November 9, 2011 Fearing’s: Dallas, TX
Fearing’s handsomely bound vegetarian menu leaves you spoiled for choice: three starters, four mains. (No prices on this menu, so let me tell you that the veggie entrees are a few dollars less than their $25 and up meaty counterparts.)
The menu changes with the seasons, and the fall starters were tortilla soup, corn and jack cheese street tacos, farm to Fielding’s salad, and a duo of tomato salad/fried green tomatoes. I picked the tortilla soup, which a friend had told me not to miss.
After an amuse bouche of compressed cucumber (with peppery micro-greens), I picked an entree. I could have had the vegetable kibbeh (a dish made with bulgur), fall spaghetti, or a Tex-Mex sampler. I picked the sampler.
The soup came, and, just like at Samar, it was poured tableside, with garnishes at the bottom of the bowl. The soup was divine: rich, salty, onion-flavored broth. The tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado provided contrast.
This dish makes me sad that so few places have vegetarian tortilla soup.
The sampler came next, a generous serving of food for this price point. No tiny portions of precious plating here. I had before me a spinach enchilada, butternut squash taquito, a slaw, fried avocado, and a smattering of tortilla chips. It was like a deluxe plate at your favorite Mexican plate, only gourmet.
The enchilada was good, and the fried avocado was delicious but too rich for more than a bite. The red onion and mango slaw added a welcome bit of brightness. My favorite — the one thing I had to finish — was the crispy and creamy butternut taquito.
Fearing’s is in the Ritz Carlton, so it’s all wood and marble swank, with a bustling open kitchen. There are also private dining spaces and an elegant outdoor space. Chef Fearing checked n me twice and stopped by all the tables near the open kitchen.
This is haute cuisine comfort food, a great spot for vegetarians with cash and taste.