Named 2014 New Restaurant of the Year by The Dallas Morning News, Gemma continues to receive praise for its savory dishes and spectacular wine list. I’ve been anxious to try it, and aside from it being one of the hardest reservations to get in town, the food and wine come with a price tag to match the quality. But I recently had the opportunity to try it and the experience certainly lived up to the reviews.
We started with roasted baby artichokes and baked oysters that were both fantastic with bright flavors and fresh ingredients. Turkey meatballs were also on the table, but not gluten-free – I hear they were also quite tasty. I had the butter lettuce salad before our main, and while the picture may not look like much, the dressing was the perfect balance of tart vinegar on the delicate and sweet lettuce.
My main course was striped bass that was light, but full of flavor. For dessert, I opted for the vanilla bean panna cotta with house-made (flourless!) cookies that was not only gluten-free (a rarity in dessert other than ice cream) but also perfectly polished off the meal.
The couple who own the restaurant, Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers, moved from California where they worked at PRESS, a top destination in Napa Valley. They know their wine and food, reflected in both menues. Wines range from less than $50 to a couple hundred a bottle, with lots of variety. We shared a 2011 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Zeitgeist, which was wonderfully smooth and balanced.
With a sommelier and servers as charming as the décor, Gemma is the whole package. I’m already searching for my next occasion to return!