Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rise n°1

Rise n°1
Suite 220
Inwood Village
Dallas, Tx 75209

The first time that I heard of Rise was from my airline neighbor on my way to Dallas, to visit family, back in May 2010. We were both en route to DFW out of EWR, both visiting family, and both miserable as we couldn’t get a second of shut eye from a colic baby who was sitting right in front of us. Long story short, we got to talking, talked about our Dallas itineraries and exchanged restaurant recommendations. I urged her to go to Porch (which was one of my must hit spots on that visit) and she told me about Rise. Her words were, “almost magical, very French and a must go, if you love soufflé like I do.” Pressed on the amount of hours and days, I only had time to go to Porch and I’m sure that she had gone to Rise.

Fast forward to six months later and another family visit to Dallas, I finally made it to Rise on November 6th, 2011.

On its website, Rise n°1 describes itself as “a 92-seat salon de soufflé and wine bar, located in the heart of landmark retail center Inwood Village. A relaxed bistro focused on the soufflé – the masterpiece of French cuisine – rise n°1 is the first of its kind, bringing the French classic to Dallas diners in a comfortable, casual environment.” When I went in with my family to get seated, the maitre d was wearing a beret; the décor was cozy and chic with its wine bottle chandelier, the cups that are recycled from old wine glasses, the row of small tree trunks and tree branches that serve as the restaurant dividers. In my opinion, these are not necessarily exclusive to “French”- decor but it’s quite adorable.

Small loaves of hot baguettes were brought to our table, while we were busy studying the menu. Here’s what my family ordered:

Chariot de fromages
- 3 fromages $14
- When this came out, it was a good production, their cheese specialist wheeled out the International cheese cart filled with different international cheeses, which she happily recited and described to us. I was the only one that is considered “cheese crazy”, so I went on to order 2 soft cheeses ( the Camembert and the chef’s creation, which was a combination of all the soft cheeses on the cart and was rolled onto one) and 1 sharp (extra sharp cheddar). The fromages were plated with apricots, dates, nuts and sweet gherkins, in addition to a separate plate of slightly toasted breads. For $14, it’s priced reasonably and worth every cheddar.

Marshmallow Soup
- Made from Roma tomatoes, the tomato bisque (I also tasted a hint of carrots there) is perfectly complimented with the “marshmallow”-goodness of the goat cheese that floats on top like pillows and the homemade pesto that was poured on top. I know Rise prides itself with their soufflés, but this was my absolute favorite that was ordered. A little tart, savory in both taste and smell, it is rich in flavor in every spoonful. Priced at $9, I’d come back to Rise just for the sheer enjoyment of having this soup again.

Savory Soufflés
Truffle Infused Mushroom soufflé $16
- When I asked if the mushrooms were organic and was it locally grown, our server paused for a second as if he wasn’t sure. And he said that he thinks it’s from Plano and that it was made of button mushrooms. Hence, the word “infused”. This was just okay, especially after coming off from the flavorful marshmallow soup.

Crab soufflé $20
- You will not find this on their regular menu. Its one of their specials, made with crabmeat and Boursin cheese. This combination, made into a soufflé, was buttery, a little salty, and delicate but rich. Was it worth the $20? Probably not. But it’s the best savory soufflé from the selection that we ordered.

Lobster Soufflé $40
- It didn’t look like a soufflé to me. There wasn’t enough fluff, and the lobster shell was used instead of ramekins. It was a big portion, with some chunks of lobster meat, it wasn’t impressive and not worth the extra price. This was highly recommended by our wait staff, I thought it was because he thinks it’s the best, but he just wants to sell more.

Entrees – half of our party consisted of my 3 young gentlemen nephews, and the youngest, whom I asked his opinion of Rise, told me, “The menu needs a kid’s meal with chicken tenders and French fries.” Good point, after all, this is a French restaurant, so, where’s the French fries? ;-)

I did not try any of these, so I cannot give a review, but just a description of the dish. I did try the house salad that came with and that was fresh and drizzled with a lovely pecan vinaigrette. When I asked the waiter about the dressing, he told me that it was made in-“house” and that it is available to be purchased to take home. And that in fact, almost everything that I see in the restaurant is for sale and to just tell him if there’s anything that interests me. I almost asked him if he’s a wait staff or a salesperson, but I bit my lip as we’re only halfway through our meal.

(2 orders of ) Parisian Jambon Sandwich $13
- Mini French baguettes with ham, Gruyere, cornichons and sweet butter.

Brie & Cornichon Baguettes $13
- classic country French sandwich with creamy Brie cheese and cornichons on two mini baguettes

Sweet Soufflés

Chocolate soufflé $10
- This was murdered as soon as it was set on the table. As they say, “You wait for the soufflé, the soufflé does not wait for you.” – This was definitely the case for the chocolate soufflé. This is usually baked for 15 minutes, it took us less than 15 seconds to devour it. lol. It was good, sweet and tasty and not enough to be shared around 6 people.

Grand Marnier soufflé $12
- The white chocolate sauce was fantastic.

Overall, the food was good, it has its highs and lows, most dishes that we ordered were tasty, some are overpriced but the effort to selling me other products besides food (which is the only reason why I came here in the first place) is a little overdone and a bit deplaisant. There was a bit too much selling and pointing out that everything is “French”. Yes, I get the concept, but please next time, just feed me instead of selling overpriced “French” stuff for me to take home. I’m just here for the food.


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