Mercury rising

Most of us in the neighborhood know about The Mercury Grill, whether we’ve eaten there or not. After all, it has been one of the top restaurants in Dallas since it opened (sans the “Grill”) in 1998.

Still, it can easily be missed among the retail shops, fast food joints and office buildings at the always-busy intersection of Preston and Forest.

Once inside, though, you’ll find an interior as serene as the exterior is frenetic: Executive chef and partner Chris Ward doesn’t like clutter, hence the restaurant’s soothing décor of clean lines, soft lighting and muted tones.

And the food? It’s contemporary American cuisine, highly lauded and creative. Or, in Ward’s own words, “It’s not foo foo.” Even this definition of understated is understated. And possibly not even a word (we couldn’t find foo foo in the dictionary). Yet somehow, we know just what he means. So with that, we’ll let the food do the talking.

THE MERCURY GRILL

11909 Preston (at Forest)

972-960-7774

Lunch Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dinner: Mon.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat.: 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.

$$$, FB, RR (see page 33 for key)

Halibut Wrapped in Bacon

2 russet potatoes

¾ cup cream

4 Italian plum tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

6 tablespoons butter

4 oz. extra virgin olive oil

20 slices bacon (may substitute with pancetta)

4 halibut filets

15 leaves of basil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel potatoes and cut into slices. Cover in cold salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from water and puree with a little added cooking water, cream and 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut ends of tomatoes and place on an oiled roasting pan. Cut garlic into thin slices, and insert into tomato cavities. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then cut each in half. Set aside in a pan with 2 tablespoons of butter and keep warm.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Wrap halibut with bacon, sauté in a non-stick pan, then place in oven for nine minutes.

Julienne the basil and add to tomatoes. Spread potato puree on a platter. Place halibut on top and sauce with the tomatoes. Serve immediately.


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