One shot in Dallas...
I'll be in Dallas next week, and my colleagues (all foodies from out of town) and I are searching for our best bet for dinner. Currently under discussion are the dining room at the Adolphus (which I vaguely recall as fine some years back), Stephen Pyles (which troubles me a mite since I could swear he "designs" the menu on AA, and I eat there too often) and Fearings. I am interested in how you all feel about those three or have terrific reccomendations about which we we might not have heard elsewhere.
All are welcome (excepting the Mansion at Turtle Creek. I sat next to Henry Kissinger there, and it has put me right off of the place.)
Thank you very much.
It depends what you are seeking. The French Room in the Adolphus is the most formal. Food is great as is service. Pretty much a classic french menu with a few twists here and there. Fearing was the chef at the Mansion so if you were unhappy for reasons other than Henry, dont go there. Fearings is the most casual--poeple wear shorts and jeans (along with suits and dresses--it varies). Food is southwestern, servings are small, service is ok. (This is based on my 5 trips there--opinions on the board vary) I think its overpriced, overhyped and and over rated.
Pyles is also South westwern, and the most trendy and loudest. But the food and service are always excellent. It also has the most varied menu. Of the 3 places you picked, Id go here unless you want something more romantic/quiet, then go to the French Room.
Others will tell you, so Ill beat them to it, that you must also consider York Street (small place, limited menu but considered by many as "the best"), Bijoux (contemporary french), Lola (best for wine) and Nana (innovative food and a great view). They are equal if not superior in food to your choices. Check out the reviews of all these places here for a better idea of what each is about.
My suggestion: The 5 course menu at Bijoux. But all of these places can be great.
A slightly different viewpoint. I would reverse what most have said about Stephen Pyles and Fearing's. I think Pyles is overrated and Fearing's excellent.
However, I would pick Lola, Bijoux, or York Street over either. As to which you choose between these three very much depends on what you want. Lola, my personal favorite, is a wine lover's Mecca. Great list, amazingly reasonable prices. The wine program is so good, sometimes the food doesn't get it's due, but it is also excellent. York Street is the closest Dallas can come to West coast Chez Panisse inspired seasonal ingredient driven cuisine. But don't expect a West coast clone -- it's our region and our ingredients. Very high quality cooking. Wine list is small, well selected, and changes frequently. No high dollar wines. Bijoux would probably be my second choice this time of year. Amazing technique that Scott Gottlisch has, and fairly creative cuisine, albeit grounded in a fairly traditional French framework. Extremely quality conscious in all aspects. Wine list was a real weak spot on opening, but they have been consistently upgrading it over the year plus that they have been open. The list is nicely balance, but a tad pricey.
I agree that the French Room will be wonderful, and FORMAL....Pyles does a great job with different and interesting ceviches, and a killer, large as your head, "Cowboy Steak"...It is awesome and a must, if you love a great ribeye...It is a fun place to dine...not formal or quiet though...Now...my own personal favorite is Hibiscus....LOUD and the BEST people watching place in Dallas, and everything that I have ever had there was absolutely splendid....The food ROCKS and a lot of the people that dine there, think they do as well! Lots of Hollywood wannabees...Great fun, IMO.....
I think the most distinctly interesting restaurant in DFW is Lanny's out in Fort Worth. Unlike most of the other restaurants in this town (many of which I absolutely love), Lanny's provides new flavors, new combinations, new textures, etc. Case in point - brown butter chipotle gnocchi. Oh . . . my . . . god!