The bright Dallas sky slowly gave way to a dimly lit dining room, but before our eyes could adjust, there was an immediate aromatic essence of eclectic meats, sounds of cocktails being masterfully mixed by acclaimed bartenders—blended with friendly staff members welcoming us to CBD.
CBD Provisions, the signature restaurant at 1920s neo-Gothic landmark known as The Joule, sits on Main Street in the heart of Downtown Dallas.
The modern Texas brasserie offers a creatively modern twist on Texas classics brought to you by Executive Chef Coner Seargeant, and is the hidden gem we've been waiting to find. Our table was waiting.
The rustic, yet modern dining spaces with their historic brick walls, salvaged wood floors, comfy leather banquettes and bustling bar scene set the stage for the array of Texan culinary traditions flowing from the open kitchen.
The evening began with cocktails that gleamed with color under the light fixtures.
The tequila paired with Blanc Vermouth and lime was a decadent and lightly sour cocktail that was easy to sip on in the Texas heat. The other was a rye whiskey cocktail that was enhanced through lemon flavor and bitters. A pleasant cocktail you could sip throughout the evening.
To enhance the flavor of the cocktails, we started with the Texas Bouillabaisse, showcasing a fresh seafood selection of fresh gulf shrimp, mussels and calamari—exuding a subtle saltiness.
Gulf shrimp were the eye grabber of the dish, as they were almost the size of a prawn, but the highlight of the Bouillabaisse was the crispy baguette topper covered ever so lightly in a saffron aioli.
We continued the evening with two more hand-crafted cocktails and watched onlookers as they turned heads being brought to our table. "The Garden Party" and "The One-Eyed Willie" were not only eye-catching on the cocktail list, but just as pretty table side.
The fruity cocktails provided a tropical getaway within every sip.
To counter the fruit, we chose a smoked carrot and avocado salad which sat atop the delicious saffron aioli mentioned in the bouillabaisse. Being masterfully created, this dish was (one of) the spotlight of the evening.
The crunchiness of the flash-fried quinoa accentuated the silkiness of the avocado perfectly. This is a dish you must try.
We then turned to a braised lamb shank. The meat was so incredibly tender, it fell off the bone without even bringing a knife into the equation.
With an overnight marinade concocted of orange zest, the meat brought a fruity flavor forward that was in perfect unison with the garden-picked zucchini strips and toasted cashews.
The penultimate entree was the showstopper of the evening: CBD's famous Berkshire Pig Head Carnitas
Roasted for nearly 48 hours and accompanied by freshly roasted tomatillo salsa, radishes and tortillas carnitas—the roasted pig head could feed an entire family. Digging into the crispy-to-the-touch cheek and jaw brought forth an unmatched, succulent flavor. This is a one-of-a-kind dish you will never forget. FYI: You'll need to call ahead 48 hours to reserve.
The natural saltiness of the pork gave us an excuse to end the evening on a sweet note. We finished with the Banana Trifle.
Marshmallow fluff with banana slices and crushed peanut butter cookies served parfait style, was just the ending that had us not only wanting more—but made us excited to come back again.
If you're in the mood for a restaurant that celebrates the natural bounty and culinary traditions of Texas with a contemporary twist, this is a spot you absolutely cannot miss when in Dallas.
Always available by foot and Uber, but should you take the Bentley, complimentary valet parking is available.