Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature dishes really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Dallas has had much success cultivating great restaurants and creating a substantial market for Seafood.
Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at a wide variety of popular restaurants. No matter what your seafood preference, Dallas has it all. If you're in the mood for New England fare, such as lobster or New England clam chowder, visit Daddy Jack's Lobster and Chow House or Kenny's Wood Fired Grill.
If you're in the mood for an elegant, romantic seafood dinner, go to Cafe Pacific or Oceanaire Seafood Room in the North Dallas area. These restaurants offer extensive wine lists, caviar and flown-in daily catches from both coasts.
Want to try some fresh gulf seafood? Sure you do - you're in Texas after all! Make a special trip to visit the local favorite, Hook Line and Sinker, which serves the best fried catfish and shrimp in all of Dallas. If you have a hankering for oysters, go to S&D Oyster Company in Uptown. Dallas isn't in Louisiana, but several local spots serve some of the best Cajun seafood, including Dodie's Seafood Cafe.
Kenny's Wood Fired Grill
This elegant restaurant is located in Addison (North Dallas). It has the atmosphere and decor of a 1940s Chicago chophouse combined with New England-style seafood. Meals begin with Kenny's famous popovers, along with a wide variety of great appetizers like the lobster deviled eggs, home smoked salmon and coconut shrimp. Some of the most popular menu items there include the 8 oz. filet topped with a half-pound crab cake, wood-grilled salmon, redfish with cajun spices, and the U-10 bacon wrapped shrimp (which comes with Colby-Jack Cheese, chipotle cream, smoked jalapeno, avocado crema and roasted corn salsa). Vodka drinkers will be delighted that Kenny's has Grey Goose vodka on a signature frozen tap system. (9723929663)
Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill
This elegant seafood restaurant is located in the North Dallas neighborhood of Addison. It has won several awards, including the "Award of Excellence" from Wine Spectator between 2002 through 2007. Start off your meal with one of many seafood appetizers like Hawaiian poke, spiced ahi tuna, cold water blue point oysters or jumbo lump crab meat. Some of the most popular menu items include the lobster and shrimp mac n cheese, grilled redfish and crab legs with roasted onion mashed potatoes and asparagus. The star of the show though, is the always wonderful surf and turf plate - with an 8 oz. filet mignon and 8 oz. Australian lobster tail. (972-503-3474)
Hook Line & Sinker
This Uptown dive is one of Dallas' best kept secrets. Hook Line & Sinker doesn't have a website, but it does have some of the best seafood in town. The atmosphere is casual and the crowd is one of the most diverse in Dallas. Some of the best dishes there include the 1 lb of boiled shrimp and 1 lb of boiled crab legs (served with corn on the cob and boiled potatoes), the fried catfish basket and the Mexican shrimp cocktail. Don't miss the raw oysters during the winter months. The atmosphere is definitely casual - no stuffy uptight dining room here! (214-965-0707)
Tei Tei Robata Bar
The Tei Tei experience starts well before you enter the modern dining room. On approach, a modest stone pathway leads through a lovely garden that seems worlds away from busy Knox-Henderson. Inside, steel, copper, and exposed brick complement geometric lines and an Eastern aesthetic, stunning the senses. Sushi, sashimi, and rice bowls are impeccably prepared and presented, and grilled creations like foil-wrapped sea bass and sun-dried Spanish mackerel pay due tribute to the cuisine of Northern Japan. The sleek bar is a nice place to hang out before you're seated. Tei Tei Robata Bar is great for a first date, romantic dinner or a meal out with friends. (214-828-2400)
S&D Oyster Company
This New Orleans-style restaurant, with its sea shack-inspired dining room, has kept Uptown well fed since 1976, thanks to savory po' boys, barbecued shrimp, and gumbo. Of course, oysters are the joint's specialty, and they're prepared just about any way imaginable: steamed, raw, fried, etc. What's more, tasty, down home sides like coleslaw and hush puppies are themselves worth a visit. Casual and always ready to accommodate families, S&D gets particularly busy on weekends. During the week, it's a great spot for business lunches. The service there is spot on, with professional, helpful wait staff always ready to serve you. (214-880-0111)
Oceanaire Seafood Room
A cheery, 1930s-era ocean liner motif welcomes diners to this popular seafood restaurant, where the specialty is fresh fish flown in daily. Start off your meal with one of many delicious appetizers like the Oysters Rockefeller, fried red chile calamari, tequila shrimp ceviche, or for a decadent treat, the Carolina Osetra caviar. Select a plate from the oyster bar's abundance, or order treats like Dover sole and bluefin tuna. Maine lobster, weighing up to seven pounds, is typically available and makes for quite a decadent feast. The bar serves both classic and signature cocktails --- try a Perfect Screwdriver or a Harvey Wallbanger. (972-759-2277)
Dodie's Seafood Cafe
When Cajun food cravings strike, Dodie's is sure to satisfy. This family-run seafood restaurant's appeal is universal among the locals, who love to sit on the patio, people-watch and dig into spicy Cajun treats. Be sure to try the Cajun tamales (crabmeat-stuffed jalapenos), jambalaya and Dodie's famous "swamp fries," which come smothered in gravy and cheese. Other popular seafood appetizers include the raw oysters on the half shell. Some of the best seafood plates there include the blackened redfish, pecan-crusted gulf fish, and pan fried mahi mahi. Non-seafood eaters, take heart – Dodie's has roast beef po' boys, blackened chicken and red beans and rice. (214-821-8890)
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)
Daddy Jack's Lobster & Chowder House
Lobster Madness specials, stuffed shrimp and – without question – the best lobster bisque in Dallas make this casual cafe a must for seafood fanatics. Every dish at Daddy Jack's Lobster & Chowder House comes from Jack's family recipes and is prepared with plenty of TLC. From Monday to Wednesday, diners can take advantage of the dine-in only "Lobster Madness" special that includes a whole Maine lobster, baked potato and vegetable. There are even steaks and vegetable pasta dishes for the "landlubbers." So, settle in at this family-friendly seafood place where the staff is jovial and the atmosphere is festive. (214-826-4910)
Fresh, excellently prepared cuisine is served by a white-jacketed waitstaff at this Highland Park treasure. The menu options range from grilled seafood accompanied by tasty dips to more substantial items like goat cheese-stuffed rack of lamb. Start off your seafood meal with wonderful appetizers like the crispy New England calamari, jumbo lump crab meat or smoked salmon. The chef's signature creation, fried shredded sweet potatoes, is complimentary and delivered at the start of every meal. Pecan Ball, the signature dessert, perfectly ends any meal. Excellent wines at reasonable prices are an added bonus. The interior is stately with black and white marble floors and vintage-style cafe curtains. (214-526-1170)
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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