and ship it back. Each Wednesday, Schlabs taps a different keg, and when it’s empty, he cleans it out and sends it to another brewery. If you don’t know beer, the bartenders at the Moth are excellent teachers. Ask for Matt Quenette—one of only four level-two Certified Cicerones (master sommelier of beer) in the state—to guide you through a flight of beer.
The 5-ounce pours are a great way for beginners to taste and identify the differences among hops, malts, and yeast.
Executive Chef Chad Kelley
Kelley has crafted a knockout European-style menu that includes novel (for Dallas) dishes that pair perfectly with beer. It also offers a wide variety of shared plates, such as spicy hummus, crawfish tails in Creole sauce, and a beef shank from nearby Burgundy Pasture. Listed on the menu as “shin of beef,” the shank is braised in Breckenridge Vanilla porter for four hours, finished off with a touch of balsamic and puréed figs, and placed on a toasted brioche. A thick layer of brie is melted on top. For those who don’t care to share, you’ll be happy with a platter of Kelley’s rendition of fish and chips. Thick strips of Pacific cod are battered and bathed in Left Hand Sawtooth Ale. Warning: if you order the signature Moth Balls, you will want them all to yourself. The luscious pasta-like spheres are sauced with a cream reduction and scented with brown butter and fried sage.
The groovy atmosphere also distances the Moth from other so-called gastropubs in Dallas. The interior is dominated by enormous stained-glass windows rescued from Dallas’ first Hard Rock Cafe (called The Trinity, they depict Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis). The bar area is sophisticated and comfortable. The Moth doesn’t attract one specific customer. It appeals to bearded beer nerds looking for new unfiltered cask ale and Highland Park ladies who have ditched their favorite Chardonnay for a Belgian Chimay. 1621 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-628-7900. —N.N.
For the remaining restaurants listed in this month's magazine, check out D magazine online here.
D Magazine's Best New Restaurants in Dallas - 2010