A restaurant entices with intrigueability, perhaps an unusual logo or interesting location, particularly so if it's one you pass by on a regular basis, and when you see it you exclaim, "That place looks interesting; I've always wanted to try it out!" But you continue to motor on, bent on achieving your appointed tasks, until one day curiosity gets the best of you and you determine to investigate. Maguires Restaurant, hard by the Tollway and Restaurant Row in North Dallas, is one such place, because I've always been intrigued by the logo and signage and because I've never been able to successfully figure out what kind of restaurant it is. Steakhouse? Bistro?? Upscale lounge??? Finally, spurred by a positive review from one of my colleagues and driven by the necessity of a birthday celebration. I loaded my lovely wife The Rock Star, her sister The Wild Thing, and their formidable mother The Momma into my conveyance and made the trip up Tollway one recent Saturday eve.
Atmospherically, Maguires is set up on the circular concept: A ring of booths on a sort of raised platform around the perimeter, interspersed with staff areas where waiters conduct their business, bisected by lines of tables and a central aisle. Stylish decor, not overly trendy or stuffy. We were seated by a window in the perimeter, where the energetic Joanie took charge of us.
At Joanie's insistence, we began our meal with the flatbread appetizer. Crispy sesame lavash with Buffalo chicken and sauce toppings, it was the perfect size for sharing and disappeared quickly. Breaking with convention, The Wild Thing decided to make a meal of starters with the tenderloin crostini, the baked, stuffed artichoke, and Maguires mixed greens salad. She let me try the tenderloin, a filet medallion with bearnaise. The menu promised melt-in-your-mouth goodness, and the crostini delivered, the meats silken bite playing perfectly with the tang of the bearnaise, and the crispness of the crostini. The mixed greens salad proved a delicate blend of bleu cheese, greens, apples, roasted pecans and Maguire's poppyseedish dressing. A nice, light prelude to the repast that followed. The Rock Star adored her massive, double-cut pork chop since it was prepared similar to pork tenderloin and not at all greasy, with excellent Southwest creamed corn, wilted spinach, and an unusual but effective champagne mustard seed gravy. Very nice, and not too dry. The Momma's request for a medium well done filet was rewarded with a medium well done filet. It was prepared to her liking and what more can be said? I love steak au poivre and was presented with a pepper-crusted filet perfectly medium rare as requested, sided by white mashed potatoes, toothsome asparagus spears, and cognac peppercorn sauce. While researching this post, I discovered that chef Brahmi was classically trained in his native France. That fact certainly showed in his beef treatment, as the beef was prepared with loving care. Throughout our lengthy stay, we washed our respective meals down with a good pairing pinot grigio, and very good claret, and an especially good bottle of Layer Cake Shiraz, which we will no doubt purchase for home consumption. Finally, we split a chocolate lava cake and took our leave.
Joanie proved quite attentive throughout the evening, and her enthusiasm was truly infectious.
Website is http://www.maguiresdallas.com/, if you're at all interested in that sort of thing.
Overall, a good time was had by all (there's a classic Texas saying), and we have definitely satisfied our curiosity about Maguires Restaurant and plan to return soon. Satisfy your own curiosity today, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!