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Succulent harissa range chicken with quinoa salad and charred lemon

Comfortable and Classic

by Rachael Abrams | Photography by Jill Broussard | Modern Luxury Dallas magazine | September 3, 2014

Open the steel door to the Bishop Arts District’s newest eatery, Stock & Barrel Kitchen Americana, and embark on chef Jon Stevens’ haute American journey. Upon entry to the right is an open kitchen splashed with cheery orange tile, offering transparency between cooks and patrons. To the left is a chic combination of wood tables and leather and industrial-style metal seating that provides a sophisticated and effortlessly cool ambience in the expansive space.

As we get cozy in our booth and eye the style-setters wining and dining at the bar, we’re greeted by a friendly waiter. Choosing from four local beers on tap, a vast wine list and a colorful cocktail menu, we take his recommendation of the cucumber rickey with thin slices of cucumbers and ginger beer. Our palates are refreshed with what tastes like a fusion of cucumber spa water and a sweet, sparkling mojito. Other top contenders on the cocktail list are the green tea julep, with Maker’s 46, green tea syrup and mint; and the mezcal mule, with Iligal Mezcal Joven, Crème Yvette, lime and ginger beer.

The menu, which is divided into Share, Greens, Vegetables, Fries, Standards and Woodgrill, showcases Stevens’ ability to pair quality ingredients and interesting flavors with classic American cuisine. We start with the grilled artichoke, sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley. Slightly charred and moist, each leaf pulls away from the heart like petals off a rose. A lemon mayo dip balances the smoky taste of the artichoke.

Must-haves include nearly everything else from the Vegetables and Share sections. Diners ready to bury themselves in decadence must opt for the eggplant hot pot. Served in a rustic mini cast-iron pot, the flavorful combination of bubbling bechamel sauce, smoked tomatoes, mozzarella and eggplant is alluring. Accompanied by warm housemade bread for dipping, this treat is like an Italian version of chile con queso—equally as messy and addictive. Reminding us that vegetables don’t have to be bland, the delicious roasted Brussels sprouts coated in a sweet chile sauce are hearty with soft, caramelized leaves.

Then come the potatoes. The crushed Yukons are every carb lover’s dream. Crispy on the outside; soft on the inside; and flecked with sea salt, Parmesan and chopped parsley, this savory delicacy surpasses every french fry on the market. In good company is a flavorful smoked paprika mayo for dipping, reminiscent of a patatas bravas pimento sauce.

But Stevens’ magic happens beyond the potatoes. A wood-fire oven with hickory wood is where it all begins. The large portion of harissa range chicken is among the best items on the menu; with crispy golden skin and succulent meat, each bite from the hen simply melts in your mouth. Though the chicken is unexpectedly not spicy, the taste is memorable. Even more flavorful is the asparagus and quinoa salad accompanying the dish. Earth-toned and full of texture, charred lemon adds a hint of smoke flavor and unique dimension to the salad. We also tried the Alaskan King salmon, dressed in decadent tarragon butter and evenly cooked to accentuate the quality of the fish. Providing a full and flavorful meal, the salmon rests on a bed of well-seasoned roasted fennel, zucchini and fresh heirloom tomatoes.

In addition to the top-notch comfort food, Stock & Barrel offers supreme service, with knowledgeable staff and waiters revisiting tables at the perfect rate. Even more noteworthy, the timeliness of the arrival of every dish ordered is as good as any fine dining eatery.

With a small yet thoughtful dessert menu filled with interesting options both tart and sweet, Stevens reminds diners to save room for a final course. The sinful croissant bread pudding is like a deconstructed cronut—the warm, buttery and flaky pieces of dough are heightened by caramel and a sprinkle of nuts, and topped with vanilla ice cream. For a lighter option, the Meyer lemon curd is tangy and beautifully presented on a plate with cubes of blood orange jelly, raspberries and a sprinkle of soft granola. Cutting the tartness of the curd is a dollop of mascarpone ice cream, making this dessert the ideal warm-weather treat.

As we wind down our meal, we notice Stevens checking in on his kitchen staff and observing the dining room, like a guard protecting his turf. Between the fresh, flavorful menu and sounds of chatter from the full house, the chef can rest easy, knowing Stock & Barrel is a fantastic new addition to the quaint Bishop Arts District.

Stock & Barrel Kitchen Americana
316 Davis St., 214.888.0150
Dinner Sun., 5-9PM; Tue.-Thu., 5-10PM; Fri.-Sat., 5-11PM
Brunch Sun., 10:30AM-3PM

Seat With a View
Though there’s no chef’s table, take a serious look into Stevens’ kitchen by dining at the bar along the kitchen rail. Or opt for a seat under the stars on the back patio.

Case of the Mondays
Stock & Barrel remains closed on Mondays but is available for a buyout for private parties.

Cocktail Hour
Try the array of house-macerated liquors, including cherry-infused Plymouth Gin and pink peppercorn-steeped Deep Eddy Vodka.