Gemma, Dallas, 6/19/16 & 7/2/16

interior
interior

Gemma is a medium sized cozy “little gem” that was opened a couple years ago by a couple that had been working in a restaurant in Napa Valley and decided it was time to venture out on their own. Stephen Rogers runs the kitchen while his wife and business partner Allison Yoder manages the front end. It is a lively spot that really needs a reservation to secure one of the dining room tables. However there are counter seats at the bar where you can get dinner or drinks that are first come, first served.  Located on a busy street and in a strip of other businesses there are valet parkers out front whose fee is taken care of when you get your ticket validated inside.

Frankie liked the wine cellar
Frankie liked the wine cellar
interior
interior
Mirrors add more space
Mirrors add more space
table set up
table set up
menu
menu
drink menu
drink menu
Frankie checked out the salt and pepper
Frankie checked out the salt and pepper

 

Tables are fairly close which makes for a slight noise level to deal with, but it is a good vibe.  Service is attentive and friendly and they will help you pick one of the many wines they have.  The menu is all a la carte with a couple specials usually offered. After you’ve placed your order one of the staff will gift you with a warm, freshly baked fig and smoked gouda scone, that is outstanding. The rich dough was nicely flavored with fig, with a great crisp to the exterior. A great way to start. We made a second visit not quite 2 weeks later and the set ups had changed on some of the main courses and there were different sides offered. It will follow the first meal.

Fig and smoked gouda scone
Fig and smoked gouda scone
Butter
Butter
inside
inside
Chef Stephen Rogers watches over the kitchen
Chef Stephen Rogers watches over the kitchen
The thoughtful waitress brought Frankie a bowl of her own!
The thoughtful waitress brought Frankie a water bowl of her own!
Frankie and our waitress
Frankie and our waitress Alicia

 

For an appetizer we shared an order of the housemade onion rings. They are nicely crisp without being greasy and served with a spicy sauce which was also good. I admit though, that I preferred them without the sauce where I could better taste the sweet onion and enjoy the crunchy exterior while the sweet onion exploded in my mouth.

Frankie with Allison Yoder, co owner
Frankie with Allison Yoder, co owner
wine
wine

 

For a main we had the chicken porchetta and the nightly special of grilled Romano beans. The chicken was moist with a crisped skin wrapped around the tender, boneless pieces. It was served with a medley of nice vegetables and some gnocchi that were great dipped in the savory chicken sauce. The Romano beans were a fun treat and must have been cooked slightly before going on the grill as they were tender but had a great grilled taste. Normally I would have one of their tasty desserts but this evening we had had snacks before we came and so didn’t have the room.

IMG_5282
Chicken “Porchetta”, gnocchi, fava bean succotash, maitake mushrooms, shishitos, chicken jus
another view
another view
Grilled Romano beans
Grilled Romano beans
Frankie made friends with more staff
Frankie made friends with more staff, Jose and Deja
Dessert menu
Dessert menu
Frankie appreciated having a shelf for her to look around
Frankie appreciated having a shelf for her to look around
Frankie likes a cloth hand towel
Frankie likes a cloth hand towel
Frankie liked the wall of their producers
Frankie liked the wall of their producers
looking into the wine cellar
looking into the wine cellar
Frankie thought the tray the bill came in was just her size
Frankie thought the tray the bill came in was just her size
Frankie with chef/owner Stephen Rogers
Frankie with chef/owner Stephen Rogers

 

 

menu (7/2)
menu (7/2)
fig and gouda scone
fig and gouda scone
red wine
red wine
Mushroom Boucheé, cognac demi-glace, fresh herb salad, parmesan crisps
Mushroom Boucheé, cognac demi-glace, fresh herb salad, parmesan crisps. This was sticky, sweet and a little heavy but way full of good flavors. It’s a real Yum!

 

Frankie liked the scones
Frankie liked the scones

 

IMG_9265
Crab salad, cucumbers, sweet peppers, squash, radish, carrots, cashews, Thai vinaigrette.  This was very light with really nice flavors.

 

IMG_9267
Fried Texas quail, cheesy grits, blistered green beans, garlic chips, piri piri, lemon. Piri piri is orange sauce that rings the plate. It is nicely spicy and adds a great zest to the dish. The quail was fried in cornmeal which didn’t give it the crust of many fried chicken dishes but did seal in the moist tasty meat well. The grits were amazing. A wonderful dish.

 

dessert menu
dessert menu
Frankie's friend Alicia brought her some water
Although Luis (who preferred not to be pictured)  was our waiter the second visit, Frankie’s friend Alicia remembered her and brought her some water
red wine
red wine

 

Blueberry pie, cream cheese ice cream, lemon curd, hazelnuts
Blueberry pie, cream cheese ice cream, lemon curd, hazelnuts. Very nice, hazelnuts are good on most everything and they added a fun element here. Every dish we tried had a satisfying amount of flavor.
Frankie says, "all gone"
Frankie says, “all gone”

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