Editor's note: TheaterJones has a new bi-weekly feature, Dinner and a Show, in which we will pair a performing arts event in North Texas with a nearby restaurant, so you can make a night of your arts going. The restaurant reviews are written by Kelly Kirkendoll, a longtime North Texas public relations guru and food blogger who has the Kitchen Gone Rogue blog, where she writes about the local dining scene and shares recipes and other tips. The "show" part of this feature will be written by a TheaterJones arts writer. Look for this column every other Thursday.
Leslie Odom, Jr.
Presented by Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., Dallas
For tickets, click here
Thank the scheduling gods for this coup: The Dallas Symphony's pop series presents Leslie Odom, Jr., the weekend before the first national tour of Hamilton opens at the Music Hall at Fair Park (running April 2-May 5).
Odom, of course, is best known for winning the Tony Award for originating the role of Aaron Burr, playing opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, in the off-Broadway production at the Public Theater, and then on Broadway. You might also recognize Odom in a recurring role as a Reverend Curtis Scott in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as numerous other TV credits.
In this Dallas Symphony performance, Odom will perform Broadway, pop and R&B tunes. We're just guessing that Burr's signature tune, "Wait for It," will make an appearance.
If you want to learn more about Odom, read his book Failing Up: How To Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning, which we reviewed in the September Pages from the Arts column. His albums are also available for streaming on your favorite service.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar in Dallas
Address: 2501 N Harwood St. in Dallas
- Sunday: 10:30 a.m.- 10 p.m.
- Monday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
- Friday: 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.
- Saturday: 10:30 a.m. - 12 a.m.
- Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.
Parking: There's a lot of construction in the area, so the free valet service (offered for dinner only) is your best bet; otherwise, I suggest parking in the nearest garage you can find.
Distance from the show venue: 0.7 miles away
With all the beautiful spring weather we’ve been experiencing, I had to go with Dallas patio hot spot Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar to pair with an evening out to see Leslie Odom Jr. at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Voted as a “Best Patio in Dallas” by D Magazine and a “Best Outdoor Dining” spot by OpenTable, Saint Ann is located in the Harwood District of Dallas, just 0.7 miles from the Meyerson.
The restaurant's patio was the perfect place to be during the sunny 75-degree day we visited. Even during cold months, it would be a nice spot because they enclose the patio in the winter, thanks to retractable walls, a retractable roof and electric heaters that sit in warm-weather-hibernation right now.
Before we talk food, let’s talk a little history. Saint Ann occupies the bottom floor of a historic building that was originally St. Ann’s School, built in 1927. St. Ann’s was Dallas’ first school for Latino children, a valuable community resource staffed by the Daughters of Charity. About 20 years later, the building was enlarged as it continued to grow, and then it closed in 1974. The historic building was preserved and renovated by Harwood International and now houses Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar on the bottom floor (with restrooms upstairs) and The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum (featuring The Samurai Collection) on the second floor.
Appetizers and Drinks
From southern deviled eggs to a charcuterie board, tuna tartare, roasted cauliflower and bacon-wrapped chicken bites, the appetizer menu offers a wide selection to suit a variety of tastes. We opted for the yellowfin tuna tartare, which features tuna mixed with avocado, hothouse cucumber, tomato and habanero aioli, served with crostini. While it was delicious and we’d order it again, it was really light on the avocado. It was also light on the spice, so don’t let the word “habanero” in the menu description scare you away if you aren’t a spicy food fan. If you are, it has a nice subtle kick that pairs well with the tuna, fresh vegetables and slightly salty crostini.
Drink options also offer something for everyone, including wine (and wine flights), beer and cocktails. Their five signature cocktails were all appealing. As a gin fan, the Summer Session (made with Zephyr Gin, house-made lemonade, rosemary syrup and blackberry purée, served over ice and garnished with lemon and rosemary) jumped out at me. But in the end, a lighter option won—we ordered and enjoyed the Daisy Pinot Grigio.
Salads, Pizzas and Main Courses
The Saint Ann dinner menu offers a variety of salads, pizzas and entrees. Salads include traditional options like caesar, house and wedge plus a vinegar-roasted beet salad that caught my eye. Pizza options include a Margherita, a creamy mushroom truffle and a mozzarella and prosciutto creation.
The main entree selections cover the seafood, chicken, pork and beef bases, with both traditional and more creative combinations, including filet mignon, Chilean sea bass, red wine braised short ribs and more. We opted for the brick chicken and the jumbo seared scallops, which, according to our server, are new on the spring 2019 menu.
Saint Ann’s brick chicken featured a perfectly cooked piece of chicken—juicy on the inside, crispy and well-seasoned on the outside — and was served with pancetta, Brussels sprouts, baby potatoes and sage jus. The Brussels sprouts and potatoes were incredibly flavorful, and the pancetta pushed the whole dish over the top!
We also ordered the jumbo seared scallops. Scallops, in my experience, are typically a hero or a zero, and these landed in the hero spectrum. Nicely seared, seasoned well and packed with flavor, they were tender and delicious. The creamy risotto mixed with butternut squash, brown butter and a balsamic drizzle sent this dish over the top too.
Not realizing how generous our entree portions would be (or how full the tuna tartare with crostini would leave us), we also ordered two side dishes — the sautéed spinach and herb roasted mushrooms. The mushrooms looked amazing, but they were disappointing. They didn’t taste bad, but they were kind of bland, and I was expecting much more flavor.
The sautéed spinach, on the other hand, didn’t tempt our eyeballs the same way as the mushrooms, but it was divine. We’d definitely order the spinach side again. Other sides on the dinner menu include truffle fries, sweet potato fries, truffle mac ‘n cheese, grilled asparagus and three cheese grits.
Tips Before You Go
I have a few final recommendations for you:
- Reservations: the patio is first come, first serve; reservations are NOT taken for the patio due to unpredictable weather (according to Open Table, that changes during the months the patio is enclosed). Reservations ARE taken for interior seating.
- Parking: I recommend taking advantage of the free valet parking (available for dinner hours only) OR park at the Meyerson and walk or take a Lyft or Uber to/from the restaurant for a stress-free Dinner and a Show evening.
- Check it out: whether you sit inside or out, don’t miss the glass FLOOR in the entry area by the bar (it’s pretty cool).
- After-show drinks: if you can’t make it for dinner, Saint Ann is also a great spot for a post-show drink and/or dessert (it’s open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays).
» View more pictures from Saint Ann by clicking the slideshow icon in the floating menu at the lower left of your screen
» You can also read Kelly's review of Saint Ann on her blog, Kitchen Gone Rogue, which has additional photos.