Cool River Cafe has been one of Las Colinas’ most iconic restaurants, and the newly promoted Chef Fernando Rodriguez was eager to bring some great changes to their menu. Chef Fernando and Kent Rathbum spent about eight months to come up with their new menu, experimenting and improving upon each dish until they were perfect. They invited us in to give their new menu a try, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
To get started, they brought us out an Ahi Tuna Tartare on a salt block with wonton chips. The tartate came with avocado on top, thinly fresher cilantro, and Jalapeños on top. The wonton chips were crisp and salty. The avocado was fresh and delicious, and the tuna was fantastic and a little salty. Bit of heat from Jalapeños if you choose to eat one with it.
They paired this with Chandon Rose from California. Sweet rose but not too sweet, it was a great selection to go with the tuna, and a great way to help counter the saltiness of the dish.
Next up was the Baby Iceberg Wedge Salad. Small wedges of baby iceberg, blue cheese dressing with balsamic, blue cheese crumble, thickly sliced red onions, cherry tomatoes, and little bits of bacon. Light blue cheese flavored dressing, the basalmic made this an incredibly delicious dressing. Crisp lettuce and fresh tomatoes with a light sprinkle of pepper on top, this was an great salad choice.
This was paired with Cakebread Cellars 2015 Chardonnay, Napa Valley. Slighly sweet, smooth, no bitterness, we would pair this wine with several dishes. Hints of apple, pear, and melons, it is a rich and weightier Chardonnay.
Moving on from the appetizers, we had the Chilean Sea Bass. Hand seared striped bass, topped with pineapple relish and two hickory shrimp on top of a bed of wild greens and cilantro chive rice. Hickory flavored shrimp on top were light delicious. A fantastic combination of sweetness from the pineapple mixed with the red peppers, onions, and fish. A hearty, healthy dish for fish lovers. This was paired with the Cakebread Cellars 2015 Chardonnay too.
Nothing beats a good N. Y. Strip, and that was next out. A bone-in 16 oz Kansas strip, served over Bourson soft cream cheese that was folded into garlic mash potatoes, asparagus, bourbon flared season salt, and Wild Turkey 101 Bournemouth. The sauce is a brandy peppercorn sauce. The potatoes were fantastic with subtle hints of garlic. Asparagus is fresh and crisp with a slight searing and were excellent. Brandy peppercorn sauce adds a little extra flavoring to an already perfectly cooked steak. The bourbon flared season salt was quite the pleasant surprise too, a unique flavored salt to add to the dish.
They paired the steak up with Lancaster Estate 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, a robust red wine with hints of fruits and herbs. Not too sweet and not too dry.
To finish off an already very filling and amazing meal, they brought out their Texas Pecan Bread Pudding, which had Maker’s Mark caramel with vanilla ice cream on top. Warm caramel over cold vanilla ice cream, all covering a warm pecan bread pudding and a sprinkling of cinnamon and pecans. The contrasting of hot and cold was fantastic, and the dish overall was not too sweet. An excellent bread pudding, can we just lead with dessert next time? Seriously?
There wasn’t a single dish, not a single bite of this dinner that we didn’t enjoy. The wine pairings really enhanced the overall dining experience, not to mention helped the palate. A lot of hard work and dedication to the culinary arts went into the making of this new menu, and we can honestly say that you would be missing out if you didn’t make it in to try a dish or two. We can certainly recommend you start with dessert!