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Restaurants & Bars 6

Il Mulino Dallas

Chip | Feb 7, 2005 11:32 AM

Since there have been so many conflicting reports and opinions on Il Mulino, I'll tell you about the wonderful meal I had at there on Saturday.

First, the atmosphere is really cool. It is a very elegant place, all dark wood paneling and chandeliers. I was in a tux and my date was wearing a ball gown, and the whole experience was fun and uplifting. All the staff, of which there are MANY, wore tuxes with white bow ties. They were all very knowledgable and extremely helpful.

The appetizers that they bring to your table before you even start looking at the menu were all very good, and included a hard italian sausage sliced thin and served cold, a really spicy cooked zuchini mixture, assorted breads with varying degrees of preparation, steamed mussels and Bruschetta. You really have to pace yourself in order to save room for the food that you pay for.

I ordered a salad-appetizer from the lengthy list of specials that was a mound of mixed greens in a strong-flavored spiced vineger and butter dressing. The greens were completely covered in very thin slices Bresaola, which is the air-cured beef of the Valtellina. The whole thing was very tasty and beautifully presented.

Next I had their signature porcini-stuffed ravioli served in the richest cream sauce I have had in my entire life. Very good all around! I asked the waiter about the size of the dish before ordering, and based on his advice I only ordered a half order (6 ravioli). After the appetizers and salad this was more than enough.

My companion ordered a seafood special of yellow snapper and various small sea creatures including mussels, shrimp and calamari. The whole thing was served in a Bordeaux Sauce. She liked it but mentioned that it was very salty. I tried it and agreed that it was in fact a very salty dish, and I have a fairly high tolerance for salt. Other than that everything was very tasty.

We accompanied the meal with a bottle of California Syrah (yeah, yeah, whatever -- it was what we wanted) that we enjoyed and got away with a total bill of just under $200 including 20% gratuity. I would happily return when I want an elegant dining experience other than a steak house in Dallas.

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