Arriving in Dallas this Friday for business and this is our first time visiting....
Looking for a great spot for Dinner on Friday night-Great Food and Atmosphere!
For food and atmosphere you can't beat Stephan Pyles or Fearing's. Both have as good of food as you will find in Dallas...Fearing's probably has the best atmosphere of the two, but it has a horrible parking situation as it is located inside the Ritz Carlton and their valet system is terrible. Both restaurants food style is New American with a Southwestern flair.
Abacus is another restaurant with the same quality food as the restaurants above, but lacks a little in the atmosphere department.
For steak, Dallas has some good options. Nick and Sam's is my favorite for food and atmosphere, followed by Bob's Steak and Chop, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse and Al Bernait's.
If you can provide more detail as to type of food, I can give you more suggestions...but what I have given you represents my favorite restaurants in Dallas.
Carrollton is probably the closest city to the airport with consistently good food. Arlington is not far behind.
I like To Dam Gol (Tofu) as an authentic Korean place and it is fairly close to DFW (about 15 mins max). It should be pretty hopping on a Friday night. The menu is not very large but it is a terrific looking restaurant and the prices are very reasonable. I like all the soondubu (tofu stews) especially now that it is cold. I especially like the daejigogi soondubu The dolsot bibimbap (Stone fired pot with rice, veggies and your choice of meat toppings) is one of the best, if not the best, version I have had in the city. The stir fried squid dish was also good. Panchan selection is not quite as large as most place but it is a decent array.
Babe's in Downtown Carrollton (IH35/Stemmons @ Belt Line) would be a "safe" choice for the non-ethnic eaters in your group. There have been many write ups about it.
Recently Bon Mua (Vietnamese) has been pretty busy on Friday nights. Sometime you will get an ESPN game, sometimes Vietnamese TV, sometimes Vietnamese Karoke, you just never know. You will get out of there for less than $15 per person tops. My friendly waiter from another place across town showed up here on a Friday night and he was happy to see us. His command of English is not that great but I have been working on my Vietnamese. For appetizers I would suggest the Banh Bot Loc Tran (tapioca flour with shrimp and boiled pork inside the clear tapioca). The My Quang is a specialty of this restaurant it is a bowl of flat egg noodles (fettuccine size) with a separate bowl of "broth" and then also a plate of greens (herbs, lettuce and bean sprouts). The pho is also good for a simple soup. I would not suggest tackling a x-large as I have never seen anyone finish same holds true for the My Quang. If you are still hungry I would get on of the avocado smoothies. They hit the spot!
Hong Kong Royal is never busy but very good for Hong Kong style Chinese. They will make dim sum fresh not matter the time of day. It is not much to look at nor lively but the food is pretty top notch. I haven't had a bad dish. Some like the stuffed eggplant dim sum I would just prefer a bit less oil and different eggplant (perhaps Japanese?) It is in the same shopping center as Bon Mua.
Inca's Cafe/Lounge is our Peruvian place that is pretty good and also has live entertainment on Friday night. Be wary of the sauces though some can be quite spicy as the include the aji pepper. The menu is pretty solid all around but will be heavy on the starch (particulalry potatoes). The band when I was there last Friday night was particularly good.
If you don't mind going off the beaten path a bit, the Bishop Arts District has two really great southern comfort food type restaurants, Hatties and Tillman's Roadhouse are two of my favorites! Hattie's has an amazing brunch menu also. Tillman's Roadhouse has this really fantastic Smores Dessert Platter that is old school and fun for a group. If you go to Tillman's I recommend calling for reservations ahead of time.
In Central Dallas, for a laid back evening with wine I love RISE. It is a super cute place off of Lovers Lane that specializes in souffles. Great atmosphere and people. Across the street from RISE, but much fancier and $ in Bijoux, the food here is great but dressier and pricier.
If you want Mexican I really like Mia's and Avila's, but people will probably debate me on my Mexican selections! Have fun in Dallas.
since you are near the airport I would highly reccomend a trip over to the Gaylord Hotel. It is just beautiful to walk around at Holidays times and also has a great restaurant called Ama lura. There are several other places to eat as well plus a really fun night club. Also downtown grapevine is an awesme place to hang out with a lot of fun options.