Last night after the Tomato Festival, my wife and I decided to give One Restaurant at try. It's located on Hampson just across Carrollton at the River Bend. I called to get a surprisingly easy reservation at the last minute.
When we walked in at 7:45 there were only 5-6 other tables occupied. The kitchen is wide open and located in the middle of the restaurant. The decor is modern minimalist and the vibe is very relaxed and homey. It seemed like everyone in the place was a local and a regular customer.
I can't say enough good things about this place. My Pimms cup came with lots of cucumber and was just what I needed. My wife's kiwi, watermelon and lime martini was light, refreshing and very much to her liking.
For starters we shared a seared scallop appetizer over grilled squash in a honey paprika gastrique. The scallops were huge, perfectly bronzed, expertly seasoned, and cooked just right. The squash was cut like an enormous french fry and managed to be crispy on the outside and delicious all the way through. I've personally never thought to mix honey and paprika but it worked amazingly well. Great dish.
We shared a salad of arugula, watermelon, candied pecans and goat cheese for our next course. It was vibrant, bright and refreshing. The chunks of fresh watermelon were interspersed with a pickled watermelon rind that sounds strange but really made the dish. It reminded me of some kind of jelly. I couldn't believe it was pickled rind. The goat cheese was very high quality and the pecans were candied in house.
For main courses I had the beer braised rabbit, which is the best rabbit dish I've had since I moved back to the States from Sicily two years ago. There were some lovely mushrooms and carrots in a very light stew and the rabbit was fork tender and falling apart. It came with some kind of potato and cheese croquette or ball (i really don't recall) that was melt in your mouth fantastic. I wish there were more of those potatoes.
The wife had a lovely spaghetti with huge fried oysters, bacon, and rapini. It was hearty and still had an element of a light summer meal to it. I know that sounds contradictory, but that's how we both described it.
We had been out for more time at that point than my dog's bladder can endure, so we regretfully headed home without dessert, although some Blue Bell ice cream was eaten shortly after our arrival.
Overall, it was one of my most pleasant recent dining experiences. There isn't a dish on the menu above $25 (And that includes the tenderloin of beef), the cocktails are creative and delicious, the wine list diverse and interesting. All this place is missing is people. I feel like it is every bit as enjoyable as Jacques-Imos without the obligatory hour long wait. On one level I'm happy this is our new "secret" spot, on the other I think these folks deserve a little more attention and business.