Damn it, he had me at churros. Yeasty, Flintstone-esque femurs of barely sweetened fried dough arrived searing-hot from the fryer, a thin dusting of cinnamon sugar making sexy-eyes at a ramekin of chocolate sauce. It wasn’t so much a menu item, but an edible benediction from a benevolent and highly gluten-tolerant deity. Leave it to Dan Wright to play culinary cupid, one small plate at a time.
And you thought a salad wasn’t sensuous? His fattoush purrs vibrancy, tangling humble pita bread croutons with scallions, yellow peppers, and cucumber along with snaps of lemon juice and Za’atar. But it’s his octopus dish that still stops traffic. Tender, milky legs spar with fiery crumbles of merguez sausage, while fried chickpeas and a hint of jalapeño add texture and extra heat. Wright serves a mean bouillabaisse, too—its creamy saffron broth laden with generous cubes of halibut, shrimp, and mussels.
Still, despite his notorious perfectionism, Wright’s saucy wit is never far behind. Succulent, still-pink lamb sliders arrive festooned with a “Baaahhh” flag, and there’s an engaging, color-coded wine list organized by flavor icons that could easily be decoded by kindergartners. Which is definitely superfluous considering the spot-on wine knowledge of easily the most professional service staff in OTR.