My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
I had been wanting to try the new Sissy’s Southern Kitchen on Henderson Avenue (formerly Hector’s locale) in Dallas since I heard their entire waitstaff would be donning Billy Reid bow ties. Last night I walked through the bright yellow door with a date impressed and warmed by the authentic Southern-nouveau atmosphere. True to my expectations, the hostess was wearing a bright red 60’s style print dress with a white apron. The waitstaff buzzed around the back of house in their collared shirts and bow ties.
The hostess led us to our table and we pass owner, Liza Garza (think Lisa Garza Taste Kitchen, wife of Dallas Chef-in-his-own-rite, Gilbert Garza, and co-owner of Suze) on our way to the cozy booth for two. The decor is minimal but warm. A regal wood bar brims with bottles and pre-homemade cocktail mixes. The rear wall is adorned with a tasteful (yet not so original) mix of antique plates and animal heads. The right-hand wall is purely windows, opened to an outdoor area. This touch of openness makes the restaurant and brings a literal air of Southern charm to the Big D.
As my date and I became ensconced in our cosy little booth seats, I was impressed with Sissy’s plays on traditional Southern cocktails and ordered a margarita-ish drink with muddled kumquat and 2 different kinds of tequila. Pretty tasty. Date ordered a play on a mint julep. Tasty as well, but as much as I yearned to see a traditional chilled silver julep cup arrive at our table, #fail…Sissy’s serves her juleps in champagne flutes.
Moving on to perusing appetizers, we spotted Purple Hull Pea Cakes, Chili Fried Oysters, and Low Country Gumbo - how could you resist?! The Purple Hull Pea Cakes killed me softly with salt and the Chili Fried Oysters echoed with sounds of flavoring silence.
We were told by our doe-eyed 20-something waitress that “they’re still working out their wine and stuff.” And surely they were. We found a satisfactory wine list, though certainly nothing to boast about and ordered a bottle of Riesling, only to be told/asked “I think we’re out of that?” In fact, they were not as halfway through our entrees she sauntered to the table with the requested bottle. I ordered the Roasted Red Fish with Hominy Maque Choux. Date ordered Pan Seared Striped Bass. Both were fine, nothing surpassing a dusting of Tony Chachere’s, a dollop of butter and a little overcooking (which is quite possibly the Southern-est of sins).
We finally corked our wine and asked for the check when the waitress informed us that they were out of the Buttermilk Pecan Pie that Date had been craving all day. All in all, we were there for 3 hours, and I came away with more glowing words about my date than the dining experience (it’s usually quite the opposite). Could be quite a civil war for Sissy’s to keep things up at this pace. I secede.
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Dallas, Texas http://www.thevintagemobile.com/
Baton Rouge, Louisiana http://rollienoelie.tumblr.com/
Worcester, Massachusetts http://haberdashvintage.com/
Brooklyn, New York http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-mobile-vintage-shop-brooklyn
The Avett Brothers will put on a big, humble show in the grand little Strand Theatre in Shreveport, Louisiana on June 5, 2012. This one’s worth the drive folks.
You’re joshing me.
Nope, it’s true! Click here to see for yourself.