Chow, Baby: Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Suburban Safari

Sorry, but Southlake can’t have it both ways. Either every restaurateur in this exurb can complain to Chow, Baby that it never gets reviewed, or the Southlake “City” Council can continue to pretend that this is a teensy burg that never gets outsiders, and since everybody who lives there knows where everything is, why bother spending money on an occasional dang-blasted street sign? On a recent Saturday night Chow, Baby spent, no lie, two solid hours cruising back and forth along FM 1709, never knowing if it was on East Southlake Boulevard or West Southlake Boulevard, or if it had crossed onto Keller Parkway or even into some other county. Or even if it was going in the right direction: Naturally, the addresses on the buildings, which were mostly in clumps called Something Woodsy at Something Zoological Something Topographical, were not visible from the road (because there are no freaking street lights on this road). And then the rain came. Can’t blame that on the Southlake “City” Council, but Chow, Baby does anyway.
What kept Chow, Baby going? Mostly stubbornness, but also the comfort of a back-up plan. Chow, Baby was determined to visit Red Sage Euro-American Bistro, supposedly on this cursed road at 631 E. Southlake Blvd, because chef/owner Sage Sakiri is an ex of the late, lovely Café Panache in Hurst. But another Café Panache ex, Lee Mena, now runs the fabulous Mezza Luna, 1580 Keller Pkwy., and Chow, Baby knows exactly where that is. Not just from having been there a few times before, but also from having passed it several times this very evening. But Plan A came through once Chow, Baby allowed its inner female to ask directions at a gas station, and soon the Chowbabymobile was pulling into The Village at Timarron. (If anyone knows what a “timarron” is, please write in.)
What a lovely room. Red Sage exudes sophisticated bistro style, with modern furniture and twisty-pendant lighting, plus interesting (that is, hard to tell what it is) artwork on the warm red walls. The hostess didn’t fail to notice Chow, Baby’s road frazzledness, and offered a complimentary glass of wine along with the best seat in the house. The busboy, Danny, kept bread basket, pepper-oil dip, and odd-shaped water glass constantly filled. The server, Erik, was Chow, Baby’s favorite kind: gracious, knowledgeable, and mildly flirtatious, maintaining you’re-special! eye contact while reeling off the night’s off-menu items. The $32 T-bone sounded incredible, but so was the amount of gas money Chow, Baby had already spent. So, after much consultation with Erik on the merits of crab-stuffed pork loin and ginger-crusted salmon, Chow, Baby settled on a starter of a mixed green salad ($6) with the most delightful fruity-tangy-creamy pomegranate dressing, followed by a rack of lamb ($21). The lamb was stunning: five beautifully pink medium-rare ribs roasted in a red wine/rosemary sauce, with braised potato morsels and slivered carrots. There were no leftovers. There was barely room for dessert, a swoon-inducing mousse of lime and white chocolate ($7). That alone was worth the two-hour tour of Southlake Boulevard. Or Chow, Baby could move into, say, The Willows at Bear Cove and simply stroll to Red Sage every day. Whoops — no sidewalks.

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