By Kelli N. McClain, Contributor
Built in 1924, the Warwick Melrose — Dallas was originally an apartment building with some hotel rooms, and it is celebrating its 94th year as one of the city’s elegant Grand Dame hotels. Not only does the Warwick lay claim to the awesome Library Bar but also the elegant Landmark Restaurant with executive chef Patrick McElroy at the helm. He is fusing fresh and modern approaches to classic American favorites with Texas touches. I stopped by recently to have a taste of the restaurant’s winter menu.
I took my best foodie friend with me to indulge that night. The restaurant opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner but is closed from 2 to 6 p.m. We got there right at 6 and had the restaurant to ourselves for a bit, so we got right down to it.
[Disclosure: The Landmark Restaurant provided complimentary food and drinks to The Dallas Diva. The opinions here are the writer’s own.]
I started with a Melrose Salad with peppered goat cheese and candied pecans covered with a lovely Champagne vinaigrette (above) — it was huge! And delicious! My guest ordered the frisee and bacon salad, which had applewood bacon lardons, walnuts and a sweet roasted-apple dressing. It was tantalizingly tart despite being covered with lardon, bacon’s crazy cousin.
Our next dish admittedly had me worried because: beet puree. As a rule, I don’t like the vegetable. But I’m game to try anything once. Pan seared scallops with a roasted garlic and beet puree and corn succotash was the combination (at top), and the puree made this dish! It had a nice little spicy kick to it, and the sweet corn gave it added flavor. Not a bit of this dish was left!
Next we tried the spicy ahi tuna tostadas with spicy ahi tuna wasabi aioli and baby cilantro (above). It wasn’t my favorite because the wasabi was a bit strong for my taste.
Meantime, I tried to pass it by but kept coming back to the truffled lobster mac and cheese (above). The Landmark Restaurant serves pork tenderloin, bay salmon and chicken paella, but I wanted a homey dish like mac and cheese — go figure! Truffle cream with Maine lobster, mushrooms and English peas (you can ask them to omit the peas) were presented with buttery bread crumbs all over. It smelled fantastic and also had a bit of heat to it but not enough to put one off — plus there were huge chunks of lobster.
My friend had the herb-crusted halibut with roasted winter vegetables, clams and a rich lobster bouillabaisse (above). I had a bite and declared it tremendously tasty.
At this point, we needed a wheelbarrow to cart us out because we were stuffed. But we tried a dessert: the cannoli duo — a pistachio, dark chocolate and mascarpone cheese temptress. I could only take a bite, and, man, it was rich. It’d go well with coffee like the Landmark’s Café Buenos or café latte. But for now: You could put a fork in me, I was done!
Drop by the Landmark in Uptown, and remember: Parking at the hotel is valet only, but you can park on the side street where allowed or in a parking garage about a seven-minute walk away. Make your reservation online or call. And enjoy!
Landmark Restaurant, 3015 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-224-3152