Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things I'll Miss: The Restaurants

Most everyone knows that Dallas is a shopping town, but what not everyone outside of the Big D knows is that it's a fantastic restaurant town, too. Since the thought of shopping at Northpark every weekend makes me want to stab my eyes out, getting to know Dallas' dining scene was an obvious leisure activity to explore, food being my second love and all. DC is getting lots of press lately about its burgeoning foodie status, which is fantastic, because I aim to explore every cranny of it. But for now, a shoutout to some of my favorite spots in the Big D:
  • Abacus. As close as we live to this restaurant, our bank accounts are so very thankful we didn't go there more often. Simply tremendous food, every single time.
  • Bolsa. One of those "if only we'd had more time" places. Bolsa is new-ish and I have a feeling that fantastic things are only going to get more fantastic down there. Fresh, local, seasonal, and superb... with a crowd that always makes me wonder A) where did all these cool people come from?, and B) maybe we should've lived in Oak Cliff.
  • Fearing's. Between the insane people-watching at the Rattlesnake Bar (how many hours have I invested in jaw-dropped wonderment over there at the crowd? too many to count.), and the excellent food at Fearing's, you can't go wrong here.
  • Hattie's. Oh, Hattie's, you will forever occupy a corner of my heart. And it will be filled with your savory cloud of blue cheese cheesecake, shrimp and grits, pulled pork, and food that makes my heart sing.
  • Hibiscus. Hibiscus is so routinely delicious that I can't believe it doesn't make more people's favorites list. I've never had a bite of anything I didn't love there - or a sip, for that matter. Outstanding food that never, ever disappoints.
  • La Duni. One of our favorite 'hood hangouts for casual dining. From brunch to dinner to late-night dessert, just easy tastiness.
  • Lonesome Dove. So sure, this place is in Fort Worth, but what a meal. I'll say it again: blue corn lobster hushpuppies and mouth-watering meat. Vegetarians beware.
  • Nobu. Nope, not a local restaurant, but there's not one in DC, so I'm counting it here. Between two birthday celebrations at Nobu and a dozen dinners behind the sushi counter eating at the direction of the chef, I credit my love of sushi to them. I could eat their jalapeno yellowtail sashimi until my jaw fell off.
  • Perry's. Okay fine, now called "Place at Perry's" due to a lawsuit by another Perry's. But this place will always be Perry's to us, and is our "Cheers," in a way. T's been hanging out there for a decade now and knows everyone. On my first visit, our now-favorite waiter remarked to T that he could tell I was going to be a big deal. How can you not love that sort of foresight? I'll miss Perry's handsomeness, its comfort, and how much like home it feels.
  • Stephan Pyles. I first got to know Stephan Pyles through a six-course tasting menu over a work dinner, and there was no looking back for me. I adore his flavor combinations and inventiveness. I also regret that there won't be more time to get to know his Samar, which is new and a big hit with me.
  • Tei Tei. Mmmm.... high-end neighborhood sushi that requires an hour-long wait in the tiny bar even if you have reservations. I mean, it must be great to go through that, right?
  • Tillman's. It's what I love about Bishop Arts. When we're there I crave Hattie's first, then Bolsa, but when we're at Tillman's it reminds me every time of why it's the best third choice I could imagine. And also, the decor is ridiculous.
  • Toulouse. This little French bistro downstairs from us feeds us twice a month. In fact, if you called right now and asked about the couple who always orders two chop salads with chicken, one with no tomatoes, to go, they'd know exactly who you were talking about. We've loved having them so close. A delicious cheese plate just a call away (their truffle pecorino is to die for) is a really, really good thing.
  • Victor Tango & The Porch. I put these together because we think of them the same way: easy food that's quick and not too expensive and fun at the same time. I'll miss the crab and shrimp salad at The Porch (and still mourn their original tangerine gin rickey, now off the menu), and over at VT's I am forever indebted to their Pepper Smash and tuna nachos.


  1. I am starving now, forlorning munching on a clementine instead of blue corn lobster hushpuppies. Sigh.

  2. MMmmMMm this makes me want to visit Dallas.

    Don't fret though, there are lots of yummy restaurants in DC (despite what many people think).

  3. And now I'm hungry. You pretty much listed all of my favorites, save for Louie's and Local! Can't wait for SP's on Thursday!

  4. Mmm... Local. What a blessing that there are *so many* fantastic restaurants here that I can have a superb meal at Local and accidentally never return because there are so many choices, thus it doesn't make my faves list. Luxury problems, I suppose.

  5. So many of those places are in my old neighborhood - makes me miss Dallas just a tad. I'm sure you'll find worthy adversaries in D.C. and I can't wait to hear all about them.

    Totally craving a Blueberry Smash (was that the name? It was a long night) from The Porch even though it's 10 a.m.

  6. Thursday can't come soon enough. It's kind of ridic Preston Hollow, but Mercury is also excellent.

  7. when you're in DC and you're hankering for chinese food, hit up city lights in dupont circle. fantastic, inexpensive, absolutely delicious garlic string beans and dumplings. i'd go back just for that.

    that said, DC is rapidly turning into an eaters' town. you'll have a blast! acadiana, sonoma -- and the bar at the ebbitt is everything you want a bar to be. i'd go back for that too, and i'd even remember my power suit. although i think the last time i ate there, i was wearing a denim miniskirt....

  8. Excellent stuff. My friend who just moved to Dallas is a foodie, so I'm going to send her this - and then expect her to join me at these places, of course.


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