Several weeks ago my friend, Ryan, told a bunch of us that we “HAD” to go to this great new restaurant. And we had to sit at this special table. And we had to go together so we could try everybody else’s food. Then he sent a meeting request and made it official…which is how, last night, I came to be with five friends at what is now my new favorite restaurant of all time.
Rise. They make soufflés (get it?). But before we even get to the food, let’s just chat about the décor. It’s dark, cozy, and environmentally friendly in the most beautiful way. The walls aren’t painted, they’re covered in colored glaze. The glasses are chopped-off wine bottles. The plates are recycled glass. The atmosphere is fantastic. Walking in there was like leaving Texas behind and travelling to a far-away land. It was totally ro-tic. (That’s “romantic” without the “man”.)
We did score the ‘special table’ right in front of the kitchen, surrounded by a stone wall topped with birch trees wrapped in white lights. It was like having the place all to ourselves—the other diners (and they were many) stayed outside our sacred grove. Occasionally a server would walk by with a soufflé and we all stopped to sniff the fragrant air left in their wake.
Everything on the menu looked amazing. We started with a selection of cheeses from their board. Our favorite was the house-made variety, redolent of lemon and lavender. Put that on a crusty bit of bread and top with a bit of quince paste…mmmmm. Half the fun was watching our server (I didn’t get her name, but she was fantastic) use the fancy cheese shave called a “girolle” which spun a blade gently around the top of a round cheese, creating beautiful fans of paper-thin cheese.
Then there were the starters; I went for “marshmallow” soup a red pepper cream bowl of goodness with three baby cheese soufflés floating happily in the top. Since we both hate to miss out on anything, Kim ordered the salad and we switched halfway through. The pecan vinaigrette was amazing.
Then the soufflés arrived. Mindful of our gustatory limits, Kim and I shared the crab soufflé (a special that night); it tasted like an amazing crab dip, only better. As we’re all friends of the foodie variety, spoons were soon darting around the table dipping into everyone else’s offerings. Check out the lobster soufflé shared by Marilyn and Micah: 1.5 pounds of lobster baked in a soufflé right in the lobster shell. It was downright decadent. It was huge, too…but I noticed it all disappeared by the end of the night.
You didn’t think we’d let any of that precious lobster go to waste, did you?
Naturally, we had to have dessert. We had (between us all) soufflés of chocolate, bread pudding (seriously), Grand Marnier, and whatever it was I ordered—can’t remember the name, but it was made with cranberries and champagne and, just as our server promised, “tasted like fall.”
It was a fabulous dinner. Good friends, good food, good times. If you’re in the Dallas area and want to get away from it all for a couple of hours, I highly recommend Rise. It probably won’t be the least expensive meal you’ve ever eaten, but it will be one of the best. (If you show a little more restraint than my group, the cost shouldn’t be that bad.) Rise is located at Suite 220, Inwood Village, Dallas, Texas.