I love new places. I love quirky new places even more. My new Uptown jam has to be Next Door Dallas. From the ivy and mirror covered patio to the door knocker staircase to the stereo speaker walls upstairs, Next Door knows what it’s doing.
The group behind Avenu Lounge and Landmark Bar & Kitchen in Fort Worth is the same group behind Next Door featuring delicious food, craft drinks, and in indoor/outdoor space. They were kind enough to host Brandon from Brandon Does Dallas and me to a generous sampling of the treats on their menu just a few weeks ago.
Naturally, we started off with a pair of drinks. Brandon got the Pineapple Habereno Margarita (Sauza Tequila, Patron Mango, pineapple juice and habanero), he’s a fan of spicy drinks, while I got the Basic Beach, obviously. My drink had Captain Morgan Rum, Patron Mango, passion fruit and lime. Really, I saw the drink name on the menu and felt like it picked me. Although the drink was good I switched over to the Strawberry Fields (Effen Black Cherry Vodka, homemade strawberry syrup, lime juice, sparkling Shiraz) because I can drink anything mimosa-like a little more easily with food. If I had to pick, Strawberry Fields.
Soup and Salad Bites
These are sharable bites but a little on the lighter side.
Cobb Salad Bites: Mini little cobb salads in a bacon weave basket. So cute! Lettuce topped with blue cheese, avocado, and a little quail egg.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Dumplings: These were Brandon’s favorite. Cheese and bacon stuffed parmesan dumplings in tomato soup served to you ON A SPOON! It’s the epitome of both bite-sized and comfort food.
French Onion Dumpling: Honest moment? I can’t remember if I’ve ever had french onion soup. All I know about French onion soup is that there are a lot of onions in it. These are served to you in a little escargot-like ramekin so each dumpling is in an individual slot. With plenty of onion to go around plus gruyere cheese, you get the feeling of the soup. Negative comment, the cheese on top made it difficult to scoop out the dumplings.
We were able to pick off some of the shareable plates they offer. Little bite size portions of dishes perfect for sharing, or not sharing. If you wanted to eat them on their own they would be a reasonable size for one person.
House Smoked Salmon: Think of this like a deconstructed bagel and lox, but change the bagel to a long buttered piece of grilled ciabatta and a housemade tarragon aioli instead of cream cheese. I could eat that ciabatta all day. But I love bread. I also love salmon. I’m not a big fan of cream cheese or cream cheese-esque things so, eh.
Tuna Poke Nachos: Let me just say, I love poke. Love it. It’s my new thing. I could eat it all day and maybe I should because I think that’s healthy. Even if it’s not. These were little bite size portions of tuna poke on top of wonton crisps with cucumber, wasabi crema and pine nuts. I refused to let them take the plate away as they brought the rest of the dishes. I was going to make sure I finished those nachos.
Cajun Crab Cakes: Fried to a golden perfection and topped with a remoulade sauce these are the cakes to get if you want to get crabby with someone. I would have more to say but there were crab cakes, they were good crab cakes, but still crab cakes.
Large Plates and Pizzas
This is where you want to go on the menu if you are hungry and don’t want to share, or hungry but generous enough to share. Either way.
Lemon Pesto Spaghetini: These came to us in such a cute setup, individually portioned on the plate in little spaghetini twirl-ups. Normally the dish comes with spaghetini with lemon pesto, a sunny side up quail egg, pinenuts, and shaved parmesan. You can add chicken to it, though, but it doesn’t need it. I loved the lemon pesto and feel inspired to start added lemon to my pesto those few times I make pesto anything.
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza: Always end on a high note. This was my favorite item off the menu we had, next to the tuna poke nachos. Take your normal pizza, add some cremini mushrooms, goat cheese, fresh arugula and top that off with some truffle oil and you have pizza perfection. I took this home with me and refused to let Brandon have any of it. My pizza.
50% photo credit to Brandon Does Dallas. Some of my photos just didn’t turn out like I thought they did but his photos were bombtastic!