One thing you can count on: Chef Dean Fearing did not become the star of the Dallas dining scene by truly being the simple, aw-shucks country boy he expertly prtrays when making the rounds of the tables in the dazzling dining rooms of the Ritz-Carlton. He has a steel-trap intelligence, which has calculated exactly what diners want when they come to the fanciest hotel in the glitziest city in the Lone Star State. He knows, for instance, that a lot of them still crave the classy Southwestern and Mexican-accented dishes that made him famous way back in the eighties, when he put the Mansion on Turtle Creek on the map – robust creations like a mesquite grilled, molasses-mopped prime ribeye. He’s all about big monster flavors and upscale redos of the rootsy dishes. But he also knows that the denizens of North Dallas, women in particular, welcome the caloric restraint of dishes like sashimi-like sliced hamachi with an avocado-wasabi puree and crisp matchsticks of Asian pear. There’s something for everyone. And they all like lolling around on cushy banquettes in the main dining room, among the acres of honey onyx and African mahogany paneling.
(From November 2009) As one of only two restaurants in the country to be included on Hotels magazine’s list of Great Hotel Restaurants of 2009, Fearing’s finds itself in the exceedingly well-heeled company of such destinations as the Loggia, in Florence, and Lung King Heen, at the Four Seasons Hong Kong. And while its posh setting contributes greatly to the dining experience, it’s the food that really matters. We firmly believe that there might be revolution in the streets if chef Dean were to remove his famed lobster bisque from the menu, what with its warm coconut milk, sizzling rice, and lobster wonton floating on top. We salivate as we recall our fabulous entrée of mesquite-grilled wild salmon (from the Bay of Fundy, no less) with a spectacular peach barbecue sauce.