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Oct 7, 2009 12:43 PM

Dallas - Inwood. Need suggestions from locals. French lunch, etc.

Need suggestions for Dallas. Wife and I will be there for a week next month for business and pleasure. We have our fine dining plans set, but I need suggestions for breakfasts, lunches, and light dinners. Places with character, places truly local, with preference for food quality. Can be fast food to casual fine dine. I’m more of homestyle/rustic food fan, wife goes more world cuisine. We are from Houston so we don’t necessarily need the Texan aesthetic for its own sake.

Also we’ll be staying in Inwood, so anything closer to that area would be nice.

I’d also like to solicit an opinion on a casual French lunch. I’ve gotten recommendations for Lavendou, Toulouse, and Rise. Any opinions on one or the other, or any other suggestions?


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  1. I would HIGHLY recommend Rise over the other two! Granted, I have not been to Lavendou (which I'm sure is wonderful), but Toulouse, to me, is just basic (albeit good) bistro food. Rise, however, is truly unique and charming and the souffles are to die for. The owner is all about French antiques and antique linens as well, so the atmosphere is just wonderful. Definitely try it!

    I'm not sure where else you are planning to go, but I would suggest The Grape as another dinner (or Sunday brunch) option. La Duni (on Oak Lawn) is great for breakfast/brunch, so I would suggest going there one day. Dinner is great, too, but is one of the few places that serves a really good breakfast mid-week.

    Can you tell us where else you will be going so that I/we don't repeat any suggestions?

    Have a good week here!

    2 Replies
    1. re: DKS1

      Yes. We are doing The French Room (can't wait!), a catered company dinner, a dinner at the company country club, and probably Mortons, Lonesome Dove or the Double Eagle for another company thing. Other than that no plans. I've done Del Friscos and Mortons for company events before, should I push for Lonesome Dove? I've never eaten there.

      1. re: sheltonp

        Lonesome Dove in FTW is a delight. Small oasis of goodness amongst all the hillbilly hootin' and hollern' outside its doors.

        Chef Love has a nice imagination and runs with his theme handily. The first courses are tremendous and difficulot to choose from. His steaks are perfect, but I have always ordered the lamb chops with out reservation, knowing I could swipe a bite or two of companions plated beef.

        Yum to cripsy onions and truffled mushrooms. Huzzahs to blue corn lobster hushpuppies!

    2. I'd recommend this place. They honor reservations, the food is solid and they don't miss a step when it comes to service.

      It's in a trendy area so you can go for a nice walk after your meal.

      4514 Travis St

      1. Toulousse is the best French food you can find in Dallas, just like your in Paris. Rise is ok if you like souffles, not just for dessert. If you don't then you should skip it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: OCNC

          There are numerous other items at Rise besides their famous souffles. From delightful salads to steak or seared tuna. Great concept, exceptional in execution.

        2. Personally, I would never recommend Cafe Toulouse. It's food is mediocre and the tables are very small. Not very conducive for comfortable dining. More a, "see and be seen" place. The food takes a second seat to the, "scene".
          I haven't been to L'Anestral in years but it always reminded me of a small mom & pop French restaurant in Paris. I'd say, worth a try. French provincial style cooking.
          Lavendou and, nearby Cadot are both excellent French restaurants but, they are up in far North Dallas. But, worth the short drive.
          Rise is very, very popular for lunch. But, it's really more of a "lady's who lunch" bunch.
          Good luck and, bon appetite!

          1 Reply
          1. re: twinwillow

            twinwillow, when was the last time you ate at Toulouse? It's been through a few chefs since it opened, and corresponding ups and downs.

            Lately, the kitchen seems to have its act together and I've had great food at Toulouse. If you were turned off a couple of years ago, maybe it's worth giving it another shot.

            I've been to L'Ancestral once, nearly 3 years ago. Stuffy, but felt like some places I've been to in Paris. Food wasn't great. But 1 visit isn't enough for me to review the place.

          2. I'll also recommend Rise. Excellent souffle. I prefer to stick to the basics (jamon or mushroom), a friend raves about the crab souffle. Great salads, soups and other light choices. Try the whole globe artichoke appetizer. Unique decor creates a relaxing atmosphere.