Offered a tasting by the local GM of Yard House, a decision was made to give it a try, and take a peek inside of this new place in Addison. At first glance, this place looks like a very upscale bar. Looks can be very deceiving. Upon entering the place, there is a steel fortress type of feel, and the black and steel modern look makes an impression into the mind. In the center of the restaurant, there is the holy grail for beer lovers, a bar with over 160 different taps, including a 6 switch local tap system that gets a new 6 count of brews every month. No doubt for it’s name, the Yard House offers yards of beer. A keg room is also visible to nosy patrons who wish to take a peek at the brewski available from the bar when venturing towards the bathrooms.
While the beer selection is ginormous, they also have mixed drinks, as well as a good wine selection. From Sake to Champagne, this place can give you pretty much any adult beverage desire you crave. Did i mention the beer floats? A unique take on the traditionally non-alcoholic root beer beverage, Yard House offers the twist on this tradition with either Framboise or a Chocolate Stout mixed with vanilla ice cream. For the calorie counting ladies, not that anyone really does this, they offer their Fresh & Skinny cocktail selection, which boasts of drinks at 140-200 calories per cocktail. This includes a cosmo, a lite lemon drop and a skinny margarita, so if you are tired of vodka and soda, these are a good try. Don’t worry, they also offer non-alcoholic beverages too, including some for the kiddos. They have flavored kids beverages, and can even mix them to give kids a “suicide” or “bubblegum” type of flavor. They offer fresh brewed flavored iced teas, and a lovely strawberry lemonade.
Don’t let this place fool you. This is not just another beer factory, pushing the swill for the masses. Although their menu can be quite overwhelming due to the amount of content on it, their dishes are quite tasty. Yard House might be dubbed one of the best places with bar food in Addison, when the time comes around. Their menu touts dishes for vegetarians, low calorie, and gluten free options. Their booth tables are large enough for up to 6, and they have silver wrapped in cloth napkins. Their executive chef is a high quality chef, and knows his food.
For starter plates, the Hot & Spicy Edimame and the Shrimp Ceviche was tried. Edimame normally comes plain, and traditionally is eaten by the hands. This Edimame is spicy, and on the Thai Scale it is about a 3 in spice. While it won’t cause your mouth to painfully blister, the red chili pepper, in combination with peanut, lime and orange are good, but are too spicy for children, so save this treat for adults. They are a little bit messy, so be prepared to wipe the fingers. On to the Ceviche, which is delicious, and is a must try on this menu. Complete with orange, ginger, tomatoes, fresh guacamole, radishes, and lime, this is lick your plate good. The only qualm about this dish when it was tried is that the flat chip that is served with it is round, so you have to make individual chips with your knife if you can. There are also only 3 round tortilla chips that while are quite large, are not enough for two servings for two people. Tortillas for this dish are lightly dusted with sea salt and black pepper, which adds to the dish quite well as they are not overly greasy. This dish can also get quite messy, so be prepared.
For a skinny appetizer, the Pear & Gorganzola flat bread is a tasty share. This dish is very similar to the one served at California Pizza Kitchen, and is vegetarian. Did I mention the entire flatbread dish is under 600 calories? It is pretty tasty, with the crispy, sweet & beautiful balsamic vinegar drizzled over the sliced pears, caramelized onions, topped with a light basil pesto.
Main course selection is so difficult at this restaurant because of the massive amount of selections on the menu. Does one go with Ribs, Steak, Chicken, Fish, Salad, Pasta, and the list is tirelessly endless. For salads, the Pan Seared Ahi Tuna was chosen. Although the tuna was previously frozen, this dish was excellent. Most people could probably not tell that the fish was previously frozen, and the Cajun-Teriyaki seasoning that the fish was seared with was slightly spicy, yet succulent and sweet. Perfectly seared, this dish was completed with a sesame vinagarette, carrots, crispy noodles, and was lightly tossed with a salad mix. This is a must eat for salad and tuna fans, and was also lick your plate good.
For a main course, the Porcini Crusted Halibut was sampled. The fish is well cooked, and seared. It is layered over mashed potatoes, asparagus, and bok choy, then topped off with a Porcini cream sauce with truffle oil. The sweet mushroom cream sauce is delicate, and the fish tasted smoky and darkly tempting. Completed as a finished meal, the halibut came in at a good taste. For our vegetarian friends, the Gardein meat that Yard House serves as a replacement for chicken meat was tried on the Mac & Cheese. While there was a slight texture difference, it wasn’t enough for people to miss chicken. As it stood, it was under salty, and the bacon was really missed by this non-vegetarian. However, the dish was really good when you add salt and pepper to it. Complete with wild mushrooms, cheddar, Parmesan cheese, and truffle oil, this dish was really good.
One of the dishes that looked appealing, but were never tried was the Ginger Crusted Norwegian Salmon. It looked delicious in the menu, and is a definite must try for next time. Desserts were missed, too, but they have celebratory desserts for the occasion. Creme Brulee for a Happy Birthday, an Anniversary, or just as a congratulatory dish makes a wonderful addition to any meal.
For more information about Yard House, visit their website, Facebook, or twitter.