Best Dallas Restaurants Serve Up More Than Just Steak and Barbecue
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
In Dallas, restaurant options are limitless. Ranging from classy, elegant venues that serve a wide variety of courses paired with select wines, like The French Room, to traditional steakhouses that serve choice cuts of meat with tasty sides, such as Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Dallas treats visitors to world-class Texan hospitality.
Some feature modern, trendy décor and are places to see and be seen, while others offer intimate, romantic settings perfect for a night out on the town with your beloved. Some are newcomers to the Dallas restaurant scene, while others are prominent restaurants with decades of experience serving Dallas clientele.
The best restaurants in Dallas offer more than delicious cuisine – they offer wonderful ambiances, great service and dining experiences visitors will never forget. Skip the chains and choose a restaurant that is a one-of-a-kind Dallas institution. Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Dallas dining on your own.
If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Dallas Best Restaurants list. Here, we narrow down the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.
The French Room
Along with opulent decor, The French Room offers an aesthetically and gastronomically exceptional experience. The restaurant boasts a magical baroque ambiance -- gilded ceilings, ornate columns, overhead murals, and crystal chandeliers. Diners are transported to France in this beautiful spot! The menu, just as decadent, showcases entrees like white miso-marinated Icelandic halibut, seared quail breast, and New Zealand venison chops. Some of the most popular appetizers here include foie gras and crab cake. The elegant restaurant is also renowned for sumptuous desserts like a roasted apple napoleon and flourless chocolate cake. The staff is very attentive and helpful, so you won't feel intimidated to try new things. (214-742-8200)
It's no wonder that after five years Victor Tangos continues to be one of Dallas' most popular drinking and dining haunts. The attraction? The atmosphere is lively, the service is friendly, the libations are cleverly crafted and the food is top-notch. Plus, most everything on the menu is priced under $25. The restaurant's hip environs accommodate all occasions with a blend of cozy booths, communal tables and casual perches at the bar. Meanwhile, the menu features a mixture of tapas style dishes, large plates and daily specials that are inspired by whatever executive chef Kirstyn Brewer finds fresh at the market. Expect to see items ranging from crispy flatbreads with goat cheese, duck and balsamic figs to blackberry barbecue lamb chops and orecchiette carbonara topped with a farm egg. Save room for Brewer's whimsical desserts--her peanut butter and strawberry jam bread pudding is wickedly good. (214-252-8595)
Bob's Steak & Chop House
The quintessential old-school steakhouse, Bob's Steak and Chop house is traditionally styled with crisp table linens, mahogany booths, and a polished bar. Start off your meal with the mozzarella and poblano stuffed bacon wrapped shrimp or the lobster bisque soup. Then move into the main course with Bob's main specialty, the choice cuts of USDA Prime Midwestern corn-fed beef. Other starters like Maryland crab cakes and a tangy blue-cheese salad whet the appetite for a perfectly prepared rib-eye, porterhouse, or succulent rack of lamb - all served with hefty portions of potatoes and Bob's signature sugar-glazed carrots. Complementing everything are select wines and desserts. (214-528-9446)
This Knox-Henderson neighborhood restaurant features eclectic global cuisine with Pacific Rim influences, and it encourages diners to step outside the box and try something new. Innovative recipes and fresh seasonal ingredients give dynamic twists to dishes like pan-seared red snapper and lobster shooters. Other popular dishes there that won't disappoint include the black truffle risotto, duck breast with lo mein, and the pan-seared scallops. Enjoy Abacus' unique cuisine in a beautiful, relaxed dining room fashionably appointed with rich woods, metal and glass sculpture, contemporary art, and gleaming geometric designs. An open kitchen provides great views of the master at work. (214-559-3111)
