Editor's note: Twice a month, 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.
Old Jews Telling Jokes
Dallas — The title pretty much tells it, right? In this tour, running for three weeks in the Bank of America Theatre at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson, showcases five actors in a revue-type production that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. It celebrates the rich tradition of Jewish humor and "all the rabbis, complaining wives, fed-up husbands, patience-challenged physicians, gossiping ladies, and competitive men" populating it. The humor is suggestive and even raunchy as the "Old Jews" make fun of themselves as well as followers of every other religion. Said producer Philip Roger Roy, “Think Catskills comedy with jokes, songs, stories, skits, and routines. The humor is reminiscent of the great Jewish comedians from Buddy Hackett and Alan King to Tom Lehrer, and more.” Warning: Because of some bawdy humor, it's not recommended for anyone under the age of 21. It runs July 12-28. Get tickets here.
The Fifth Fireside Patio and Bar
Address: 2701 Custer Parkway, Ste. 700, Richardson (in the Canyon Creek area)
- 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday
- 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Parking: Street parking
Distance from the show venue: About three minutes away
For this week’s Dinner and a Show column, I reviewed The Fifth Fireside Patio and Bar, a patio dining spot that opened in February in Richardson.
It’s hard to believe that The Fifth just opened in mid-February. The evening I visited, it elicited an it’s-been-a-favorite-neighborhood-joint-for-years kind of vibe. That vibe, the food, the lovely patio and the live jazz I unexpectedly got to enjoy kept me there for hours and made me reluctant to leave.
How did the restaurant get its name? It’s the fifth restaurant in this location, so the owners decided to get creative and call it “The Fifth.” After my experience, it looks like the fifth time’s a charm.
Cocktails and Wine
Craft cocktails on the menu at The Fifth include: A Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned, The Fifty Sazerac (made with rye, cognac, simple syrup, bitters and absinthe), a Blackberry Lemon Drop, a Hibiscus Gin and Tonic, a Rye Collins, a Poloma and a French 75. They also have an extensive wine selection, with options available by the bottle and by the glass.
I ordered the Hibiscus Gin and Tonic. Made with Amsterdam gin and tonic, hibiscus syrup, lime juice and sparkling water, it’s refreshing without being too sweet. It’s also my new favorite gin cocktail. Bonus: my second one tasted exactly the same as my first (one sign of a well-run bar).
Appetizers on the dinner menu range from calamari to ahi tuna nachos to a charcuterie board, tempura fried burrata, meatballs and three different kinds of flatbreads.
I opted for the ahi tuna nachos. There are 6 nachos to an order, and each is made with a crispy wonton topped with a generous piece of ahi tuna that is topped with ponzu, sesame seeds, wasabi cream, a thin jalapeño slice, avocado and togarashi. The combination of flavors was balanced nicely, and despite the jalapeño slice, it wasn’t too spicy. I was dining solo that night and was grateful I didn’t have to share.
My table neighbors ordered the burrata and told me they loved it. When I questioned my server about his favorite app, he said the burrata was at the top of his list.
Salads, Entrees and Sides
Before I talk about all the options on the menu at The Fifth, I have to talk about the burger I ordered.
I love burgers, but I usually restrain myself and opt for “healthier” dishes. But a burger made with a mix of ground strip steak, filet and ground brisket?! I couldn’t pass that up. Even if it is called the Fat Shady burger. However, I ordered it without the brie and subbed out the fries for green beans, so it’s all good, right?
Tender and flavored just right, the burger meat could have been eaten alone. I’m not saying you should miss out on the delightful house made bun or the truffle aioli, brie, herb mushrooms, greens or tomato that come with it. I’m just saying you could easily enjoy it with none of its culinary accessories.
As for my side dish, the green beans were cooked just right for my preference (seasoned well and not too crunchy, not too soft), and the basil aioli sauce on top was divine.
Brussels sprouts aren’t listed as a side dish on the menu, but I learned that you can order them as one anyway, so I opted to give them a try too. Brussels sprouts, bacon and tear drop Peruvian peppers made this side dish a contender for favorite side item.
Also on the menu at The Fifth are all kinds of enticing salads (from a beet salad with goat cheese to an herb crusted salmon one), two soups, a pan seared salmon (that my table neighbors loved), veggie pasta, herb roasted chicken, shrimp and grits, smoked short rib, Manhattan strip streak, tenderloin and ahi tuna.
Coffee Done Right
This self-professed coffee snob was happy to learn that they had French press coffee, and it was a delicious ending to my night. It’s made using a blend of beans from the local Eiland Coffee Roasters, located just down the street in Richardson.
Cool Patio and Live Jazz
The night I visited, it was a surprisingly comfortable almost 90 degrees. With a nice breeze and a levered panel ceiling that the staff adjusted periodically to avert direct sunlight, I was a happy camper.
Then I heard three little words that will melt any Texan’s heart: “climate-controlled patio.” They said that a/c on the patio was being installed the following week, so it will be 20 degrees cooler on the patio this summer than the normal outdoor temperature. Guess where I’m heading when it’s 100 degrees to comfortably eat outside!? And there’s a patio fireplace for the winter months …
To top it all off, they have free live jazz on the patio on Sunday evenings from 6-9pm. The band is Gabe Meadows and the Lush Life Trio plus guests (trumpet player Bill Taylor was a guest the night I was there).
Also of note: they have a brunch menu!
» View more pictures from The Fifth Fireside Patio and Bar by clicking the slideshow icon in the floating menu at the lower left of your screen
» You can also read Kelly's review of The Fifth Fireside Patio and Bar on her blog, Kitchen Gone Rogue, which has additional photos.