Petra and the Beast, Dallas, 9/1/18

entrance
entrance

Petra and the Beast opened last April and is two restaurants in one.  During the week (closed Monday and Tuesday)  they have a chalkboard menu where everything is a la carte for lunch and dinner but on Saturday night they produce a tasting menu for 18 lucky people.   This menu included things not on the regular menu and changes every week.  Seating was communal with 3 tables each seating 6.  It is BYOB at all times.  We were there for the Saturday evening tasting.  The building used to be a service station but chef Misti Norris has transformed the space into a pleasant space decorated with dried herbs and flowers and lots of jars of ingredients.  A high tin ceiling was above the exposed ductwork and the bare wood tables, set with metal chairs, were all slightly different.   It was a setting full of hard surfaces and so the noise level could be a bit high.  Seating was not assigned so it’s a fun opportunity to meet some new people also interested in food.  Arrival time was 7:00 but then there was a period for you to look around and enjoy a welcome cocktail, which is given to you after you’d taken care of the evening’s payment.  

building
building
building
building
dining room
dining room
Frnakie met a pig
Frankie met a pig
dining room
dining room
interior
interior
making cocktails
making cocktails
cocktail
cocktail
menu
menu
table set up
table set up
frankie and the centerpiecs
Frankie and the centerpieces
regular menu
regular menu

 

We started with a plate of snacks, some of which were on the regular menu, and all of them were full of flavor.  From the top left, Brined Demasses cucumber was very tart and a little salty with a bit of spice.  Very nice.  Top right was Cotechino Terrine which was quite solid and dotted with a bit of mustard.  Very good.  Just below was Nduja on a celery cracker.  This really crisp cracker was topped with a seriously spicy paste that made a delicious combination – one of my favorites.  A chunk of Sourdough bread was on top of Sorghum Koji Butter.  The bread was totally yummy and the the butter rich and equally yummy.  Another favorite here.  Diakon and Fermented Garlic Chive was at the bottom of the plate and it was crispy and herby, but probably my least liked of the bunch.    It was a tad dull in comparison.  A Watermelon, Peppermint was lightly salted and absolutely wonderful.  The taste was sweet and intense.  In the center of the board was Smoked Pork Tongue.  It was quite firm with a little saltiness.  It was nice.

snacks
snacks
Brined Demasses cucumber
Brined Demasses cucumber
Cotechino Terrine
Cotechino Terrine
smoked pork tongue / Nduju, celery cracker
smoked pork tongue / Nduju, celery cracker / sourdough, sorghum koju butter( bottom right corner)
Watermelon, peppermint / Diakon, fermented garlic chive
Watermelon, peppermint / Diakon, fermented garlic chive

 

The bread on the plate was so good some of our tablemates asked if there was more to buy and they found enough slices for us each to have another.  It was toasted with a bit of butter and more was on the plate.  It was divine and when I go back I’ll plan to order an extra plate if available.

bread
bread
Frankie liked the extra plate they brought for our bread
Frankie liked the extra plate they brought for our bread

 

Brassicas were served with smoked shitake, farm cheese, Narazuke daikon, salted pecan and double mint.  The daikon was quite crisp and tart, the mint made up the smear on the plate, the mushrooms were wonderful and the pecans were nicely sweet and totally crisp.  All the flavors here combined well and left a great taste in your mouth afterwards.

Brassicas, smoked shitake, farm cheese, narazuke daikon, salted pecan, double mint
Brassicas, smoked shitake, farm cheese, narazuke daikon, salted pecan, double mint
closer
closer
underneath
underneath
supplies
supplies

 

Field peas were served in fermented potato liquid with chili oil.  The liquid was tart with a bit of spice.  There were chunks with a bread pudding consistency in the broth that added another texture to another nice dish.

Field peas, fermented potato liquid, chili oil
Field peas, fermented potato liquid, chili oil
closer
closer
another angle
another angle
stirred
stirred
Frankie explored
Frankie explored

 

First season squash were mixed with Gulf crab, dill and seeds.  This was a great dish – the crab was sweet and very fresh and mixed nicely with the smooth squash.  Another good combination of flavors and textures.

First season squash, gulf crab, dill, seedsFirst season squash, gulf crab, dill, seeds

closercloser

Frankie approved
Frankie approved

 

Confit Demasses Eggplant was served with Xips (Catalan for chips), Sourdough, Cold Fermented cucumber and Toasted peanuts. The sourdough was in the form of bread sauce which was creamy and fun.  Some of the eggplant was turned into crispy chips which were really tasty.  The peanuts also added some good crunch.  It had a number of nice flavors and good textural contrasts.  Another winner.

Confit demasses eggplant, Xips, sourdough, cold fermented cucumber, toasted peanut
Confit demasses eggplant, Xips, sourdough, cold fermented cucumber, toasted peanut
closer
closer
unstacked
unstacked
Frankie's always making friends
Frankie’s always making friends

 

Pork Tenderloin was plated with Pressed Shoulder meat, Homestead Grits, Strawberry Figs and sorrel.  The pressed well done meat was packed into a little cube with a crispy exterior which was very savory.  The grits were made into thin crispy chips and I could not detect any strawberry flavor in the figs.  It was a lot of fun flavors and textures but I’m not sure they were necessarily better when combined.  However it could still be called good.

Pork Tenderloin, pressed shoulder, homestead grits, strawberry figs, sorrel
Pork Tenderloin, pressed shoulder, homestead grits, strawberry figs, sorrel
closer
closer
leaves off
leaves off
Maitre D Nicole Gossling and Frankie
Maitre D Nicole Gossling and Frankie

 

Dessert was Red and Yellow Watermelon plated with Sponge Cake and Rind.  The red was the sweeter of the melons but not as intensly flavored as it was in the first course.  The sponge cake was nicely tender and moist.  The creamy bits moistened all even more and it was a mild but not an intense sweet ending.

Red and yellow watermelon, sponge cake, rind
Red and yellow watermelon, sponge cake, rind
closer
closer
Frankie explored
Frankie explored
supplies
supplies

 

A final treat was a better sweet ending – a peanut butter ice cream sandwich served on some really buttery cookies.  It was divine.  I look forward to going back!

extra
extra treat
another side
another side
ChefOwner Misti Norris and Frankie
Chef/Owner Misti Norris and Frankie

2 thoughts on “Petra and the Beast, Dallas, 9/1/18

    1. Wow! You should try it Sharon. It’s near downtown Baylor and at any other time than the Sat night you pick what you want. Portions are small so you can try lots of things, especially if you share with the friends you bring. I was back not long ago on a weekday evening and everything was delicious. So fun to have a place where you can bring your own beverage too!

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