Casual seafood dining is less than abundant in our landlocked city of Dallas, making a menu like that of Dive Coastal Cuisine look appealing to many diners.
Chef Franchesca Nor has an excellent list of items on the chalkboard menu above the ordering counter. A number of people take their time looking at this hand-written list, which doesn’t seem extremely welcoming by most behind the register who quickly question if the customer’s ready.
The cool colors of white, teal and blue tones throughout cool a customer’s mood and reflect Nor’s Southern California upbringing. She is there much of the time, making the experience the best you’ll be able to get at the restaurant. This care is translated to many of her food items, including the mahi-mahi, prepared to a tender meat with flavor throughout.
The ahi tuna wrap is another satisfying meal on the menu, which has more than these two items making it a healthy one. Ginger slaw mixed in with cucumber, avocado and a mildly coconut rice makes the seared ahi tuna scrumptious in any bite of the wrap — it’s probably that chili ponzu sauce covering it.
One to avoid, though, is the curry shrimp wrap. They might as well leave out the unseasoned shrimp and make it a veggie-curry wrap. The rest of it is fine, filling the spinach tortilla with coconut rice, greens, cucumber and the sweetness of granny smith apples that pair perfectly with the curry. Disappointment ensues when biting into a chunk of shrimp. Even the extra sauce on the side won’t save this one.
A couple of sides really excel, giving hope to others on the menu. Though they look like nothing special, the mashed potatoes carry a richness in every bite that could make them worthy of an entire meal. The French green beans are the salty and simple perfection that they should be.
The little neck and clams come tossed in a perfected pesto and angel hair pasta. Grilled bread makes it an even more indulgent meal.
The menu also has a long list of salads and cocktails. Beer and wine are served, which are probably the better alcoholic choices. The twisted mojito is a drink too tart to sip. The different iced teas at the “iced tea bar” (a small counter to the right of the ordering counter) has refreshing options.
Though Dive offers plenty of options to keep diners on a diet, the sweet list is a decent one, with an ice cream-covered Heath bar that sounds interesting and a key lime pie that has become a staple of the joint (at least, according to the handwritten menu). Shortly after the restaurant opened, Nor tested the pie on her menu, working on the granola, ginger snap and graham-cracker crust.
As with many healthy dining options, it’s not a cheap dinner for two. It’s a place to go with the safe and simple items that are more likely to be worth the money.
Dive Coastal Cuisine
Location: 3404 Rankin St. in Dallas 75205, 214-891-1700
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ambiance: Indoor seating. A walk-up ordering counter makes it feel like a quick and easy dining spot.
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Wine, beer and special cocktails