Located inside the elegant Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel in the Uptown neighborhood, Fearing's is one of Dallas' finest restaurants. The chef, Dean Fearing, is the person who put the Mansion on the map, and diners will not be disappointed with his namesake restaurant. The cuisine is considered to be New American or Southwestern, and some of the specialties there include the tortilla soup, fried lobster, buffalo tenderloin and the butternut squash taquito. Start off your evening at the Rattlesnake Bar, located in the lobby of the Ritz, and then finish off your meal with an over-the-top dessert, like the banana pudding. ((214) 922-4848)
Teppo attracts a bevy of hip young patrons excited about feasting on fresh sushi and sashimi. It's located on Lower Greenville, so it's a great place to start out an evening of fun. Menu favorites include the yakitori and a large selection of rolls, tempura and noodle dishes. The duck breast kushiyaki and the ginger and yam ice cream are must-tries. A select wine list, sake and beer complete the bar options. The decor is unpretentious, marked by light-colored woods, polished stone and an outdoor, bamboo-shaded patio. It's a great spot to go when you want to celebrate a milestone, such as your anniversary, or want to impress your special date. (214-826-8989)
Romantic and brimming with character, this New American- French fusion restaurant serves an ever-changing menu of culinary delights. Start out with the famous "mushroom soup," and then enjoy favorites like fresh rigatoni and marinated Australian lamb strip loin, which keeps diners well-satisfied. And don't miss the bistro street fries, the most popular items on the entire menu. Outdoor dining adds to the charm of this Lower Greenville Avenue bistro while the interior features red and white checkered table cloths and hand-painted murals. The wine menu lists over 150 selections, 15 of which are available by the glass. No matter what you're in the mood for - from burgers to seafood - the Grape will not disappoint. (214-828-1981)
Located in the always-trendy Shops of Highland Park, Madrina is Dallas' newest restaurant. The cuisine marries traditional Mexican food with French cooking techniques and features fabulous entrees like Lobster Bisque en Croute with traditional French-style bisque, Mexican-inspired vegetables and black jalapeno ash; Enfrijoladas with homemade cilantro tortillas, duck confit, crispy duck skin and crema; and Plantain Empanadas with steamed plantain casing filled with braised oxtail, capers and chives. Start off your meal with one of many decadent cocktails that feature agave-distilled spirits such as mezcal, tequila from Mexico and Armagnacs, Eau de vies and aperitifs from France. Dress to impress at this Highland Park enclave. ((469) 513-2505)
From starters to desserts, this upscale steakhouse in the Highland Park neighborhood serves practically perfect meals. Salads are exceptional, especially a warm goat cheese version topped with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Generous main courses like the Kobe/Angus filet mignon, Cowboy Cut rib-eye and swordfish never fail to please, and choice wines are available to complement any meal. The interior features dark woods, soft lighting and a domed ceiling that showcases a colorful painting of Renaissance balloons. Al Biernat's is ideal for any kind of dinner - from a romantic dinner date to a client dinner. You're sure to impress whomever you take to this Highland Park staple. (214-219-2201)
Mansion on Turtle Creek Restaurant
A meal taken at the Mansion is a true sensory pleasure, and it is the perfect Dallas restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. The main dining area envelops guests with warm colors, beamed ceilings, wood paneling, and leaded glass windows; there's also an exquisite enclosed veranda. The inventive menu is just as inviting, thanks to dishes like venison loin with white polenta, Pacific halibut with melted leeks, and rack of lamb crusted with hazelnuts, garlic, and herbs. Signature dishes like a warm lobster taco and tortilla soup enhance the epicurean delights at this Oak Lawn treasure. Sunday brunch carries the same quality and flavor. (214-559-2100)
About Denise Brandenberg
Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years. Denise started her career as an advertising agency copywriter, recruiter, and manager of online forums for an international meeting planning association. She ventured off on her own a few years ago, to start an adventurous career as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Denise’s other work can be found at Global Road Warrior, USA Today, Chron.com, The Motley Fool, LovetoKnow, The Meeting Professional, and several other online publications.
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