Don’t worry, your passport can stay right where it’s been since March. But you can treat your taste buds to an exotic culinary vacation nonetheless.
Closed since the initial Dallas County lockdown eight months ago, Tulum at the Shops at Highland Park reopened for business in early November. We went to a preview dinner the night before the public was invited to return and we have to say, this new version of Tulum will knock your flip-flops off (assuming you’re mentally on a beach in Mexico like we are).
It was also the first indoor dining we’ve done since the lockdown and we were impressed with the level of safety we witnessed among the staff, from mask-wearing to sanitizing surfaces.
The interior of the restaurant looks just like the one you remember from pre-pandemic days, but there’s a new chef in town (Enrique Olvera, formerly of Jalisco Norte) and he’s completely recreated the menu. The new menu items combine classic Mexican flavors with exquisite presentation for a wonderful dining experience that feels truly special.
Sorry, no neon-yellow queso to be found anywhere within these four walls.
Highlights of the new menu (and there are many) include three different tartare preparations to choose from, including scallops, tuna and an amazing vegan version featuring beets and eggplant. Instead of the usual chips and salsa, make sure to start with the sikil pak, a creole mayan sauce served with a rustic, heirloom corn tostada. We’ve never tasted anything quite like it, but we want to eat it again and again.
Main courses allow Chef Olvera the biggest opportunity to flex his creative muscles, with one showstopper after another. Choose from salmon (pictured above), lamb chops with mole sauce, cochinita pibil-style pork, octopus and sous vide flat iron steak, among other delectable options.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mexican vacation (real or otherwise) without a few cocktails and the beverages here will definitely put a smile (not a sunburn) on your face. We tried several and they’re all incredible depending on the flavors you enjoy most, but you can’t go wrong with the frozen meza margarita. This delicious blend of coconut water, coconut milk, pineapple juice and organic tequila can be best described as the refreshing lovechild of a piña colada and a margarita.
They’re now open for dinner service only and reservations are recommended due to reduced capacity indoor dining allowances.
TulumPhotos courtesy of Tulum
Now open again
4216 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas