Monday, January 27, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Rise No.1 Souffle

My friend, Carol, was full of good ideas for how to spend our day together in Dallas.  When we were standing in a recreation of the Bush Oval Office, she mentioned that she hoped we'd have time to get souffles later that afternoon. I always have time for a souffle!

We walked into Rise No.1 on a quiet afternoon intending to catch up over a coffee and dessert souffle.  We ended up ordering a light meal, which became the culinary highlight of my trip to Dallas.

It started when the waitress mentioned their Rise No.1's famous "Marshmallow Soup."  Carol urged me to be hungry because she thought I would really like this creamy tomato and carrot soup with 3 perfect goat cheese souffles floating on top.  

When it came, I was struck by how much they really do look like marshmallows.  The soup was creamy, but not rich and had a depth of flavor that still has me puzzling, how did they do it?  I am the salt police and often find dishes to be heavy handed.  No, this soup was perfect - probably the best I have had in the cream category.  Rise No.1's Marshmallow Soup comes with a tiny pitcher of pesto oil to drizzle on top.  I tried it, but found the spongy goat cheese souffles were just the right complement to the soup - it didn't need anything else. It was magnifique. 

We rounded out our meal with a small "Rise No.1 Salad" (baby greens, roasted pecans, matchstick-cut Granny Smith apples and blue cheese - optional) dressed with a Pecan Vinaigrette in which I detected notes of vanilla.  I ate every bite.
Near the entrance (and within view of our table) was a beautiful display of French dishtowels for sale.  Aren't they lovely?  My favorite thing about French dishtowels is the imaginative and happy color combinations.  Orange, aqua and plum.  Red and bright pink.  Taupe, apricot and purple.  If I hadn't "organized" my dish towel collection lately and seen for myself just how many I have (forty? I might actually have 40), I would have bought myself one on the spot. They were gorgeous.
The restaurant has a very French-feeling sink area just outside the restrooms that is surprisingly beautiful.  The dim lighting, lavender-scented soap and basket of French linens to dry your hands gives a charming farmhouse feel to the area.  Never underestimate the power of a linen hand towel to make an impression.
Yes, we had dessert too.  Carol had a Tarte au Fruit (apple) and I sat cross-legged in the middle of this Chocolate Souffle, complete with chocolate sauce to pour inside.  Yum yum yum.

Linger is a good word to sum up our afternoon at Rise No.1 souffle and wine bar in Dallas, Texas.  Carol and I talked and talked and talked.  It was wonderful to reconnect - how can it be 5 years since we first met in a cooking class in Paris?  We picked up right where we left off and it was so much fun.  I must get back to Dallas...and quick!

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