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Southlake Style

Local Flavor - Fearing's

Feb 05, 2014 11:48AM ● By Anonymous

Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton

By James A. Reid

Chef Dean Fearing has stood tall above fine dining in Dallas, most memorably as the executive chef at the restaurant inside The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for more than two decades. He left only to launch his namesake restaurant, Fearing’s, in 2007 and has been showered with accolades ever since the kitchen began serving his signature dishes featuring “elevated American cuisine — bold flavors, no borders.”

Fearing’s calls the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel home, located in the Uptown area of Dallas. As we made our way through the elegant lobby, we arrived in the cozy confines of the Rattlesnake bar. (Tip: If you are early, check in with the hostess and pull up a seat to enjoy a handmade cocktail and relax in the glow of honey onyx panels.)

When it was time to be seated, we were taken to one of seven unique dining “rooms” that include both inside and outside seating. Chef Fearing had input on every aspect of the restaurant, including its distinctive layout. Because of this, each dining setting reflects a different part of his personality and ensures a diverse experience for his guests.

For our evening in the restaurant, we were seated in “The Gallery,” which featured fine art gracing the walls and delicate light elements that cast a soft, warm light across the tables, creating a very intimate dining atmosphere.

We began with an appetizer found only on the Rattlesnake bar menu — the chicken-fried horseradish pickles with a side of jalapeño ranch. If you ask for it, they will gladly bring it. Next to arrive was the lobster coconut bisque with a lobster pot sticker nestled on the side of the bowl. The cool sweetness of the coconut milk perfectly balanced the spiciness of the ginger rice with each sip (or slurp) as we nibbled on generous chunks of lobster.

For the main course, we selected the pan-roasted BBQ spiced filet and chicken-fried lobster. This unique Southern take on surf & turf was served on a bed of whipped potatoes with smoked tomato gravy and a soft spinach taco. I would have skipped the appetizer and soup course had I known this dish was so rich and substantial! During our main course, the lanky Texan, Dean Fearing himself, appeared next to our table and gladly took a picture with our dinner guest since it was her birthday. It is his practice to meet as many of his guests each evening in each of the dining rooms.

We didn’t stop there, though, pushing on to dessert. I had been eyeing one featured on the menu — the buttered popcorn ice cream/cola cake — but it had been replaced with a seasonal dessert for the holidays. Our server noted our disappointment so they brought us four desserts: the chocolate fluffer nutter, the apple trio, the banana pudding and the seasonal eggnog ice cream sandwiches. All were uniquely presented and were a fine way to finish off our meal.

Fearing’s slogan promises “bold flavors, no borders,” and with inventive dishes beautifully presented in distinct settings, he doesn’t disappoint his guests.