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The selection of charcuteries are the draw at Grapevine’s Great Scott. Photo by Kayla Stigall.

On the way to Grapevine’s Great Scott, you’ll drive by a Hooters and Pluckers to reach the small, unprepossessing building –– but don’t let the exterior or the neighbors fool you. It’s what’s inside Matthew Scott’s beautiful, eponymously-named eatery that stands out in the fast-food, chain-rich urban sprawl close to Grapevine Mills Mall. Scott, who formerly coordinated all things vino at the chi-chi Abacus Restaurant in Dallas, partnered with wife Danielle and Chef Norman Grimm to create a place that focused on using housemade, sustainable, and humanely raised products.

For starters, the charcuteries are presented much like a sushi specialty menu. Pick several items from the dozens on the pork-heavy list (the restaurant’s slogan is “Praise the Pig”), and add some cheese for balance. Our table of three started with the Landjäger (a traditional sausage), the lonza di Grapevine (cured pork loin), and the duck rillette. The artisan cheese selection on the day of our visit included truffle-kissed pecorino, blue, Gouda, and cheddar on an extraordinary looking slab of polished wood. I haven’t been so delighted with the appearance of a charcuterie platter since the last time I visited Grace, where Chef Blaine Staniford’s creations come out on a huge pink salt slab. The paper-thin, tasty slices of lonza were outstanding, especially when paired with the slightly sweet Gouda. Likewise, the hearty, more familiar-looking Landjäger tasted good with the cheddar that was so sharp it could almost cut you. Both the truffled pecorino and the pungent blue cheese chunks were also delicious.

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Great Scott

1701 Cross Roads Dr, Grapevine. 817-717-7701. Closed Sun. 5-10pm Mon-Thu, 5-11pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted. $$

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The duck rillette turned out to be a fairly bland, loose paste closer in consistency to baby food than it was to pâté. The dish was augmented by cranberry bread, thin-sliced baguette, tiny, tart pickled mushrooms, a fig purée that wasn’t very fruity, and a flavorful, stout whole-grain mustard.

For a second appetizer, the root vegetable salad was coated in a delightful lemony vinaigrette that paired well with the pungent, peppery arugula. The beets, carrots, and other root veggies served cold in the salad were a tad too al dente to be easily eaten.

There’s pig aplenty on the entrée menu but also fish and chicken. The catch of the day was a soft, flaky pink snapper served on a bed of roasted artichoke hearts and other seasonal veggies flavored like a ratatouille. The palm-sized slab of sweet, perfectly cooked fish was accompanied by two large, deliciously spiced prawns –– the slightly chewy crustaceans were a good counterpoint to the delicate seafood

The heritage chicken turned out to be half a breast and a leg. The skin-on bird was immaculately seasoned and incredibly moist, and it came atop what might be the best creamy, buttery mashed potatoes ever, along with a mélange of root vegetables.

There was one slight misstep: The braised short ribs, slathered in a thick, salty, almost smoky pan jus, were easy to cut with a fork though actually a little dry. However, the overly salted sauce worked well with the accompanying moderately bland, creamy grits.

Sticky toffee pudding was an outstanding end to the meal. A rich, heavy cake was paired with Tonka bean ice cream (Tonka beans are like vanilla beans but fancier). The whole creation was topped with warm caramel sauce that crystallized and got crunchy when it hit the ice cream.

Service was attentive, and co-owner Scott made rounds through the dining room like he was welcoming diners into his home. His wine menu covers all the bases nicely. The chefs are house-making much of the charcuterie, and in a few months, the appetizer offerings are probably going to be more spectacular. There are a lot of lovely touches at Great Scott, including a chef’s garden where some of the produce on your plate was picked that afternoon.

[box_info]Great Scott
Three-piece charcuterie w/cheese …………………….$20.50
Root vegetable salad ………………………………………..$4
Heritage chicken ……………………………………………..$25
Braised short ribs …………………………………………….$29
Fish of the day …………………………………………………$26
Sticky toffee pudding ……………………………………….$8[/box_info]

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