Cry Wolf opened 3 days ago at 4422 Gaston Avenue, a space that formerly held a Subway and you’d never know it. Chef/owner Ross Demers and his team have done a miraculous makeover to present a cozy, fun spot to have a delicious meal. Chef Demers previously owned On the Lamb but also held positions at Flora Street Café and Beverley’s Bistro. Alongside Demers in the open kitchen is another Fauna (part of Flora Street) alum, Liam Byres and also from there is sommelier Tim. The less than 30 seat stylish place offers a small seasonal menu of gradually-increasing-in-size options – to mix and match as the diner prefers. The plan is to change options as ingredients become available. The interior has a long concrete counter facing the kitchen and bar where diners can eat and interact with staff. There are also standard tables on the other side of the room. Music is in the background and the lights are lowered but you can still see. Get here before it gets so popular that you can’t. This is a new favorite restaurant and highly recommended.
First served was some house made bread, breadsticks, fig preserves, butter and radish. The hearty bread had a nice crisp crust and dense interior. The sticks were completely crisp and a perfect munchie before the meal. The preserves were also housemade and tart and fruity on the nice bread. Good snacks to get ready for fun food to come.
Smoked Mackerel was with celery and potatoes on creme fraiche then topped with caviar. The smoking preparation helped take out the mackerel funk that turns many, including me, off. It still had a good briny flavor especially when eaten with the caviar, but it was all good. A nice light plate with lots of flavor in every bite.
Tuna sashimi was with citrus in Asian flavors. The tuna was from the collar and was marbled enough to give the fish a silky texture and buttery taste. Nicely balanced with the caviar and citrus this was a near perfect dish.
Crispy 48 hour wagyu tongue was on a sauce espagnole. The tongue meat really melted in your mouth but still had a lovely crisp edge to add a nice texture to the dish. The Fresno peppers on one corner were nicely spicy and really added a kick to this succulent dish. A real winner here.
Bibb and Blue was a Boston lettuce salad with red wine vinegar, peppercorns and sliced shallot on a slice of blue cheese. The large lettuce leaves needed to be cut or they’d catch your cheeks going in the mouth but that’s a small price to pay for really fresh, totally green leaves of my favorite lettuce. Lightly dressed, they were mixed with herbs, pepper and shallots. Underneath was a wonderful slab of mild blue cheese that you could mix as you preferred. It was great.
Gnocchi was mixed with braised beef cheeks, scallions and hazelnuts in the braising liquid and topped with thin slices of pecorino cheese. The Yukon Gold potato based gnocchi were a good size and perfectly cooked. Not even a sign of gummy heavy here – they were lovely and really wonderful in the mouth. The beef cheek meat was another wagyu cut and even more melt-in-the-mouth tender than the tongue. It also had a nice crisp to the exterior and was incredibly flavorful. Another winner with a great aftertaste too.
Duck Confit was on saffron aioli, topped with Castelvetrano olives, brown butter and hazelnut. This was another wonderful dish with totally moist tender duck under a delicious crisp skin. Then add the zesty sauce and great olives and you are on your way to eating a heavenly dish.
Skate was with artichokes, capers, parsley and lemon then topped with crispy pancetta. I love to get skate when it’s available and you have a competent chef, and here was both. The moist fish perfectly separated into its strips of excellent texture and flavor. The crisp outside gave it the ideal brownness that made you want to eat one more bite after another. The fresh artichokes were a real treat and blended well as did the tasty crisp pancetta pieces.
There is no dessert menu now but in the mean time there is a complimentary honey and camomile tea and a dark chocolate bon bon filled with a white chocolate and coffee liquid center and topped with sea salt and fennel. The tea was just right to end the meal and the bonbon packed a serious sweet fix to end a fabulous meal.
We wanted to check on the progress of the place so went back the evening of Dec. 18 and were amazed at the consistent quality of the food and overall dining experience. There was very little repeated on the menu, many new delicious sounding combinations and fun additions to the wine list. It was so good that I decided to move it ahead of some others cause it really is a place that should be on your radar. It is terrific and a very exciting addition to the Dallas dining scene.
Razor Clams are brushed with a charred scallion gremolata then grilled and decorated with cilantro. They were nicely chewy with each flavor filled bite.
Beef Tartare was mixed with scallions and topped with Périgord truffle, chives and an egg yolk alongside sourdough crisps. The beef was in a perfect sized chunk that blended wonderfully with the runny yolk and earthy truffle. The only ding was that the crisps had lost some of their crisp but that was a very small ding.
Oysters were with a chardonnay mignonette, lemon wedges and freshly grated horseradish. We had 3 different varieties from the coast of North Carolina and they were all had a wonderfully delicate flavor. I enjoyed the horseradish but preferred to accent them with the light mignonette.
Pressed pork belly was topped with fennel pickles and Granny Smith apple slices on a black pepper gastrique. The crispy pork had plenty of the fat rendered in cooking but left enough to provide a juicy, scrumptious bit of pork in every bite. The sauce was exquisite. In fact we also enjoyed it with the snapper.
Pink snapper was alongside Brussel sprouts, golden beets and onions on a fennel brown butter. The fish skin was nicely crisped and browned and the accompanying vegetables were truly tasty. The mild fish was kept moist and also worked beautifully with the rich sauce on the pork.
Gnocchi were in a sauce of pecorino and butter, topped with diced chives. They were tender and delicate and the temptation was to use a spoon so you could have some of the rich sauce with each gnocchi.
Squid Ink spaghetti was topped with Spanish chorizo, chives and toasted bread crumbs in a sauce of chili oil. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the chorizo flavor filled, but the overall effect was not too spicy. It was really good but probably my least favorite of all we tried.
The meal finished with honey and camomile tea alongside shortbread cookies and a sugared fruit gel. The cookies were thin, crisp and buttery while the gel was tart and fruity. A nice light way to finish a flavor filled exceptional meal.