Meal of a Lifetime at the Mansion on Turtle Creek

23 Aug

I had been looking forward to this dinner for at least a month, I’d been waiting in anticipation ever since we made the reservation.  I was going to eat at a AAA 5-diamond restaurant, one of only 2 in the state of Texas.  Me!  Having an entry level job doesn’t allow me to splurge on my foodie urges as much as I’d like, and this rare opportunity was made possible by KRLD Restaurant Week, offering a prix fixe 3-course meal for $35.  It was too good to pass up, and we jumped on making a reservation at the Mansion (good thing, too, because they sold out within 2 days of opening up restaurant week reservations).  The icing on the cake was that one of our friends attending culinary school in the area just started a job at the Mansion a few months ago, and I wanted to experience what the big fuss was about.

The Mansion, inside and out, was absolutely elegant and extravagant.  No need to post any of my pictures as you can take a virtual tour for yourself.  And like the Uptown standard, the restaurant offers complimentary valet parking, making my life that much easier.  Upon entrance we were seated promptly (we arrived right on time for our reservation) and when taking water drink orders, I was given the option of Evian, Pellegrino, or regular.  Sorry, I’m not much of a fancy person and went for “regular.”  That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening.  Service was absolutely impeccable, we must have been waited on by at least half a dozen different people (maybe this is normal at upscale restaurants but I found it novel).  Silverware was changed out for each course and food was served course after course without hardly any delay. 

After we ordered, the bread guy came by to drop off some of the best tasting bacon chipotle oat nut bread ever.  We did the sommelier recommended wine pairings for the evening, which consisted of a French chardonnay for the first course and an Argentinian cab for the main course (we split the wine flight for my ability to drive home afterwards).  We then asked our waiter if our friend was in the kitchen that night.  After our waiter passed a note from our table to our friend in the kitchen, the sous chef (Eric Brandt) for the night came out to greet and welcome us!  I was totally shocked but very pleased.

Onto the food!

Amuse: complimentary pre-first course from the chef.  It was a tiny salad made with asparagus, yellow tomato puree (I’m guessing here, it was hard to tell), a tangy sweet dressing with some pine nuts.  Crunchy, tangy, a great way to whet your tastebuds.

mansion-1.jpg

First course: I got the chicken tortilla soup, rich with fresh avocado slices and freshly shredded cheddar cheese.  Funny story here, the soup was served in 3 steps: first the guy with the bowl came by (bowl only had crunchy tortilla strips), then the guy with the soup came by to ladle it into the bowl, then the guy with the fresh cheese came by to top off the soup.  It took THREE people to serve a bowl of soup!  I was amused.  The soup was fabulous, the rich flavors of the broth with the rich texture of the avocados and the cheese, then surprise, crunchy tortilla strip!  Oh it was to die for (and I’m a huge soup person).  My companion got the field green salad with toasted fresh goat cheese and baby tomatoes.  I had a brief bite and the fresh herb-crusted goat cheese was melt in your mouth good.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (the photo really doesn’t do justice):

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Field Green Salad with Toasted Herbed Goat Cheese:

mansion-salad.jpg

Intermezzo: lobster taco with jicama salad, compliments of the chef.  This was my favorite course of the night.  The lobster was tender, buttery, in contrast to the ever so slightly spicy salsa that topped the taco.  The jicama salad also made a good refreshing companion to an otherwise oh-so-rich dish.

mansion-lobster.jpg

Main course: I got the queso covered roasted chicken and my companion got the grilled Atlantic salmon.  The queso sauce on my kitchen was outstanding (not too viscous, not too runny, cheesy but not ridiculously rich), and the chicken was tender and moist.  I was getting pretty full at this point so I didn’t finish my chicken, I did manage to polish off quite a bit of the buttery green beans and mashed potatoes it came with.  The Atlantic salmon across the table looked (and tasted, I had a bite) excellent.  It was served with a light cornmeal stuffing (odd combination, but I think it works in this “southwestern flare” style).

Queso Roast Chicken:

mansion-chicken.jpg

Grilled Atlantic Salmon:

mansion-salmon.jpg

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with a Mascarpone Sauce (I think that was the sauce, I honestly can’t remember I was so full at this point).  Rich, dark chocolate mousse, the kind I like.

mansion-mousse.jpg

Post dinner candies: dark chocolate pyramids, candied pineapple pieces, and tiny turtle brownies.  I was so full at this point but made room for the little sweets.

mansion-candies.jpg

And another surprise when I got my car back from the valet!  Two tiny adorable gift bags with fresh homemade cookies sat on my center console.  What a nice touch to end an already memorable evening.

mansion-cookies.jpg

Thanks restaurant week for what may be the best meal I’ve had thus far.  I’ll definitely take advantage of this offer again next year (with wine pairings, tax and tip, $120 for the both of us, and worth every penny).  I can’t comment on how worthwhile the Mansion is at its regular menu prices, but it’s a great value for restaurant week!

Rating: 5 / 5 

The Mansion on Turtle Creek
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd
Dallas, TX 75219

Note: I found out the next morning that the lobster taco course does not come standard with the Restaurant Week menu.  It was truly courteous of the chef to do so due to our friendship with one his kitchen staff.  This is worth noting since my raving review was biased, especially as this was my favorite item of the night.  I would argue that with the quality of food and service, even without the lobster tacos, I still stand by my opinion that the Mansion is a good value for Restaurant Week.  Just something to keep in mind if you consider the Mansion for Restaurant Week.

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2 Responses to “Meal of a Lifetime at the Mansion on Turtle Creek”

  1. Scott 08/24/2006 at 8:49 am #

    Great write-up, Donna! Didn’t know about your web site. Keep up the good work.

    Scott

  2. donnaaries 08/24/2006 at 10:11 am #

    Thanks Scott! I can only aspire to be as detailed and thorough as you are in your reviews!

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