What’s cooking at ... Village Kitchen in Highland Park?

Posted 8:13am on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013

At first glance, Village Kitchen, the new restaurant from chef Andre Natera, could easily be overlooked as just another ritzy, cliquish restaurant in Highland Park Village.

Thankfully, it has checked any attitude at the door, and instead focused on serving some of the best elevated comfort food around. The third time is perhaps the charm for this spot, whose previous incarnations were Village Marquee, and the highly-publicized Marquee Grill, from Top Chef alum Tre Wilcox.

Take the steak frites ($22), a well-executed entrée consisting of a flat iron steak, a large pat of parsley-flecked butter atop it and a near-bottomless side of matchstick fries.

We did try to start our lunch on a healthy note, however, and were smitten by the tuna avocado tartare ($15), which features inventive touches like a mango yolk, green olives and crispy quinoa. For the combination of textures alone, the dish is worth ordering. The accompanying baguette crisps are a fabulous touch.

Since our visit, we’ve noticed a number of even more creative dishes have been added to the menu, including a starter of poutine ($8), the decadent fries-and-cheese-curd dish from north of the border.

Because we’re already saving room for next time: The Pecan Lodge smoked brisket flatbread ($13) is sure to be a winner. The popular Dallas Farmers Market BBQ spot has teamed up with Village Kitchen for a dish that comes with none of the former’s long queues for the ’cue. Sounds like a match made in foodie heaven.

Village Kitchen, 33 Highland Park Village, 214-522-6035, hpvillagekitchen.com; on Facebook .

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