Tuesday, May 21, 2013
So I've gotten two reviews under my belt but I think this just might be my most important and best review yet. You see I am an expert when it comes to food. I have eaten food my whole life. I eat food everyday and I keep it stored in my house so I always have it around. I spend a good bit of my time every week planning and shopping for food. Food is on my mind a lot and several hours of my day are committed to preparing, cooking and eating food. Due to my long list of credentials I feel very confident and capable of reviewing my brother-in-law, Elias Pope's new restaurant HG SPLY CO.
Levi and I got the special invitation to visit HG (which stands for Hunt and Gather) before its actual opening this past weekend. Levi and I got there a bit early...okay we were the very first people to arrive but listen, when you have the opportunity to go somewhere cool without all your munchkins you get a little anxious and overly excited. We were seated and met by our waitress who was so stinikin cute and sweet with lots of personality which we loved! Levi and I spent the first few minutes just trying to get our bearings because we had been in this building before but now it looked completely different. Originally it was just a shell. Elias had taken us around trying to describe his vision but at the time all I saw was lots of dirty brick. But WOW! It was amazing to see his vision actually be reality and way better than I could have ever imagined. The walls are still brick, the floor still concrete but now it looks purposeful and planned. Everything has a vintage feel with subway tile (I'm such a sucker for subway tile) covering the bar area, chalkboards, and handmade tables from railway cars. Not one detail has gone untouched. Even the knives have "hunter" appeal.
We ordered our drinks, Bergamot Knees for me and the Kettle Bell for Levi. Both were amazing! In fact we managed to have every cocktail on the menu except for two which we will definitely try next time. Every drink was original and clean tasting. No mixes or refined sugars are used in these trendy named concoctions. Levi's favorite drink was the HG Moscow Mule, vodka, lime, agave syrup and ginger kombucha. Super cool. It came in a really awesome copper mug which Levi loved because usually when he orders a drink it comes in some girly glass that makes him question his manhood. This is not the case at HG where the general atmosphere has a definite manly appeal.
We ordered the bacon wrapped pork shanks as our appetizer and let me tell you I have NEVER tasted anything so good in all my life! I am going to have a hard time ever trying anything else on the menu because all I want is more of this amazing pork wrapped pork. What a perfect combination. So simple yet absolutely devine. Next was the salad. I can't remember the name but it was the one with arugula, apples and oranges. I really loved the fresh fruits mixed with the bitter arugula. It was light and refreshing and I'm planning on recreating this at home. After that more drinks arrived along with the sandwich Levi has not stopped talking about yet. This BLT was not your normal bacon, lettuce and tomato between two pieces of bread. This was heaven between temptation. Levi and I have not eaten bread since December so when this beautiful tower of chef-created nut and seed bread, pork belly, arugula, marinated tomato, cucumber and espresso bacon aioli arrived our will to say no to carbs flew out the door. Some temptations should be given in to. This is one of them.
The main course of duck confit came last and although we had eaten enough for four people already we still managed to savor every bite of this beautiful bird. (I'm laughing right now at myself because just thinking back on it has my mouth watering. But it is 9:45 am and it is perfectly acceptable to be craving duck and cocktails, right?) Our sides were sweet potato hash and the broccoli. We loved them both. This meal never disappointed. I was sure that with so much variety we would come across something I didn't love but with each new dish I was having to (unsuccessfully) contain the "OHHHHHH" and "MMMMMMMMMM" from escaping my busily chewing mouth.
And that was just the food. The atmosphere was fun and trendy with good music and Robert Redford movies playing out on the projector. Apparently Robert Redford is the ultimate man? Maybe just a really good hunter? I should ask about this...I do know the owner. The bar was busy and there was lots of movement and noise which only added to the awesomeness of feeling like you were somewhere that cool people go. (Do cool people say "cool" anymore? Well, this one does.)
And you think the experience is almost over once you can no longer put that fork back into the hole in your face but then your waitress says, "Would you like me to get you a drink to enjoy on our totally awesome roof deck with the most amazing view of Dallas?" YES PLEASE!!!! But let me just give you a little warning here...it is like a gazillion stairs to climb up and after 6 drinks I'm pretty sure they move. But it is totally worth the risk of falling to your death to enjoy this special feature of incredible views, cool breezes, and starry endless sky. But for those of you whose calves cannot make the climb there is a lovely outdoor sitting area right out back with a great view of the stairs which makes for great entertainment when people watching.
So when you go this week here is what you should expect:
You should dress cute. This isn't Applebees. Look good, it adds to your experience.
You are going to spend some money. BUT IT IS WORTH IT. Sure you could probably get by with ordering a salad and water but why would you? This food is worth every penny. It is REAL. It comes from local farms and businesses and that amazing flavor you taste is from God-made spices, not chemicals. And your waiter/waitress is going to be awesome so be ready to leave a good tip. They will have earned it and deserve it.
Parking is in the back. You have to walk around to get to the front door. Bring some pepper-spray. Actually the area is pretty well lit but it is always good to be prepared.
Say hi to Elias for us. Encourage him to drink some water. He has been working so hard on this dream. He even hand-made the outdoor chairs and benches with my father-in-law. His literal blood, sweat, and tears are evident in the outcome of this phenomenal vision come to reality. I know this review is biased but it is because I know the man behind the scenes. I know he is a man of integrity, passion, devotion, and amazing talent. And all of these things are proven through his hard work and this new real food for real people restaurant, HG SPLY CO.
Check it out soon. It opens today. Let me know how much you loved it! I'm sure you will see us there!!!