Along the banks of posh Turtle Creek in Dallas, Paul Martin’s American Grill is a dimly lit getaway that can help diners forget the bustling city all around them. It sits in an area full of many of Dallas’ best restaurants, and fits in nicely there.
Walking in to Paul Martin’s, guests can’t help but notice the wall of wine adjacent to the bar. Founded by California restaurateur Paul Fleming and chef Brian Bennett, Paul Martin’s highlights exclusive wines, conscientiously raised premium beef and trusted seafood.
Fall football was on behind the bar, and the cozy booths were perfect for the change in the weather. The exposed ceiling beams and brick walls give the restaurant just a touch of industrial flare, but the olive chairs and cherry red booths provide some color as well. The space is sizable but arranged so that each table feels private, with planters, spacing and nooks arranged to seclude parties of any size.
The crowd that night ranged from families to first dates, with a smattering of medical professionals in scrubs and ladies who were enjoying the rich wine selection. Lying in a cross section of town between the active young professionals in Uptown, the proud gay-friendly Oak Lawn neighborhood and ritzy Highland Park, Paul Martin’s location and menu are poised to attract a diverse crowd.
Paul Martin’s offers up several enticing options, but we started with the seasonally inspired tortilla soup and the can’t-miss spinach artichoke dip. The tortilla soup was flavorful if a bit salty, but the crunchy tortilla strips gave it a nice texture. The spinach artichoke dip provided a rich appetizer that arrived sizzling hot. I had to be reminded to not eat all of it, as there was more meal to come.
Paul Martin’s wine selection is expansive, with over 60 varieties, focusing on California but reaching as far as Italy, France and New Zealand. They also serve draft beers and a number of classic cocktails. The Lynchburg Lemonade was refreshing and just strong enough.
My dining guest went straight for the crown jewel and ordered the surf and turf, a filet mignon with two massive shrimp. The steak was nicely cooked and moist, tender and delicious. It was accompanied by shrimp which proved difficult to de-shell, but were equally scrumptious and a nice complement to the steak. The meat rested on a bed of Pharaoh grains and mushroom sauce, bringing the dish together and proving to be very filling.
I went for the hoisin marinated pork chop and Brussels sprouts, an interesting Asian fusion of one of my favorite meals. The sprouts had a light crunch but were still succulent. The bacon vinaigrette might have canceled out any of the nutritional value of the sprouts, which burst with flavor and made me forget I was eating a vegetable.
The sizable bone-in pork chop was wonderfully cooked, juicy and flavorful. It was too much to eat, but made for a nice lunch the following day. The best part of the meal might have been an extra side we couldn’t avoid ordering. The mac and cheese is made with Tillamook white Cheddar and had a crunchy dusting on the top. Added flavor in the dish comes from La Quercia prosciutto, a great addition to any dish.
We finished with homemade pistachio ice cream, which was not overpowering but still tasty. The shortbread cookies that came with may have been rivals for the best part of the meal accolade.
It was rainy on our visit to Paul Martin’s, but the patio would make a perfect fall night in Turtle Creek Village. The staff was impressively attentive and tended to our every need without seeming overbearing. If you are looking for a restaurant where wine is the star and the menu is built to complement and build upon the expansive selection, Paul Martin’s is for you.
Cover | Shrimp Linguine and BBQ Pork Ribs | Photo courtesy Paul Martin’s American Grill