Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Restaurant Review - Lark on the Park

Lark on the Park

Wouldn't you like to be one of those people find success in virtually everything you do?  The Midas Touch?  It seems that Shannon Wynne and Keith Schlabs have that magic touch with 16 thriving Flying Saucers and the iconic Meddlesome Moth creating its own legacy, what else could they do to extend their beer-centric empire?  The Lark on the Park is what they did.

The Lark is the logical progression in their trend to take beer out of the forefront of attention of their concepts and make the food the star and the beer becoming part of the supporting cast.  Compare it to your own maturing process ..... mass quantities of beer were great when you were in college but as you aged you find that you appreciate a fine wine with dinner or a snifter of good scotch every so often. 

The space is elegant simplicity with the materials used in the construction reflecting their desire to reach a more gentrified clientele.  It feels light and airy with the artwork provided by local artists on gigantic blackboards; a theme found in all of their previous creations, but taken to the next level.  The acoustics are blissfully muted and for the first time in a Wynne/Schlabs concept we could have a quiet conversation without resorting to reading lips. 

I normally refrain from trying a new restaurant in the first few weeks because I know that there are going to be lots of hick-ups which will annoy me so much that I will probably not return.  I am not a very forgiving soul ... major character flaw.  But we surmised that with their soft opening on Friday that not so many people know about the Lark and that they would not yet be inundated with the beautiful people (of Marilyn Manson's definition, not Hollywood's) and lo and behold we were right!  The second welcome surprise is that the food was magnificent and the service, while not yet polished, was friendly and professional.  Not flawless but certainly not flawed. 

The menu like the beer selection, is limited with the chefs (husband and wife team Dennis Kelley and Melody Bishop from Suzanne Goin's renowned Tavern in Brentwood, California) having chosen to provide a menu with fewer selections of very high quality, seasonal items.  The weakest selections on the menu are those found in the appetizer section.  The grilled artichokes on the Antipasto dish makes it worth trying but we recommend skipping the Grilled Chicken Skewers.  Sausage Plate, Cheese Plate ... meh.  The dinner selections were applaudable with every single entrée influencing us to much lip smacking and much sharing. 

Lamb Shank
The Braised Lamb Shank with Israeli Couscous, pine nuts, feta and black olives was huge and so tender that the asked for knife was never needed or used.  Moist, tender, delicious and highly recommended. 

Moo Krob Pork

Moo Krob Thai pork comes with lime-cilantro sticky rice slaw and a chili garlic sauce that will bring tears to your eyes.  The pork was braised with Thai spices with the skin left on and crisped ... kind of like an oversized lardon.  Fantastic.


I usually test a kitchen's quality by ordering a fish dish.  Fish is so easily overcooked or undercooked that a poorly trained or poorly managed staff will expose themselves to a watchful eye.  The Massachusetts Haddock was flaky and moist, served on a carrot puree that accented the subtly flavored fish with its parsley-chive sauce. 

Lastly, the Seared Cape Cod Scallops was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the evening.   Served with risotto, English Peas and enhanced with Saffron, they were tender, sweet and delicious.  So what was the disappointment?  Three lonely little scallops for $28 is a bit of a stretch no matter how delicious they are. 

Buttermilk Pie
You must save room for the Buttermilk Pie.  Outstanding.  The Sticky Toffee Pudding is good enough to make an Englishman homesick.

"What about the beers?  You haven't talked about the beers yet!"  I was just getting to that.  Keith has chosen several beers meant to compliment the meal, but you won't find a broad range of any one type.  You will find a good example of an IPA, a Saison, an English Ale, but you won't find several examples of each.  The wine list is quite adequate as well with the selection being more extensive than that of the Moth.  The mixology also is much improved over their predecessors.

Even though the Lark is located in fairly close proximity to the Moth it will not be in direct competition to them.  Instead think of it as a competitor to Oak.  I can assure you that you will find us there often enjoying their offerings and trying to figure out how in the hell we can acquire the golden touch too.

Lark on the Park
2015 Woodall Rodgers Fwy
Dallas, TX 75201

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