New and Noteworthy

New and Noteworthy
Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, Plano
Photograph by Kevin Marple

Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar

Plano

Yes, it’s big and loud. Yes, it looks kinda franchise-y, but it’s not. The kitchen has a farm-to-table sensibility and it turns out imaginative, crowd-pleasing dishes at reasonable prices. Such as? Well, the Holmes Farm Bird, a spit-roasted half chicken seasoned with lemon and jacketed in a crisp skin; it comes with a roasted-shallot jus and sweet potato–fennel hash. Or the Three Little Pigs, a trio of pulled-pork sliders (right); the meat is glazed with a whiskey-spiked barbecue sauce and piled atop napa slaw. The Bacon and Egg Salad arrives in a tart vinaigrette, boosted with lardons, the better to meld with the sunny-side egg on top. And we’ve never had a flakier crust than on the apple-cranberry pie. Bar. 3601 Dallas Pkwy (972-993-2253). Open Mon–Thur 11–midnight, Fri 11–2 a.m., Sat & Sun 10–11. $$ W+

Olmos Park Bistro

San Antonio

A group of accomplished restaurateurs (once with L’Etoile) has taken over the former quarters of Valentino’s to offer French food with a significant bliss coefficient. High points include the seafood; good baked items, from bread to desserts; a relaxed and comfortable mien; and servers who understand what customers want and how to give it to them (although they were a tad slow early on). Raw oysters, sweet and fresh, made a winning starter, as did tasty escargots. Main courses range widely, from lobster and steak tartare to lamb tagine. We were more than satisfied with a marmite du pêcheur (seafood stew flavored with saffron and served with aioli), as well as grilled shrimp skewered on rosemary branches. All in all, a wonderfully auspicious start. Beer & wine. 4331 McCullough Ave, near Olmos traffic circle (210-826-0222). Dinner Sun–Thur 5–10, Fri & Sat 5–11. Brunch Sun 11:30–3. $$–$$$ W+

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