We told you in September via an interview with managing partner Nathan Landwer and the restaurant’s wine consultant Erin Allport that Dexter's New Standard is the rebirth, re-thinking and re-everything of the original Dexter's Winter Park.
The changes include more seating, the option for private dining, an Oyster bar, a space for live bands to play, and outdoor seating facing the Ravadauge fountains and courtyard.
The new menu was created by Executive Chef Ryan McLaughlin and Executive Chef de Cuisine Jason Wolfe – both formerly of K Restaurant. Sous Chef’s Ben Rouche and Jamal Lahiani round out out the kitchen team.
A mini-menu was presented to guests who were seated at tables and given full table service.
For the appetizer we chose the Braised Beef Short Rib with hummus, fermented romanesco & carrot peels, charred cippolini, and pita. The salad was the Baby Gem: cucumber, tomato, olive vinaigrette, toasted pistachios, feta, and green goddess dressing. The entree was Tres Major: black garlic soubise, blue oyster + black pearl mushrooms, baby carrots, and demi glace. The dessert was the Milk & Cookies platter which featured a cup of milk-looking panna cotta and mexican chocolate, snickerdoodle, oatmeal cherry, and chocolate chip cookies.
The highlight of the evening was the new-to-us manner in which one glass of wine is served. When a guest orders a glass of wine, it's a moment, a real treat! Dexter's "new standard" is to bring over an unopened bottle of what you ordered, let you read the label, give you sample taste, then pour you the glass. Wow!
Ok there were two highlights: the manner of wine-serving and... the music! The night we attended there was a 7 or 8 piece band pumping out full arrangements of pop songs led by two great singers. The sound filled the room but didn't overpower conversation. It made one feel they were at an event more than just out to dinner.