Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar


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+