100 Favorite Dishes, No. 82: The Oxtail Ragout at Central 214
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email Scott.
When you come upon the opportunity to dine at Hotel Palomar's Central 214, you must do at least two things: 1) Take advantage of the exposed prep kitchen to watch quiet genius chef Graham Dodds work his magic, and 2) for the love of everything holy, order the Oxtail Ragout.
This dish comes not without a story or two, best told by Dodds himself, but I'll share it here. Rather than a traditional gnocchi dough made from potato, his version makes inspired use of profiterole dough, or choux. This results in heavenly pillows of gnocchi that are crispy on the outside with a lighter-than-air inside, making the whole plate easier to finish off (which you most certainly will, so prepare accordingly). The pesto involved here is incredible, made painstakingly in a style Dodds picked up in Switzerland. Everything about this dish is delectable, from the fresh basil to the rich tomato broth to the meaty bits of oxtail. In a word, it's transcendental. Look for it on the fall menu at Central 214.
No. 100: The Cleaver and Block Burger at NHS Tavern
No. 99: The Bone Marrow at the Meddlesome Moth
No. 98: Arepas at Zaguan Latin Cafe
No. 97: Jalapeno Poppers at City Tavern
No. 96: Elotes: Everywhere
No. 95: Dan-Dan Noodles at Royal China
No. 94: Smoked Ham Mac and Cheese at The Porch
No. 93: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff
100 Favorite Dishes, No. 92: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso
No. 91: Devils On Horseback At The Chesterfield
No. 90: Ginger Soy Baby Back Ribs at Tei Tei Robata
No. 89: Croissants From Rush Patisserie
No. 88: The Reuben At The Cock & Bull
No. 87: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge
No. 86: The Roast Chicken At Bolsa
No. 85: Chicken-Fried Egg at Union Bear
No. 84: Brisket Tacos At Manny's
No. 83: The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at Smoke