Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bolsa at Bishop Arts District

On the cusp of the hip and trendy Bishop Arts District, Bolsa is considered one of the "it" places to dine in Dallas. A recent review by D Magazine raved about the restaurant's well structured and extensive wine list and ever changing menu, giving nods to executive chef Graham Dodds' memorable culinary creations. I often find that great chefs enjoy a challenge, and considering the fact that one of the best vegan meals I've had in town was created by Dallas' own Abraham Salum, that review of Bolsa was all I needed to get me on the phone with chef Graham Dodds. The chef assured me that creating a vegan meal would not be a problem, so my good friend and fellow vegetarian Sara and I decided to give Bolsa a try, taking a taxi in case the wine list really was as good as D Magazine touted. After a nightmarish cab ride across town, we arrived at the demure hotspot and were happy to learn the wine list really was that good! Organized by price, the wine list offers a heavy selection of South American wines ranging from $25-$55. While some bolder reds were not available at every price range, the daily updated list did include several organic and sustainable wines suitable for vegans. Sampling 

several different reds, we ultimately settled on a bottle of the Chilean Viu Manent Carmenere with our dinner. Sara and I decided to start with a bowl of the accidentally vegan Butternut Squash Bisque. The creamy bisque was equally beautiful in color and flavor, and with the accompanying assortment of crackers, I was tempted to order seconds as my entrée. Sara's selection for dinner was the "Twig and Branch" flatbread topped with arugula, Dallas goat cheese, and oven-roasted grapes, and Bolsa partner Royce Ring, who visited with us for a short chat, confirmed that the flatbread could be made vegan by omitting the cheese. I probably would have selected the flatbread for dinner as well, but having remembered our prior conversation, the chef was already preparing me a vegan eggplant parmigiana. My first bite into the lightly crusted eggplant, topped with grilled portobello mushroom slices and a bright pomodoro sauce, was a nearly religious experience! I savored each bite with reverence, wishing the experience would never end. And although difficult to part with, the better part of me had to give Sara a taste. Of all my friends, only Sara's love for fresh vegetables and new culinary adventures rivals that of mine. Not surprisingly, her reaction was equal to mine in delight and awe, but alas, dinner at Bolsa did have to come to an end. Fortunately, I can look forward to more vegan culinary crafts from the justly celebrated chef Graham Dodds.

614 W. Davis Street
(214) 367-9367

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