TRAVEL HERE: PORKING OUT – JASPER’S STLYE
So my cool nephew was coming to town – the investment banker who lives on the Left Coast. He and his new wife were returning to Dallas for a visit, the first one since their amazing wedding at the DMA. We were taking them out to dinner and it couldn’t be just any old restaurant. Hubby asks me where we should go and my easy answer was Jasper’s Gourmet Backyard Cuisine at the Shops at Legacy in Plano.
Back in March, my best friend and nearly sister took me there for my birthday. We loved the chic interior and the delicious food. My nephew has one of those lifestyles that would look good on a character in a romance novel, so I’d never be able to impress him. I just don’t want to disappoint him. Hubby agreed Jasper’s sounded like the right choice.
It was a Sunday night, so we didn’t make reservations, but we were surprised by how very busy Jasper’s was on what should have been an off night. (Note to self: Next time, reservations.) When you enter the restaurant there’s a slick-looking bar to the right and dining to the left. Lights are dim and the feeling is both modern and warm – lots of wood, dark neutrals and luscious upholstery. I’m particularly fond of their light fixtures. My favorites are large, round, black and metal. A compliment to the waiter revealed the materials used are not what the sleek appearance suggests, but chicken wire and Austin stone.
So far, so good, but then there’s the wine. My husband and I like a good wine as much as the next guy, but our trope is finding spectacularly good wines at minuscule pricing. The nephew plans his honeymoon around wine tastings in a South American country. Would the wine list hold up to his very sophisticated tastes? Absolutely! We tried two different bottles of Napa wines, both favorites of the nephew and both delicious.
Appetizers were the next hurdle. My nephew’s job puts him in all the best eateries. Some are his clients, others he takes his clients to, and if I were a name dropper you’d recognize a few. So would Jasper’s have anything my nephew would like? I’d tried the crab cakes when I’d been there before, and they were so good, my friend and I joked about continuing to order them until we were too full to walk out of the restaurant. Nephew chose Maytag Blue Cheese Potato Chips – and we’re not talking Lay’s here. Sliced thin, but not too thin, then deep fried, the potatoes were drizzled with a creamy sauce and chunks of blue cheese. We didn’t clean out the basket, because if we had, that would have been the end of the meal. Very good, but also very filling.
For our main course, I returned to the Texas Peach Barbecued Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon Creamed Sweet Corn I’d had before. Not because the rest of the menu is not delicious sounding, but because once is just not enough for this entree. I split it with Hubby and he agreed it was a stunning treat for his mouth. Nephew and wife shared the filet and made moaning noises similar to ours, so I can only assume it was delicious. As sides we tried the mac-and-cheese and some spinach.
To top off the night, we ordered dessert, a “Mini-Trio” with Dark Chocolate Torte, Butterfinger Crème Brulee and Rocky Road Ice Cream Sandwich. Back in March, my friend and I had gotten pretty much the same dessert, except that we’d had Strawberry-Rhubarb Buckle instead of the Ice Cream Sandwich. Bad choice. Go for the Ice Cream Sandwich. Not that there is anything wrong with the Buckle, it’s scrumptious. It’s just that the Ice Cream Sandwich could possibly be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth and I’m not particularly fond of ice cream.
After the meal we took a stroll around the small lake that graces The Shops at Legacy. It was still a little warm for my West Coast nephew to thoroughly enjoy the exercise, but he did like the banjo players at the far end of the lake. We were tickled to see that the trash can on the north side was filled up with Cold Stone cups, just like it had been on a visit earlier in the summer. Good ice cream, but not as good as the Rocky Road Ice Cream Sandwiches we’d just inhaled.
So do go to Jasper’s. Chic enough for a special night out, but the meal won’t necessarily clean out your child’s college fund, unless you just made the first deposit. People were wearing everything from the ever-ubiquitous blue denim to frothy sundresses that said ‘big date night.’ I’m sure we’ll be back, even if it’s just to share a bottle of wine over some of those Maytag Blue Cheese Potato Chips. What about you? Have you been to Jasper’s yet?