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Bistro Nous - N.Dallas

James Rowland, most recently of the Dallas National Golf Club and Crescent Court before that, recently opened up a new restaurant in the old Urban Bistro / Modo Mio space at Frankford and the Tollway. Anyone tried it yet?

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  1. I finally tried Bistro Nous last night. What a wonderful place! They have a great bar/lounge area where we settled in for a few drinks before dinner. The bartender and the GM were very friendly, giving us insight into the menu and the plans for the restaurant. The menu was very impressive. EXTREMELY reasonable price points with interesting and unique chef created food items. There was even an ask James option which is basically a tasting menu with the customers input. All of the items we ordered were outstanding. I really think that this place has the potential to be the York Street/Lola of North Dallas. I will definitely return and I hope that others join me because North Dallas needs more restaurants like this one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: snatex

      It sounds great. What are some examples of items on the menu and price points. How much was the tasting menu? Do they do a wine pairing with the tasting menu?

      1. re: mjtx

        Some of the smaller plates (although not so small) we had were:

        potato tart with spinach, prosciutto and St. Andre.
        pork ribs
        quail legs with vegetable slaw
        empanadas with an amazing sausage filling
        egg noodles, mushrooms, and chicken, in a brown butter sauce

        I think all these were around $10 each. Most were in the $8-12 range.

        We also had a larger plate of lamb chops with polenta and broccolini in a red wine reduction. I think that was about $16. Most of the standard entrees were in the teens.

        There are also some higher end entrees on the menu (Lobster cavier omelet) that were in the $20-60 range.

        That is what I found refreshing about the restaurant. If you want to spend a lot of money you can or if you want to keep your bill within a budget you can do that too.

        The "ask James" feature on the menu is currently a flexible price point. I believe you tell him how much you want to spend and he tailors the meal meet your needs. I was told they do have wine pairings.

    2. Yes. We did the "ask James" option. We had:

      Corn Taco and Chicken Soup.
      Caesar Salad.
      Crab Cakes with Remoullade Sauce. These could be the best crab cakes in Dallas!
      Diver Scallops w. Crimson Lentils. Intriging spicing on the lentils.
      Then we split.
      I had asked for organ meat and got a plate of calves liver, heart, and gizzards with braised apples.
      My dining companions came from the more conventional side of the human race. They had Chateaubriand. The tenderloin was melt in your mouth soft.

      Finally, dessert was Valrhona Chocolate Cake and Romanoff Cake.

      All this was expertly prepared and expertly served. When you do the 'ask James.." option chef James Rowland comes over to your table and you decide what you would like him to prepare and he tells you what the options are. It is a very personal, homely style of dining but the results stand up to the haut cuisine anywhere in town. After all, James Rowland used to be a senior chef for Rosewood Hotels.

      The wine list is small but well chosen. The Argentinian Malbec was so good we ordered a second bottle.

      Bistro Nous is doing a soft opening. The sign is a temporary plastic affair and the web site (www.BistroNous.com) is under construction. No reviews have appeared in the legacy media. We try lots of places on opening and find a mixed bag. This is the best new place I have come across in Dallas for a long time. When it gets known this may become a hard reservation to get. As another poster said here, it will become the 'York St' of North Dallas.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Worzel Gummidge

        Sounds great..but I do hope it will not become the "York St" of North Dallas, because inevitably that will raise the prices!

        1. re: jinet12

          This is as good as what everyone says. Thanks Chowhounds for an excellent recommendation. Their simple spinach salad was really enjoyable. We also had crab cakes yum! Bouillabaise which was packed full of fresh seafood and filet. They were so sweet to my little toddler (UNLIKE YORK STREET) and even offered to make him a meal even though they didn't have a kiddie menu. However, our little toddler is somewhat a Chowpup and prefers filet mignon to mac and cheese so happily sat for an hour and half and ate what we had.

          The wine list was also excellent. it was a really enjoyable experience.

      2. We happened by there yesterday for lunch. Didn't really know about it before hand, we had merely seen the new sign and it's in the neighborhood.

        Food was very good and we did speak to James. I will definitely go back. A great spot close to the house.

        Highly recommendable.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Super90

          last night I saw that they're offering prix fixe lunches for $10 - sounds like a bargain.

          I've eaten there twice now, and was impressed both times with the quality of the food and the skill in preparation. In fact, we were so pleased that we decided to hire James to cater our group's holiday party - I'm really looking forward to it.

          1. re: gavlist

            I ate there with some business partners last week. We did the "Ask James" thing and it was incredible. The wine selection was tremendous, including a hard-to-find selection that was the favorite of one of my guests. It will definitely be a place to which I return.

              1. re: kuidaore

                We went for the lunch bargain today and weren't impressed. We expected taste, but found very little.

                We liked the bread with bread spread very much and the mushroom soup was good, but both main dishes--chicken pillard (which was the waiter's favorite) and stir-fried Cajun pork--were disappointments. I only had two bites of the chicken and couldn't eat the rest. All I could taste was the pepper.

