This entry is coming out of chronological order and in Dallas not Basel, but that’s because I don’t know how long you have the opportunity to try out Fauna 2.0 and its innovative and tasty food. Stephen Pyles decided to close Flora/Fauna just after the first of the year where Chef Peter Barlow had been in charge of the Fauna space that offered only a tasting menu on Friday and Saturday nights. He wanted to honor all those who had made reservations and here’s where you can now get in on it. The old venue was not available so in about 36 hours Barlow and his crew made arrangements to have the meals offered at the new (opened in December) Hall Arts Hotel on 1717 Leonard St. in the Dallas Arts District. It’s not far from the old location but it’s a fabulous opportunity to see this new modern and stylish hotel. Couple details still to work out, but the drink service is presently provided by Ellie’s the restaurant in the Hall Arts Hotel. They came up with some fun off the menu bottles of wine that were reasonably priced or offered a selection of wines by the glass or of course there is water, tea, etc. This portion of the meal can be paid by credit card, however because of the quick transition Fauna 2.0 was only taking cash but it was the first night in business. Valet parking is available at the hotel and it is complimentary if you are having dinner there. There is also a fun bar where you can enjoy a cocktail while you wait to be ushered into the dining room. The 10 course tasting menu is $150 per person with tax included but not service and the menu is not printed (thus I tried to get the best description written down, but with many ingredients I may not have them all or have mis-interpreted my scribbled notes). This system is through the end of February because in the spring Barlow and his team are going to Copenhagen to work and get new inspirations. The large dining room had 3 good sized white clothed tables set next to each other with 4 diners at each table. Lighting was lowered, music was in the background and art was on the walls. Chef Barlow came out to explain each course and helped serve. Pacing was good as was portion control. To make a reservation call 214-454-4915 or email <email@example.com>.
We started with a raw oyster topped with Royal Ossetra caviar and yuzu pepper paste. It was briny and ultra fresh. With it was ‘nduja toast with smoked olive oil. The topping was spicy on the very crisp toast and it was delicious. Also a sweetbread nugget that was lightly fried and drizzled with honey. It had just a slight spiciness and was really tasty.
In a sea urchin bowl were sweet potato custard with trout roe and Alaskan king crab. Plankton oil and curry added additional flavors. It was excellent and loaded with wonderful sweet crab meat.
Snow of sea buckthorn was sprinkled on Yellow Tail belly. Some yuzu, white soy and pickled radish were mixed with some sea buckthorn skin oil to add additional flavoring It was very good combination and loaded with lovely textures.
A bao bun served as the bottom of dish of cod in black beer, pickled banana and then topped with red miso. Some abalone and mussel XO sauce added to this one. It also had a ton of textures and the banana was great. The bao was a tad dry but it didn’t really matter as there was so much good stuff on top.
Texas quail was prepared like Peking duck but served with dill cream, spinach, puffed kampachi skin. The quail was cooked nicely and the meat was well seasoned and sticky good.
Fougasse (a French flat bread a bit like Italian foccacia) bread was topped with cheese, black truffle and onion. The bread was really doughy and topped with great truffle flavor and gooey cheese. This was yummy.
A truffle tart was with a dual lamb. Lamb neck ravioli was made with sumac wheat dough, fried brussels sprouts, 6 kinds of cheese and topped with Wagyu beef cheek sauce. It was then sprinkled with a 24 month aged parmesan. Underneath were nicely rare, tender slices of lamb. It was savory and good with a little spiciness. Another yummy offering.
A palate cleanser was cocoa and sugar and served with a liberal does of liquid nitrogen for that fog effect.
A filet of Texas beef had been rubbed with chili prior to cooking. Added to that was a veal sauce of beef cheeks with duck heart. On the side were leeks in olive oil, salsify and kohlrabi.
Dessert was an essence of citrus with hazelnut mousse, topped with chocolate, kale and huckleberry jam sherbet.
We finished with a paleta of mate tea, white tea and hibiscus lemon curd and pistachio.