A guide to ordering from Sister, a new Dallas hotspot from Duro Hospitality
Expectations were high for any restaurant that will fill the space of The Grape, the Lower Greenville dining institution that closed in late 2019. Fortunately, Duro Hospitality was up to the task. The team behind The Charles, the decadent Italian spot in the Dallas Design District, debuted the restaurant’s slightly more laid-back counterpart — aptly named Sister — last fall, and it’s still nearly impossible to get a reservation.
Sister and the tender Charles Italian-ish fare immersed in maximalist designs dreamed up by Duro Hospitality co-founders Corbin and Ross See (of Sees Design). Both restaurants also won similar accolades. Charles and sister did Magazine D‘s “Best New Restaurants in Dallas” in 2018 and 2021, respectively, with the new Duro concept recognized in Texas monthly‘s “The Best New Restaurants in Texas of 2022.”
I was finally able to secure a coveted reservation this week and settled into a spot on the enclosed (and heated) patio out front. With bistro tables, lantern lighting, pink velvet banquettes, and a towering tree at the heart of the restaurant, the space had the feel of a romantic, trellised garden. After trying several dishes and cocktails from the Sister menu, we narrowed down our seven must-try dishes to new place.
Charred Eggplant Dip
Sister offers several small and large plates, pastas and vegetables, but they are all shareable. Our server encouraged us to mix and match, and what better way to start than with a light and healthy eggplant dip? Topped with black sesame seeds and olive oil, Japanese eggplant dip is made with tahini and garlic, giving it a similar flavor to the classic baba ghanoush dish. It is served with a mixture of cucumber, peppers, broccolini and tomatoes to scoop up every last bite.
The Munoz cocktail
My favorite cocktail of the evening, this concoction of Montolobos Mezcal and passion fruit was delicious, especially if you like mezcal. It’s not too lots on the smoky side, so if you like the idea of a margarita with a twist, Le Munoz might be your go-to. Sister also offers several Italian-inspired Aperol drinks like the Barbi (with Fords gin and lemon) and the Traditionale Spritz (with Belussi Prosecco and orange).
Grilled Pork and Veal Meatballs
A new twist on Sister’s previous beef and lamb meatballs, three giant servings of tender meat in a cast iron skillet of piperade, feta and jalapeño sauce. On a cold day, they are warm and wonderful.
Calabrian chilli ravioli
Sister’s pasta menu is so intriguing that I had to choose two. This ravioli is filled with broccoli ricotta and has a little kick of spice with the chili, but not too much to scare me.
Even more delicious than the chilli ravioli, the wild “boaranaise”. A twist on the classic bolognese (with wild boar for protein), this rye malfadin pasta is a delicious treat topped with Fiore Sardo cheese, an Italian cheese made from raw sheep’s milk. It’s a perfect combination of flavor and texture. You also get a sprinkling of fresh rosemary for the aromatics on top.
I didn’t take a picture of the charred carrots, unfortunately, but they really are something special. Instead, I’ll try to conjure up a mental image for you: a dish filled with several peeled and lightly blackened carrots is served with whipped feta cheese, dried apricots and spiced cashews. The sweet and savory dish almost tastes like a dessert.
Double Chocolate Bar
At least I took a picture of dessert. It’s more important anyway, right? After carefully considering the three options on the menu (a double chocolate bar, an olive oil cake and a banana budino) we opted for the chocolate bar – our server said it was her favourite. This dessert is a scrumptious chocolate mousse topped with toasted marshmallow. Be sure to toss each bite with the cherry sauce and smoked ice cream for the perfect bite. There is also a little mezcal in it if that makes it easier for you.