100 Favorite Dishes, No. 75: Escabeche at Joyce and Gigi's

It's a small plate, but this black sea bass escabeche packs a punch.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 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 me.

I have mixed feelings about Joyce and Gigi's during happy hour, and if you've fallen in love with the dining room in the evening, you likely may too. When the sun has set, the red accents in the dining room pop in the subdued lighting, the walls seem to glow and the Bossa Nova that coos from the speakers seduces. It could be one of the most romantic dining rooms you'll find in East Dallas. During the day, though, some of that romance is dulled.

The colors are muted and the space is quiet. It's like coming to the party two hours early, except this party comes with a brilliant escabeche and a few other appetizers and they're all suddenly half off.

Black sea bass cooked in lime juice is always a beautiful thing. The mild flavored fish soaks up all of that acidity like a sponge. It's so tart, in fact, you might pucker if it weren't for those tiny golden raisins that add some sweetness, or those strips of plantain chips that add even more sweet in addition to a pronounced crunch.

The cocktails are half off too, and a few wines by the glass can be had for a song. If happy hour typically evokes a warming tray of dry salty chicken wings and plastic cups of cheap beer, perhaps it's time you revisit the custom. And if you find you prefer Joyce and Gigi's in the evening, just stay in your seat until it comes.

No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher
No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas
No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing
No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah
No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake
No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet
No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co.
No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me
No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen
No. 87: The White Album at Spoon
No. 86: Ramen at Tei An
No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco
No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu
No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon
No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata
No. 81: The Toddfather at Cattleack Barbecue
No. 80: The Biryanis at Chennai
No. 79: Shish Tawook at Qariah
No. 78: Arepes at Zaguan
No. 77: Goat Momo at Everest Restaurant
No. 76: Steak Tartar at Gemma

Location Info

Joyce and Gigi's

1623 N. Hall St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Excellent food, dim lights, and breezy Brazilian music.  What better in life? 


One of my favorite dishes too and I've been craving it lately. Wednesday has HH all night. Hump Day can't come soon enough.

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