Unless you’ve been hiding under a massive rock, chances are you’ve heard the rumors about the dapper bartenders and vigorous shakes over at members-only saloon, Dot Dot Dot. In case you are living under a rock, this exclusive drinking den is located in the backlot of Park Road Shopping Center, and led by mixologist and co-owner Stefan Huebner, co-owner Conrad Hunter, executive chef David Quintana, and general manager Stephen Toth.
Dot Dot Dot has been showcasing Huebner’s skillfully fashioned libations since its doors opened back in July.
With an emphasis on seasonal flavors, Quintana hosted myself and a few friends for a private tasting of his fall menu. Quintana is dedicated to locally sourced ingredients from North Carolina, so expect some seasonal changes sprinkled in with his year-round staples. Here’s an inside look at what we feasted on during our evening.
First Course: Ricotta Gnocchi
What to expect: Golden pillows of perfectly cooked gnocchi that are accompanied by salt roasted beets, preserved chanterelles, brown butter and pea tendrils. I’m not going to lie here, I was very tempted to lick the bowl after we were finished. It’s that good.
Second Course: Sea Scallops
What to expect: Perfectly seared shellfish that’s crunchy on the outside, fork tender in the center, and will melt in your mouth. They’re a good size, served with a mix of pickled hakurei and nduja roasted fall turnips, charred shishito peppers, paw paw puree (think mango meets banana flavor) and a house-made celery cracker. I recommend adding a bit of every item on your fork and enjoying all of the elements at once. This allows the flavors to complement each other and heightens your overall experience with this dish.
Third Course: Cold Smoked Fried Chicken
What to expect: What is cold smoked? This entrée’s Springer Mountain Farms chicken does not reach a heat higher than 90 degrees, taking it low and slow for several hours until completely cooked. Results: Perfection. Served with house-fermented hot sauce, celery root puree, and young mustard greens from the Chef’s Farmer.
Fourth Course: Crispy Pork Shank
What to expect: This was my favorite dish from the evening, which I’ve been obsessing over ever since my first bite. Crispy trotter on a bed of sea island red peas with lusty monk mustard and a sunny side up farm egg. The flavor combination here is flawless. I recommend ordering this when you visit — I promise you will not be disappointed.
Fifth Course: Braised Beef Cheeks
What to expect: Tender beef that is braised for 72 hours and served with black truffle, pedro ximenez sherry, trumpet and porcini mushrooms on top of a bed of creamy parsnip mash. I’ve made parsnip fries at home, but never thought of mashing it! Mind blown.
Sixth Course: Foie Gras
What to expect: Talk about tender, loving care. This dish takes three days to assemble from start to finish — beginning with the foie gras soaking in brine for 24 hours, drying for 24 hours, and then smoking with hickory for the final 24 hours.
“This dish was inspired by a recipe in a Spanish cookbook that I translated with my mother,” Quintana said.
It’s served with pears that are wrapped in smoked duck ham and placed on top of a honey cake, alongside hazelnut-black cocoa crumble and vanilla bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup.
Visiting Dot Dot Dot is like traveling back in time to the Roaring Twenties. There’s a vintage feel within its walls with the wait staff dressed to match. The attention to detail can be seen from the candle-lit ambiance, to the casual atmosphere, and exquisite cuisine. I was truly impressed with my experience and would recommend that you check them out for yourself. In fact, I have already become a member and will be having dinner there again next week.
As for cocktails, I do recommend the Seasons Long Gone, Lily Wants a Pony and Lucy Loves Ricky (aren’t those fun names?).
To apply for your own membership, click here.
Cheers, friends (literally). I hope to see you there.
Photos: Jessica Bentley