Food for Thought

 

 

LAW....and Order Everything

We were quite saddened when he heard the news that Cafe on the Green at the Four Seasons resort in Las Colinas was closing. It was our “go-to” place to take friends and family to experience a Vegas quality brunch buffet on Sundays. It would be replaced by another Texas inspired restaurant but with a familiar face in Cafe on the Green’s chef Jonathan Rivera; aptly named LAW, an acronym for Land, Air, and Water.

Immediately walking up to the restaurant, you will immediately see the sharp contract from it’s predecessor. A large picture of a Longhorn greets you behind the hostess stand but you’ll notice the carpet has been replaced with dark hardwood floors and the servers donning more casual garb in denim. As we were quickly seated (we were a little late to our reservation due to parts of MacArthur being closed for high water) we can see the overall ambiance was darker, more rustic. The chairs and place mats were carryovers but overall LAW was definitely not Cafe on the Green 2.0.

Our server quickly introduced himself, a very jovial and upbeat demeanor, which was refreshing considering how wet and murky the weather. We were surprised a majority of the tables were full for a Thursday evening but the overall noise was minimal and easy for conversation. I opted to stick with water for the evening (I wasn’t feeling too hot) but my dining partner was recommended a white wine which was absolutely delicious; I’m still mad at myself that I can’t remember the name.

We were given a run down of the menu and our server did an excellent job of highlighting his favorites and also mentioning the items that were sourced from Texas and the items that weren’t. Our meal started off with the classic beef tartare, blue crab deviled eggs, and the LAW wedge. The deviled eggs were well cooked, with a creamy interior, and bits of crab mixed into the yolk. It was hard to feel the actual texture of the blue crab but it’s flavor was very noticeable. On the other hand, the blue crab was extremely noticeable in the LAW wedge. The Deep Ellum blue cheese dressing had a subdued bite typically associated with blue cheese; we were worried the dressing would just overpower the crab but we were delightfully surprised. And, of course, the consistency of the beef tartare, a Cafe on the Green classic, was still there. Accompanying the tartare were onion brioche toasted points and a slightly spicy bbq mustard; those two things by themselves would have satisfied us a starter.

As we finished up the appetizers, we hardly noticed the seamless transition between our courses. Our water glasses stayed filled and silverware replaced by other people not our server as we continued our conversation. Our main course we relied on our server’s recommendation. Neither of us in the mood for the Air or Water portion of the menu, our server went down the Land items, explaining the different types of beef and it’s source. He could have easily sold us on the Longbone Tomahawk Steak for two but he was adamant (even a little proud) of the Akaushi Rib Eye from Beeman Ranch (Harwood, Texas) and the Wagyu Flank Steak from A bar N Ranch (Sherman/Celina, Texas). And for the sides we went with roasted cauliflower, roasted brussels sprouts, and the lobster mac n’ cheese.

While our entrees were being prepared, Chef Christof brought out an absolutely gorgeous grilled octopus plate - so colorful when it was presented on the slate colored plate. This plate stood out because so far the presentations of the dishes were nice and low-key but this one had color and height. Luckily, the amazingness of this dish didn’t stop at it’s looks. The grilled octopus was wonderfully cooked and served alongside crushed nuts, assorted vegetables, and salty chorizo bits. It was a great plate to get us ready for our steaks.

Our steaks were showcased on a simple white plate on top of roasted peppers and tomatoes. Very simple and straightforward. Both of our steaks were cooked to our requested doneness (medium rare and medium) and the overall tenderness of the beef was apparent as our knives easily made slices. My ribeye was heavily crusted and charred but in a good way. My personal preference has always been to reach for the salt for red meat but this steak was so well seasoned I didn’t even bother to look for the salt. The flank steak was a wonderful surprise. We were expecting a thin cut of meat, like you would for fajitas, but instead we received a thick cut of meat with the same char and crust of seasoning as found on my ribeye. The flank steak had the texture of a slow-cooked short rib and the flavor of a well-marbled ribeye. If all flank steaks tasted like that, it could very well be my new favorite cut of meat.

The sides were simple and maybe a little on the small side for the price but overall they were well executed and tasty. The lobster mac n’ cheese was rich but with large chunks of lobster and the pasta nicely cooked and held the cheese really well.The roasted cauliflower was quartered and covered in crispy garlic bits; the brussels sprouts were tiny but that allowed for maximum crispiness, which is what we look for in our roasted brussels sprouts.

 We finished up our meal with the s’mores - house-made marshmallows roasted tableside. Our server even gave the chocolate squares a kiss of the flame to soften up the chocolate. Every component of the dessert was delicious by itself but even better when sandwiched together. We also had the pie in jar, a mason jar filled with blueberries, crumble, and a lemon pie filling. It was refreshing and not overly sweet, a great way to end the meal.

Our experience at LAW was perfect, and we don't say that lightly. From beginning to end, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience but it was heightened when we saw the type of service given to the patrons around us. We already anticipate a little better service when we are invited by the restaurant to join them for dinner but to see the same, impartial service to others around us is refreshing. The table next to us, from what we could creepily gather, had a miscommunication in the kitchen and one of the guests had to send her plate back. She excused herself from the table to handle a phone call but we noticed Chef Christof continually popping his head out with her updated plate, waiting for her return. When she did finally come back to her table, he immediately greeted her and explained what happened, and cooked a fresh steak just for her. He even brought out a special order of s’mores for their youngest guest. Although this type of commitment to fix a wrong is expected, it’s not always executed, especially by the executive chef. It’s this type of Texas hospitality that gives LAW its Texas character and a big reason why we can’t wait for a return visit.

Our dinner was graciously comped by LAW, however this in no way influenced our review.  We want our readers to trust our recommendations as to where they should spend their hard earned dollars and we can assure you our response to LAW would have been exactly the same if we had paid for our meal.