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Frisco STYLE Magazine

Taking Flight

Jan 01, 2023 ● By Lisa Sciortino
by Lisa Sciortino

I wasn’t sure what to expect before a recent mid-week meal at Snowbird Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen, which opened late last year at The Star in Frisco. 

Although a coworker had given high praise to a dinner he had enjoyed there earlier in the month, I still wondered: Was this place more of a bar than a restaurant? More cocktails than kitchen? More style than substance? 

 That mystery continued briefly after setting foot in the small lobby, where a friend and I were directed to follow an attentive hostess through a heavy floor-to-ceiling black curtain. Once drawn, Snowbird’s visually stunning, expansive dining room was revealed. Its décor — with vibrant neon lighting, plush velvet furnishings, eclectic artwork, marble floors and brass accent pieces, among others — is an obvious nod to art deco style, but with definitive modern flair. 

 Latin-flavored dance music pumped throughout the place as we were led to a marble-topped table in a corner of the dining room that was not far from the bar. Our server, Adara, soon introduced herself and filled our water glasses from a decorative carafe before explaining the menu, which  includes more than a dozen cocktail selections, a sizeable wine list, upscale “Lounge Bites” (appetizers), salads and entrees as well as a handful of decadent desserts. 

 My friend opted for a glass of Prosecco, however I was intrigued by the place’s signature cocktail, the Snowbird, featuring a blend of tequila, orange liqueur, coconut cream and lime juice. Atop the liquid rests a mound of crushed ice that is spritzed with pea tea bitter spray resulting in a whimsical lavender color that, as Adara thoughtfully explained, slowly seeps onto the top layer of the otherwise white-hued beverage as the ice melts. Served in a Tajin-rimmed glass, the appearance of this sweet cocktail reminded me of a classic snow cone yet it tasted much like a delicious margarita.

Snowbird puts an Asian spin on its calamari appetizer, pairing it with kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish comprised of salted, fermented vegetables (in this case it is cabbage) and a sweet-and-spicy Thai chili sauce. Unlike other, more common versions of calamari, this one lacks heavy, fried breading. That is a very good thing as it allows the freshness of the delightfully chewy squid to shine through. 

Juicy red pomegranate seeds dotted the refreshingly cool Black Garlic Hummus. These fruity jewels also added a pop of unexpected sweetness to this dish, which is served with warm grilled pita triangles. Snowbird’s thick and creamy offering — made of chickpeas and featuring black garlic oil, pistachio crumbs and Espelette pepper — is also garnished with a smattering of microgreens. It’s a flavorful rendition of a classic.

 Another signature dish — the Snowbird Caesar Salad — boasts large, verdant romaine leaves coated in a light, tangy Caesar dressing. Tucked between those is shredded parmesan cheese baked into thin, crispy cracker-style rounds (also called tuiles), as well as equally thin and crispy strips of salty prosciutto ham. This salad was a meal in itself. 

I queried Adara about the entrée selection, which includes the Bone Marrow & Zabuton Fried Rice (a visually impressive dish served with a large bone jutting out of the bowl), as well as a Whole Roast Snapper and a Texas Wagyu Beef Filet. 

 Smitten with the spicy Asian flavors of the calamari appetizer, I opted to continue in that vein for my main course and ordered the Quinoa Chaufa Stir Fry. Served in a wide bowl, this generously portioned dish is a colorful blend of quinoa (an ancient grain), large chunks of tender chicken, seasonal vegetables and scallions in Snowbird’s flavorful, salty Nikkei sauce, topped with crunchy sesame seeds. With a texture unlike any stir fry I’ve ever tried (courtesy of the quinoa), it was a winner.

Adara explained that the Truffle Mac & Cheese was a recent addition to the menu. Large corkscrew-shaped cavatappi pasta is enveloped in a super-creamy sauce of vintage cheddar, aged provolone and goat cheeses that is infused with white truffle oil. Lightly browned and boasting a toothsome chew, it is topped with additional chunks of goat cheese and scallion slices. This elevated mac and cheese dish is most certainly crave-worthy (as evidenced by my friend’s unrelenting hankering for it in the days following our dinner). 

 The sweet treats on Snowbird’s petite dessert menu are tempting. We were torn between the Three Carrot Addiction, a three-layer carrot cake topped with cream cheese icing and semi-candied carrot shreds, and the Chocolate Trilogy, comprised of chocolate cake, a combination of white and dark chocolate mousse and vanilla Chantilly.

Ultimately, we couldn’t pass on the cleverly named Berry Me in Heaven. This small but artfully composed cake is a real looker with a layer of vanilla cake resting atop a layer of raspberry and mascarpone mousse. It is accompanied by vanilla Chantilly and fresh berries lightly dusted with confectioners sugar. This fruit-forward dessert was a refreshingly light end to a flavor-packed, memorable meal had in stunning surroundings. It was a much a delight for the senses as it was the palate. 

Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers learn about and enjoy local dining options. Is there an area restaurant that you’d like us to review? Email us at [email protected]

Lisa Sciortino is managing editor of Frisco STYLE Magazine.