Ate at Jasper's in the Domain tonight. It is restaurant week, so we were able to try a number of different things for a relatively low price. $35 got both of us three courses. It was too much food for two people to eat, but we managed to get over that.
Service was solid. I think the multi-course setup during restaurant week plays in favor of good service and really gives a restaurant an opportunity to shine.
The ambiance is interesting. Its comfortably spaced, while the solid dark wood tables and comfy booths encourage lingering. The lighting is a little odd and dark in my opinion, and the conference/ dining room in the center of the space is strange. We were able to watch a power point display from our table if we wanted. It provided a lot of laughs for us, but I doubt they wanted us reading all their slides. It seems to be well soundproofed though and a cool space for dining or some purpose other than a meeting on trade secrets.
What we ate:
Shrimp and Grits: Very good. two large shrimp wrapped in prosciutto served over rich corn grits. The grits texture was a little weird at first, but the overall taste and creamy texture was a nice contrast to the salty bacon/shrimp. They were served in a crisp tortilla bowl we didn't eat.
Calamari: about eight pieces served on a soy/orange reduction. The calamari were fine, the sauce had a challenging punch to it that subsided quickly leaving the orange aftermath. I'm stil undecided on this one. It didn't suck.
Aged Gouda Ham Mac n Cheese: Overrated. I'd tell you why I think that, but you will probably try it anyway. (this was not on the restaurant week menu, but we had heard that it was a must eat.)
Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout: pretty cool dish. The sweet potatoes served underneath were spectacular. I think they were prepared with molasses. The fish filet was pretty much perfectly fried and stacked in 4 inch pieces vertically over the potato.
Half Rack Baby Back Ribs: I am an avid smoker and highly critical of bbq. These ribbs were perfectly cooked. The bones just pulled out. I could have done with less sauce, but I think that is kind of a Dallas thing. They were accompanied by baked new potatoes smothered in baked potato toppings. very good, if not a little rich for my taste.
I'm not a good judge of desserts. The chocolate cake was a solid production. It came with a little container of sweet cream that was meant to be poured over it we found out. It came with a little straw though. if you see someone order this, don't tell them you aren't supposed to drink it with the straw. its a built in laugh. This ain't the french laundry, they should probably keep the desserts straightforward like the food is.
The Butterfinger creme brulee was pretty cool. Again, it needed a little instruction but we figured it out. After a couple of vodka's, a bottle of wine and sudden onset food coma, I guess figuring out dessert was above my pay grade.
All in all there isn't much I'd go back for specifically, but i wouldn't be pissed if it came up in restaurant roulette.