                However, I liked the green beans with the fried potatoes a lot. The green beans were very crunchy and might be the best green beans I've ever had in my life.

                Maybe dinner is different?

          2. Some friends of mine ate there last week. They loved it!

            7 Replies
            1. re: twinwillow

              This place is consistently fantastic. We did "Ask James" last weekend. I love not having to order and the anticipation of what is going to come out of the kitchen next. Every dish we had was perfectly executed.

              1. Potato leek soup
              2. Angel Hair with lump crab
              3. Caesar salad
              4. Red Snapper with vegetables in parchment paper served with a mornay sauce
              5. Pork tenderloin w/ dirty rice
              6. Vanilla custard in a chocolate crust with berry sauce

              I can't wait to go back!

              1. re: snatex

                Bistro Nous is everything you all said it is. Went there for lunch today. We were particularly impressed with the staff's friendliness. The food was good, the service and wellcomeness supurb. Is that a word?

                1. re: Plano Rose

                  We are new to the area (and to chow) and decided to give Bistro Nous a try. My first impression was of the cheap plywood paneling on the front of the entry that is already buckling, and looks to be poorly constructed. First impressions are not always telling obviously, but they certainly can be. When I walked in I noticed the Spanish tile that seemed to be out of place when compared with the rest of the d├ęcor. It looked as if the tile was pre-existing and they just didn't want to bother with replacing the floors, but overall the ambience was fine. The only real highlight was the bar which had a comfortable lounge and dark wood floors that seemed much more appropriate.
                  We were seated immediately, and thought it was strange that there was only one other two top in the restaurant at 8 o'clock at night. The service was lackluster, and I had to keep myself from laughing when the waiter told us that his last gig was at "Buffalo Wild Wings". Granted that doesn't mean anything, but with his faux hawk in full effect, we weren't feeling especially confident about what we were about to experience. The waiter knew nothing about the wine list, and next to nothing about the menu (which incidentally didn't have adequate descriptions of the entrees). The menu seemed hastily thrown together with everything from stir fry, to pasta, to sandwiches. It's as if they are trying to be everything to everybody, and it just didn't work for us. The food was mediocre, the ribs were dry, the salad selections were unimpressive, and the Steak Au Poivre was more choice than prime (though at least it was cooked properly). Overall we weren't impressed and won't be returning anytime soon. Maybe it was a fluke, and maybe I'll come back around at a later date, but for right now there are too many other places to try...


                  1. re: simplesimon76

                    simplesimon, welcome to dallas. i bow to your refined palate, something that is valuable and desperately needed. so glad to get your clear-headed account of this place.

                    1. re: teegee

                      Wow Simplesimon. it's as if you went to a completely different restaurant. Our waiter was awesome and knew EVERYTHING abt the menu. they were absolutely attentive.

                      1. re: AussieGirl

                        Agreed, which is why I said that maybe it was a fluke, but judging by the number of crickets I heard chirping in the background, it is quite possible that they may have trouble holding on to good staff... Maybe the Chef took the night off, or is trying to save money in lieu of a lack of business... You can never tell when a new restaurant opens up. Anyway, I hope your experiences continue to be good ones.


                        1. re: simplesimon76

                          my impression is that they haven't had an "official" grand opening yet - probably they're trying to work out all of the bugs in the system before ramping up full-scale. On both of my visits, it was empty too - but that translated into top-quality service, from both the back and front of the house. And our waiter (I think he's also the maitre'd?) knew the wine list quite well. Perhaps they were training new staff on your visit.

                          too bad that you didn't have an enjoyable meal. In a competitive market like this, it can only take one lackluster visit to lose a customer for good.

            2. We had dinner at theis new restaurant on Friday night. We found the atmosphere to be very cozy and it took us back to little quaint places we use to eat at when we were in Paris. we took our 7 year old daughter with us and I have to stay the staff was wonderful and very accommodating . They do not have a kids menu but the chef quickly made a wonderful pasta dish for her she was very happy with. My husband and I both had the house pinot noir we thought it was very nice and very reasonable. We started our meal with the crab cakes. They were good certainly not the best I have ever had but better than average. I had a caeser salad which was freash and crisp not made with pre-chopped romain but from a fresh head of romain. The presentation was nice, I think the dressing was not home made but very high quality for pre-packaged. for our entreeI had the special which was lamb chops they were cooked perfect and very good. They came with a creamy polenta which was also really good, my husband had the Steak Au Poivre and thought it was excellent. Over all our experience was terrific and we will be going back to Bistro Nous soon.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Analisas mom

                I had dinner at this restaurant last night. When we got there, we found that it was very cozy. There was low lighting and it had nice Christmas music playing at just the right volume. With the cushioned bench seating against the wall and a cool wind blowing in, it reminded me of a cozy NY restaurant. I had ordered tea, but the mood was so nice, I ordered the wine list. Then the wheels fell off:

                There was a party that had evidently booked the bar. They were at a low din in the beginning but , as the night wore on, they got louder and louder. They were playing some game where they yelled out numbers. (I must have been a drinking game). When we complained to the waiter, he was unapologetic and shrugged saying they were the staff from Tei Tei Robata and this was their Christmas party. The noise ruined the mood completely.

