09 Aug Stephan Pyles’ Flora Street Café Earns Only Current 5-Star Rating
From the moment it opened its doors in the summer of 2016, it was easy to see that Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café had extraordinary ambitions.
Exuberantly, sometimes thrillingly, the cooking blurred the lines between modern Texan and modern Mexican (the two have much in common, after all). If the plates were sometimes overwrought and execution uneven, the experience was certainly impressive, and the Arts District restaurant earned four stars in its first Dallas Morning News review.
Since then, the chefs – Pyles, chef de cuisine Peter Barlow and executive pastry chef Ricardo “Ricchi” Sanchez – have reined in and focused their aesthetic, unleashing unfettered brilliance. A small slab of lamb belly – crispy-edged, rich, meltingly tender, absurdly flavorful – finds its soul mate in an achingly beautiful huarache piped with avocado crema and strewn with peas, shaved fresh and pickled rhubarb, and blossoms of crimson and violet. With nothing more than pea dust adorning the plate, there’s nary an extraneous note. It’s visually stunning – and stunningly delicious…