I’ve been procrastinating for a few weeks now trying to figure out how I could coherently describe my first FT33 experience. I struggled to find a way to help others understand, through words and imagery, the flavors and simple complexity of each dish. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not smart enough to fully understand the mind and work of Chef Matthew McCallister. So, screw it… I’ll wing it and try to make due with my humble mind and curious belly.
We had the great fortune of getting a reservations at the namesake Table 33, which gave us a ring side view into the inner workings of a very complex and well run kitchen. It was awe inspiring to see the level of attention given to each and every ingredient by the team of culinary superheros that worked so well together you’d think they were communicating telepathically. I sat there and watched as one member of the kitchen used tweezers to separate the oregano leaves from the stem (the small ones were put into a tray to be used as garnish and the larger into another for roasting), while Chef McCallister and his Sous Chef Misti Norris plated each and every component with surgical precision. I mean holy DETAIL Batman! Every ingredient has an exact place, an absolute purpose… Oh, did I mention that every plate is individually wiped and cleaned with Vodka to ensure that nothing alters the flavor of the food. Just another reason to lick the plate
One thing that I would recommend for everyone is to, at least once, try the tasting menu. It’s truly the only way to experience the full depth of what FT33 has to offer and at $75/pp for 6 courses it’s well worth it.
Our starter dish was the Cobia Crudo. This is such a clean and refreshing dish with so many levels of flavor that I can only compare it to the first time I tried Pop Rocks… weird right? No it won’t explode in your mouth, but you will have the same reaction and facial expression when you try it.
Next came the creation that I can only describe as Beets… Bears… Battlestar Galactica. Yup, that’s all I’ve got That and the fact that I now crave beets on a regular basis… I mean honestly? Who does that?
We then took a slight detour and I recommend that you do too. We ordered the house made Charcuterie plate for two ($20). Nothing is standard on this board and you will find something, if not everything, to like on it–even if you don’t like pickled lamb tongue or duck prosciutto, which were both awesome by the way.
Ok, I’m going to take another sidebar to point out the pickled cauliflower that came with the Charcuterie plate. It was so spectacular that I had to ask our server for seconds, which he graciously obliged.
Ricotta and Pork Fagotelli
So, I have a confession to make… the following picture will not look as pretty as it should and that is because I got a little overzealous and started eating before taking a good shot. I tried my best to reconstruct it, but I miserably failed… like my 11th grade chemistry test.
Aside from that, this was a very warm and comforting combination… like a big hug from mom… which made we feel the urge to call her and apologize for failing chemistry.
Smoked Potatoes and Maitake Mushrooms
Here is something else you should know about FT33, the menu is constantly changing. In fact, by the time you read this post many of these items may not even be a part of the selection. So, when something has been on the menu since the very first day they opened… that’s saying something. I was surprised by how good the cherry wood smoked potatoes were and completely blown away by the Maitake mushrooms … Like watching Queen Elizabeth give Mother Theresa a noogie. Yeah, that awesome!
Sterling Lamb Loin
Then came the Sterling Lamb Loin as the “main course,” which looked too beautiful to eat. But, I somehow managed to get past my hesitation and insert all of it into my mouth hole.
Olive Oil Financier
Lastly, to finish off our funtastic flavor trolley ride we were brought the Olive Oil Financier for dessert. Which, I was told is not necessarily their most popular item — I would presume only because we are all way too hooked on Chocolate-anything to experiment — So, I’m glad we had no say in the matter. This was another Pop Rocks moment for me. I mean honestly… Who puts celery in dessert?! The same guy who made me fantasize about beets the other night, in a totally non-creepy way
Food, as in life, is about experiences and letting go of your fears. So, put aside your preconceived notions and give in to peer pressure… this is one joint you should definitely take a hit from.
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FT 33 is located at 1617 Hi Line Dr., Dallas, TX 75207