The third of eight courses in "Leave it to Catbird," a new intimate dinner experience in Dallas. (Photo by Brittany Conerly)
One (Photo by Brittany Conerly)
The fourth of eight courses in "Leave it to Catbird," a new intimate dinner experience in Dallas. (Photo by Brittany Conerly)
The sixth of eight courses in "Leave it to Catbird," a new intimate dinner experience in Dallas. (Photo by Brittany Conerly)
The dessert course of "Leave it to Catbird," a new intimate dinner experience in Dallas. (Photo by Brittany Conerly)
Kicking things off with a cocktail at Leave it to Catbird. (Photo by Brittany Conerly)
Leave It To Catbird, a brand new dinner series at Thompson Dallas’s Catbird, makes a lot of sense if you know who’s behind it. The eight-course sequence of bites with cocktail pairings (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) is brought to you by Chef Jeramie Robison, who’s equal parts laidback-Louisianan-at-a-crawfish boil and exacting-perfectionist-tweezing-a-microgreen. You’ll be bellied up to the bar, chilling with the bartenders, and then… here comes a single diver scallop, sourced today, presented on its half-shell atop white “sand” (sushi rice blended to a powder), which Robison has splashed with water to conjure a beach gently washed by the tide.
Leave It To Catbird will offer a single seating at the temperature-controlled terrace bar every Thursday at 6:30 pm — eight diners maximum, $125 a head (booked through Resy). Each week, Robison will build a new menu based on collaboration with the mixologist and whatever’s in season. For example, in September, a champagne-sake-caviar cocktail might accompany oysters. Although the series is soft-launching this Thursday, September 21 in the lounge, you might want to wait a couple of months until the terrace bar construction is complete. That dedicated space will foster more intimacy—bartenders chatting about the mixing, the pairing choices, and whatever else comes up once everyone’s a few drinks deep.
Presentation will play a starring role — an earth-toned truffle shaving to complement the ruby pink of sushi-grade tuna, a compact wagyu strip highlighting the negative space of a white plate, a bright yellow flower floating on a green cocktail.
“The first thing I care about is ingredients,” says Robison. “Next thing is the vessel.” Those ingredients are carefully sourced and prepared à la minute. The dishes in question are cool: contemporary white ceramic plates come in various irregular shapes and sizes, food arranged in sync with their contours.
Innovation in the Unexpected
Robison comes from a lineage of men who know their way around the kitchen. “We fished. We hunted deer in the backyard. My dad always had a garden,” he recalls before describing his four uncles’ culinary skills as “phenomenal.” Even his grandfather, while stationed in Germany during World War II, was appointed Head Cook in the mess hall.
Since leaving Louisiana, Robison has worked at Uchi and The Mansion Restaurant on Turtle Creek, among other renowned restaurants, so it’s strange to think of him hidden inside a chain hotel. That said, in Texas, that’s where some of the most innovative chefs are these days. Mashama Bailey of The Grey Market and Diner Bar in Thompson Austin won the James Beard Award last year for Outstanding Chef. Another James Beard Award recipient, Hugo Ortega, helms Xochi, a Oaxacan restaurant tucked into Marriott Marquis Houston. And of course, we have Dean Fearing at his eponymous restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Dallas.
Now Robison has built another top-shelf hotel culinary destination, catering to discerning diners who want the highest quality ingredients, a unique night out, and—why not?—eight cocktails.