                The waiter and service was slow. The waiter was perplexed by the wine menu. When i asked for his recommendation, he stared blankly at the list without ever saying anything. So I chose the house sauvignon blanc with no suggestion from him and he then took a good 10 minutes to bring the wine which I had to ask him to chill. There were only 4 other two top tables taken, so he wasn't busy with other patrons. Then, when we were done with our entree, he presented the check without ever asking if we wanted dessert or coffee. (To be fair, when I pointed this out, he brought us out a dessert we didn't touch). After signing the bill, then he came back later and said that he had given us the wrong bill, so we had to sign again. We sat next to a couple who said they had been there 7 or 8 times and they admitted that this was the worst service ever. We got there at 8 and left around 10 (dining should be an experience so that was fine by me except that 2 hours of the noise was too much).

                The food was bland and uninspiring. In particular, we had the beef stir fried with egg noodles as an entree and a tart appetizer that supposedly had cheese and sausage (none seen). We also had the angel hair pasta with crabmeat, which actually had quite a lot of crabmeat, but still managed to be a little bland. The one exception was the warm endive salad. The only problem was that it got cold while I was waiting on the wine. The couple I mentioned above raved about their food though.

                I left a note to the management explaining the problems and I've gotten a message this morning from them comping the meal altogether. So at least they're trying to do the right thing. Still, I don't think I'll be going back. You can blame much of the problems on the party that they refused to control, but not the food and that's too bad. We could certainly use more of these types of restaurants (i.e., non-Chili's) in the neighborhood.

                1. re: Clem943

                  As a follow up, I did speak to the owner of Bistro Nous. He had been at the grill that night and was very apologetic. He explained that the crowd had gotten out of hand and they were going to reconsider whether to accept these parties in the future. He told me that the server was new there and had admitted fault. When I asked about the food, he told me that he had been "rushed" in his preparations because of the party. He was as gracious as he could have been, spoke knowledgably and maybe these things just happen sometimes, but still .....

              2. Well we stopped in again last night after shopping all day. We were really ready for a good meal as we had not eaten all day. We were not dissappointed. We had great service and the food was outstanding Oyster's rockafella not on the menu but we requested and the chef made them then we split the spinach salad which was wonderful and we each had a steak cooked to perfection. The place was pretty busy last night I think word is getting out.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Analisas mom

                  I was there last night as well. To put my dining experience in a nutshell...very disappointing. The service was slow and almost apathetic. The food came out about an hour after ordering and some dishes were cold. Some of the food was uninspiring and boring and I don't see how some people can mention York St. and Bistro Nous in the same sentence. Completely different league. There are tons of variables to account for my lousy experience so I won't give this visit a formal review. I just hope they don't think they can get away with the service I received last night and hope the customer is aloof to it.

                  The irony is that I posted a comment defending the owner right after Clem943 posted a sour review. It was deleted promptly by the administrator. I love irony.

                  EDIT I have to mention some highlights: The scallops with lentils was a knockout. The Oysters were fresh and tasty. The bread person was a dilligent and cheerful worker. The interior is beautiful and inviting.

                  1. re: adkim

                    I want to thank everyone for their reviews. Today is our anniversary and I had thought that we would give it a try, but after reading the reviews I think that we will give it a try on an evening when we are not celebrating a special occasion.

                2. Last night was my second time going to bistro nous, and unfortunately I have to report that it was a disappointment and a borderline disaster. Our first experience there was excellent, which is why we went back, and why we will give it another chance.
                  Last night my wife ordered the crab cake appetizer and the scallops and I ordered the cerviche appetizer and the filet. My wife's crab cake was good, but not great, and while she ordered the scallops, she got the halibut, which turned out to be pretty good.
                  My meal was terrible, aside from the grilled bread and pepper ailoi. The cerviche was warmish as though it had been standing out on the counter all night, and the crackers it came with were stale. Basically it didn't seem exactly fresh, which is not good in a cerviche. I made a comment to our waiter (which I rarely do), and since the chef was talking to someone at a nearby table, had him come over and interrogate me as to what my problem was. I told him that it didn't seem fresh and that the crackers were and and he stormed off in a huff.
                  As you can imagine this made me slightly nervous about my main course. When our main courses came, both of them looked good and smelled good. I like my meat very rare, and this filet certainly was that, but when I tasted it, it was bitter and burnt, not overdone but actually burnt, as though it was cooked directly in a flame. Those of you who cook beef on a grill know that one actually has to try to attain the flavor of charcoal on a rare, prime piece of beef. No amount of demi-glace can cover the taste of such a disgrace.
                  We didn't complain about my wife getting halibut instead of scallops because there didn't seem to be any point after tasting the beef. We simply told our waiter, who was excellent and understanding. He took the cerviche and steak off of our check, which we appreciated. We will go back because of the service this time, but next time we hope it will be the food.