Remember that scene in Sweet Home Alabama (shame) where Reece Witherspoon exclaims, “You have a baby…in a bar?!” Some things just feel out of place in bars. Like a NY Strip, or buerre blanc, for example…
Have you ever walked into a place, expecting it to be a one thing, but discovering that it’s much more?
When the folks at The Standard Pour invited me to try their Mazel Tov Mondays menu a few months back, I was intrigued. Firstly because of the hilarious premise of the thing, and secondly because I literally cannot say “no” to chopped liver. Fact. I was a fan of TSP after trying their seriously inventive cocktails and classy twists on Jewish classic dishes. So when I was invited back to check out their new menu, I happily agreed. The thing that strikes me most about The Standard Pour is that it seems their menu is too good. Much better than what you’d expect out of a bar in Uptown or anywhere else. It’s enough that their bar program is quite advanced (house-smoked apples should clue you in to the mad scientist-style of cocktail-making going on there), but the food is way upscale too, and I am not convinced a place can be successful at offering both. So until they inevitably figure out they can’t do full-blown formal entrees and still be a bar, I suggest you take advantage of the cuisine that Chef Peja Krstic has to offer. Let’s take a look, shall we?
A cocktail amuse bouche? Now, that I can get behind. You might enjoy a little drinky-drinky as you peruse pages and pages of cocktail options (found in a bound leather booklet).
Like I said, I cannot say “no” to chopped liver. This paté, on the Mazel Tov Mondays menu and an option for a charcuterie board, is seriously good. Double braised in milk, the liver is creamy and mild, topped with caramelized onions and soy, and served with marmalade and toasted baguette. It’s decadent and wonderful.
New to the menu for fall, these chicken risotto croquettes are again, a bit fancy, but still approachable and sharable too. The gooey center is studded with chicken and the little balls of yum are nestled in a warm tomato sauce.
Apologies for the blur (blame that there amuse bouche), but this was my cider cocktail. It had Blackstrap rum, espresso bitters, smoked apple syrup (housemade) and Crispin cider.
These chicken strips may look innocent enough, but they have a secret. The chicken inside them has gotten the sous vide treatment from Chef Krstic. The result is quite juicy meat surrounded by crunchy batter that adheres well and begs to be dipped into one of three accompanying sauces: an impressive ranch, ketchup and HOT siracha. The fries are damn good as well. These were a response to folks asking for a boneless alternative to their fried chicken entrée. Like I said, their customers are asking for more approachable food. Exhibit A.
Here’s an example of less approachable food. Now I’m not mad at it; this was some of the crispiest salmon I’ve had, with a perfect medium-rare center. It sits atop ratatouille that keeps it from touching the mint buerre blanc until you want it to. Yes, I just said “buerre blanc.” Exhibit B.
There are only a few desserts on TSP’s menu. There’s a cheesecake, a chocolate board featuring Dude, Sweet Chocolate, and this baby: a blueberry cobbler. It was good, but not great.
Overall, I’d recommend some editing in the kitchen, unless I’m wrong and they’re dolling out tons of short ribs, salmon and ahi tuna entrees every night. And I hope I am wrong, because the chef at The Standard Pour has some seriously non-standard skills.
The Standard Pour | 2900 McKinney Avenue | TSPDallas.com
DISCLAIMER: The Standard Pour footed the bill on this one. It’s a good thing, because ordinarily, ordering a $19 salmon dish at a bar is a big risk. I’m just sayin’…