FDC #50: Dalton & Wade

Well hello! It’s been a while. How are you? Wow, you look really good! Hey, would you maybe want to get a drink sometime? No, not like a date. Wait. Do you want it to be a date? OK, not a date. I mean, it could be a date… I know a place. Yeah? OK, let’s do Dalton & Wade. See you Tuesday!

artist rendering of above conversation

Dalton & Wade has a dope date night, folks. On Tuesdays, for $40 a couple, you get an app, two meats, two sides, and a dessert. For $10 more, you can add in two Old Fashioneds. So FDC, four straight dudes (two with wives), coupled up and headed out. Named after a Cincinnati Bengal and a Miami Heat,* Dalton & Wade features “country-style home cooking.” Or what we in Minnesota like to call: “Southern food.” Also, like, a lot of whiskey.

(*Not actually true.)

Anyway, we ordered their whole date night menu, because of course we did.

Wait, you’re saying, there are more sides on that menu than just the four you’re allowed to order.

OK…

I mean… we ordered more sides. And rib tips off the regular menu. Our server legit thought we were nuts, but THIS IS FANCY DINNER CLUB, DAMMIT! WE GO HAM! (mmm, 🐖). Some say less is more, but not me. I always say, More Is More.™ (#murica) Also, I forgot to track a Quote of the Night, everyone’s favorite review feature, so I’m just gonna say “More is more,” is the #QOTN, because I know I definitely said it.

Anyway, first came the Old Fashioneds. And wow, the Wade Old Fashioned is easily the best $5 Old Fashioned I’ve ever had. I ordered a second one full price, and it was the best $10 Old Fashioned I’ve ever had.

I’m not a super boozy kinda girl, and this really hit the sweet spot — with the full whiskey flavor coming through, balanced by some bitter notes and orange two ways. If the platonic ideal of Old Fashioneds makes you feel like hard-charging 60s ad man Don Draper, this was not that. But honestly, I now only want OFs on the porch in the summer sun. Or in the dead of winter with natural light streaming in but me facing away from the windows so I can pretend it’s summer with this cocktail. Goodbye forever dark, smokey rooms filled with suits and hats.

X also got an earl grey cocktail called the Picard.

As for the food, it all hit the B+/A- level. Other than maybe the rib tips, nothing inspired a recommendation of, “Oh, you must order the ____.” But almost nothing was bad or even just OK. Solid, solid meal.

Those rib tips tho. Bomb dot com (#Y2K). They came out first and we all loved them, even The J who didn’t know that just the tips of ribs were something you could order. It came with cornbread that was just a touch dry, but I’m not Tom Colicchio, so whatever. I still ate it and would’ve gladly eaten more.

Then the apps — hush puppies and a beet salad. The HPs were also great! Real good start D&W!

And the beet salad was a beet salad. It’s a dish with a high floor but low ceiling. Basically the middle relief pitchers of menus — they’re gonna play, probably a lot, and really, their only job is to just not fuck up.

Next came the spread. Longtime FDC readers might remember our Revival spread (old friends might remember it as my Facebook cover photo for a while), and this was comparable.

FDC: Blurry portrait mode since 2013.

The meats: they were all smaller than I was expecting, but that’s ok because it was date night and we ordered a lot of food. The trout was the best. Cooked well, packed with a ton of flavor, I’d order it again in a heartbeat. The chicken was good, but it was chicken, you know? The pork and brisket were… let’s move on.

The two bites I had of this trout were delicious!

The sides:

  • Brussels Sprouts: I am unable to be objective when presented with a plate of bsprouts.
  • Mac & Cheese: The mac was super cheesy in a good way rather than a heavy, greasy way. A sign of real cheese, presumably. I love me some velveeta, but I’m getting older and it no chummy with my tummy…
  • JoJo potatoes: Turning this over to The J, foremost JoJo gourmand: “They were well seasoned and longer than typical JoJos which means they pleasantly occupied an even larger volume of the nom tank (i.e. stomach).”
  • Fried Apples: I didn’t really get it. Are they a thing? I thought the frying took out a lot of the juice, and with it the flavor. I wouldn’t get these again.
  • Cole Slaw: The slaw was solid. But the really notable thing was when we posted on instagram (cough @fancydinnerclub cough), we got a comment from @coleslaw4life, a.k.a., “the worlds foremost COLESLAW connoisseur,” a.k.a. my new favorite account.
  • Green beans: A surprise hit! Came with bacon bits, so maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes: Another surprise hit! No bacon here, this was a legit Loyola-Chicago cinderella story. Crispy, crunchy, tangy, not at all greasy.
  • Carrot Pudding: Think mashed potatoes but with carrots. Or chocolate pudding, but with carrots. Or carrots, but with puréed carrots. Tasted like the best version of Thanksgiving. This was probably the best side dish — the Villanova of sides. Right, Matt?

    Matt and his permanent date who was not invited to FDC date night. Sorry, Kate.

Then we had dessert. Dessert’s not really my thing, so I’ll just end this by saying I’m v v excited to return to Dalton & Wade, date night or not. Their Old Fashioned is legit tasty, and we all left happy and satisfied with our meal.

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