Last week, I had the pleasure of sampling the fresh finds at new Dallas hot spot for seafood and nightlife, Aquadora. Across the street from the Galleria, in an alcove on in Alpha, in the same complex as Maximo’s, lies a new treasure for luscious seafood, glam comfort-food and relaxed nightlife. For this sampling, I decided to bring mi madre. She gives me honest impressions, is wellness conscious but enjoys abundant living and her expressions tell a story of sheer delight or mediocre blandness — for this adventure, she was the perfect guest.
We chose a late dinner, around 9 p.m., to see the scene, how the neighborhood feels after dark and to observe how the kitchen runs later in the evening. After finding a parking spot, which was completely unneeded as valet is available and complimentary, we walked up to the door and were greeted by clean modern lines, heavy woods over acid stained tones, deep nautical blues and seahorses etched in thick clear glass. It’s theme that is repeated thoughout the space, and my initial thoughts were that this space would be easily at home in New York or DC, nice.
Quickly, we were ushered to a middle seating section with a view of the raw bar (note to self: come back and give it a try) and a clear view of two long, rectangular dining areas, with one with massive glass doors that would be perfect for hosting Christmas parties or get-togethers of the like and the other with elegantly booths and more intimate seating. Our tasting dinner began with a lush glass of Prosecco, fragrant and faintly floral with fine bubbles and a hint of sweetness, served as a nice contrast to the Wellflent Oyster Shooters, atop a white almond gazpacho. Creamy, clean and fresh with a nubby texture set our evening on a great note and served as a conversation starter. Greedily, I happily devoured mine, as our server Victor came from the kitchen bearing gifts – compound butters, dressed with black sea salt and a basket of fresh bread.
I have to admit, before we go any further, that I am an eater, an unabashed carb-lover and adore the lush, mouth feel of butter melting, creamy soups and decadent sauces. Eating is an experience to be savored, and the adorable and talented Chef Dimas and his Aquadora team did not disappoint. Delighted, my mom ushered me on as the scent from the black wrapped basket, called me forth and set to tasting. Steamy, chewy rolls of rosemary and a nice, multi-grain lie inside, but my absolute favorite was the richly colored, roasted red pepper bread, spread thickly with the creamy, golden goodness sprinkled with the black salt. Just as I was talking my mom into putting a little extra butter on her bread, Victor appeared again with a trio of apps, just begging to be tried.
All three were delicious, but my favorite was the crabcake, whose name does it a disservice, followed by the Lobster and Scallop Risotto, paired with a crisp Viogner. The risotto is tender, creamy and full of well-rounded flavors, equal parts comforting and succulent. Perfect for these cool nights that we’ve been experiencing. Then to the scene-stealer, the Crabcake. It’s generous portion, full of sweet crab and with so little cake that the term ‘crabcake’ is a misnomer. Fantastic. Delicious, I could eat three of these for lunch today with a side of the risotto.
From there, we went on to the table all-around favorite, Lamb Osso Bucco with Beet Risotto, partnered with an richly yummy, Argentinian Malbec. Seriously. Wonderful. Imagine an extremely tender, well-seasoned pot roast with none of the grissly, fatty part, with the added depth and earthy richness of lamb. Resting lovingly by a risotto, startling in all its fantastic magenta-ness, but wonderful and perfect for sopping up, all the luscious juices from the lamb. My mother, the somewhat picky eater, devoured her plate while periodically commenting on our identical expressions of sheer delight.
Open for lunch, as of November 28, and for dinner and nightlife, Aquadora is a treasure to found, centrally located near the Galleria, a new home for casual elegance and great seafood.
5301 Alpha Road, Suite 24
Dallas, Texas 75240