Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hibiscus: A warm evening with friends

My loves. 

I do not know why it took us so long to go to Hibiscus. I always assumed (based on the name, the hype, and the stark exterior of the restaurant along busy and bustling Henderson Avenue filled with a high concentration of "the" restaurants, bars and clubs of Dallas) that it was cold, loud, haughty, and I assumed the menu featured artfully tiny plates. I frankly thought it was just too hip for me. I am pleased to announce that all of my assumption were unfounded and completely wrong. Actually, Hibiscus is the complete opposite of what I expected, and I am already planning our next evening at this little Dallas gem.

As soon as you walk through the door you are bathed in a warm amber light given off by the low lighting and the roaring fire in the heavy stone fireplace. The floors, tables, and seating are almost molasses in color as they glow under the lighting and invite you to snuggle up into your booth and enjoy the comforting food that your taste buds are tempted with by the waft of delicious flavors and spices emanating from the kitchen. There is a lively bar, but not too crowded, perfectly sized and oriented to easily order a drink and sit for a moment before you are led to your table. I am rather impressed with their timing. We arrived for our 7:15 reservation on a Saturday night, and we were in our cozy booth within 5 or 10 minutes of our arrival, just enough time to order drinks and exchange hugs with our friends.

Our waiter was perfectly attentive, but also perfectly absent. I am not sure if that makes sense, but it is almost as if he read our minds about when we were ready to order and when not to interrupt our conversation. He also knew his stuff; wine, menu, ingredients, tastes, prices, everything.

For an appetizer we ordered Burrata and Foccacia. Oh yummy! Warm, delicate foccacia sliced into three  bites per pieces sizes (perfect to share with the table), which you then topped with tomato jam and creamy cheese. I love how we got to choose how much jam and cheese, and how we got to assemble the dish a bit ourselves. I don't know why, but I think that is fun. We didn't notice the late arrival of our dish (combination of our chatting and the fact that it really wasn't very late in arrival), but our waiter did, and without a fuss, without a to-do, he placed the dish down and said, "Due to the delay, this dish is on the house."

As for the entrees, oh my goodness the entrees! They were amazing; ample in size, flavor, imagination, comfort and beauty. I can only speak fully to my entree, but the other entrees present (only for a short while, as we all cleaned our plates!) were: The Garlic Glazed Bistro Steak with duck fat fries and fontina fondue, The Scottish Salmon with shrimp, butternut squash agnolotti, swiss chard, and romesco sauce, and The Loin Chop on Polenta which was the evening special. Also as sides for the table we polished off the rightfully acclaimed Deep Dish Mac & Cheese and the Creamy Cauliflower with Bacon & Jalapeno. Although these dishes were all phenomenal, I am pretty sure that I won dinner. I ordered the BBQ Short-rib Chop with gnocchi and horseradish gremolata, and I loved every last bite. The gnocchi were perfectly fluffy and then lightly toasted to a delicious golden color and taste (probably in a saute pan of butter), I only wish there had only been more, there were really only about 5, and they disappeared too quickly, I didn't even let Bunker try one. The short-rib literally fell of the bone, no knife needed. The sauce was slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and entirely delicious. I would say that when you go to Hibiscus that you should have at least one person at the table order the short-rib, but that person might be as selfish as myself and not share, so you should go ahead and order your own!

Our dinner dates are amazing people, and wonderful new friends. We actually met 4 years ago, set up on a blind double-date by the parents of both boys (the parents are long time close friends). If life had gone a certain way, and we had moved to California, we might have been wonderful friends for years at this point. However, we ended up moving to the other side of the country, North Carolina, and we didn't speak again, even though both couples ended up moving back to Dallas in the past two years. We both would hear about each other's lives through the boy's parents, and we finally reconnected, not over something happy, but over life going in directions we never expected. After this dinner, it is clear that we will be life long friends, connected by a common sadness and a deeper understanding of life and love. I am so thankful they have come back into our lives.

From start to finish, a heart and belly warming evening.

I dropped it :(

Mom, please help...I dropped my toy :(

2927 N. Henderson Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75206


  1. Agreed! Hibiscus is amazing (we should go together!!) and Shafer is hilariously pathetic in this picture. Too cute!

  2. YES!! Was just looking for a spot for my birthday dinner date this weekend, and this was on the list. Your review makes it a winner! Thanks for coming through for me :)