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May 12, 2010 01:23 PM

TOP 5 Can't miss restaurants in Dallas

Hey all,

I am coming to Dallas in October to see my Giants take on the Cowboys with my dad. Every year we go on a trip to a new city to go to a game and experience the dining scene. We are staying at the Adolphus in Downtown so we will most likely be eating around there which is great because it seems most of the cities top restaurants are not far at all.

We are going to be in town for 5 days and want to know where you would choose to go for the 5 best meals in Dallas. Price is not an issue, we are just looking for the absolute best! I have plenty of time to plan but I want to start doing my research early as we are big foodies and one of the highlights of a great trip for us will be the food.

So far I have the following on my radar... Obviously staying at the Adolphus, the French Room is a definite. If I was going tomorrow the other 4 would be 560 by Wolfgang Puck, Stephan Pyles, Lawry's (one steak dinner is a must! and I always wanted to try Lawry's-none in NYC), and Fearing's.

Other options are Rosewood Mansion, Hibiscus, Lonesome Dove, Place at Perry’s, Nana. Nick and Sam's, Bailey's Prime, and Oceanaire, Al Biernat's, Bijoux, and Charlie Palmer at the Joule.

I know it is a very extensive list. Too bad we can't be there longer! But from the above what are CANT MISS. Are there some that are not on my list that you recommend? We are looking for some quintessential Dallas institutions that you must say you have been to before leaving the place.

Please keep in mind that on Monday the game is around 7:30 so we would probably have to have an early dinner around 5 or so. Here are some other questions

1. Which of these places would be best for a mid day lunch on Tuesday when we leave (7pm flight).
2. Does Lawry's allow you to order off the dinner menu during lunch?
3. Would any of the upscale restaurants allow us to order off the dinner menu at lunch? I am sure they would if we gave them a heads up.

Thanks in Advance!!!!!! Look forward to reading recommendations.

The Place at Perry's
2911 Routh Street, Dallas, TX 75201

Stephan Pyles
1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

Al Biernats
4217 Oak Lawn, Dallas, TX 75219

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  1. Just for clarification, Lawry's is prime rib which many don't equate to an actual "steak" cut. But that out of the way, if you're interested primarily in the beef (as opposed to apps and sides), you can get the exact same cuts (thicknesses) cooked to your likeness, during lunch (M-F) that you can at dinner and at a much more reasonable price. The prime rib IS very good, but the surrounds are very stodgy, old school - just so you know.

    If you make it to Lonesome Dove, it's in the middle of the Ft. Worth Stockyards. I think they're also open for lunch. Either before or after dinner, allow a couple of hours to enjoy the whole Stockyard walk-around experience - daily cattle drives, rodeo, TX cowboy hall of fame, curio shop shopping. Billy Bob's Texas is also within walking distance if you're up for that type of thing.

    1. French Room, yes.

      Lawry's is a good choice for lunch rather than dinner, but count on prime rib rather than "steak". I don't really consider it a steak restaurant. You don't have any a la carte steak restaurants on your list (Bob's and Papa's come to mind. Both are good but I would rather visit some of the other places mentioned below.)

      Nick and Sam's, Hibiscus and Al Biernet's are all excellent. All places have options other than steak but their steaks are excellent. All are best for dinner rather than lunch. Al Biernet's is open for lunch-not sure about the others...

      For a "fancy" quiet dinner you might give York Street a look and since money is no option you might check out Aurora.

      In regard to your questions:
      1. Lawry's
      2. Not sure. I would only go there if you are planning to eat prime rib. You basically tell them what temperature and how many ounces and they carve it for you right in front of you (assuming you are eating prime rib)
      3. depends...(I know this is a BS answer but I am not sure many of them are even open for lunch)

      14 Replies
      1. re: fixer

        i know that Lawry's is prime rib. I am quite a steak connosieur and living in NYC I have been to many of the top steakhouses in the country. Seems like Dallas doesn't have any steakhouses that are worth skipping some of the other high end places.

        Great to know that Lawry's allows you to order any size prime rib during lunch. I was worried since it does not say it on the website. So just for one last confirmation.. you can get the beef bowl cut at lunch? Being a big time prime rib man myself, I would never order anything that was not BONE IN. If they serve it during lunch, then that solves my Tuesday dilemma.

        Thanks for the info and keep the recs going.

        1. re: steakrules85

          "Seems like Dallas doesn't have any steakhouses that are worth skipping some of the other high end places."

          I guess it depends on where preferences are placed. Around here, so many of us do our own steak grilling now that some remarkable, quality beef is available to those outside the restaurant world. "Back in the day", mere mortals had no choice but to go to a steak house to find good tasting, quality steaks that were prepared properly. Not the case anymore.

          So, more to your comment, indulging the $$ in delectables other than steak seems to be the preferences. But make no mistake, there are some great steakhouses in D/FW, some of which you and others have already named. :) Where ever you end up, hope you enjoy!

          1. re: CocoaNut

            I was going to make a comment on that same quote you pulled; I think Dallas does have steakhouses that can hold their own. And it's all about personal preference, but I'd take certainly take say NIck & Sam's or Al Berniat's, two of the best Dallas-only steakhouses, over Lawry's. Lawry's does great prime rib, but I wouldn't consider either prime rib or the restaurant to be representative of Dallas, especially for someone coming here for the first and maybe only time.

            Actually, if we're talking about personal preference, I'd keep Lawry's on the list and drop 560. But hey.

            1. re: healthyscratch

              Yeah I think 560 is out. Abacus has creeped up into my top 5 as of now. Rosewood Mansion is another one.

              1. re: steakrules85

                If staying at the Adolphus and wanting to eat close I would definitely go to Charlie Palmer at the Joule--excellent and right around the corner.

                1. re: bhoward

                  Another on the list but we have Aureole on NYC.

        2. re: fixer

          Lawry's?? It's a chain!

          Go with Nick & Sam's or Al Biernet's.

          Nick & Sam's
          3008 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201

          1. re: FoodChic

            I wouldn't quite call Lawry's a chain. While they have a few locations, when I think chain I think Applebee's. And Lawry's is NO Applebee's.

            I thought it was delicious.

            1. re: steakrules85

              If it is found in more than one city, then it's a chain!

              1. re: FoodChic

                I disagree. There are many fine dining restaurants with multiple locations which are not chains.

                1. re: steakrules85

                  I guess that depends on how you define chain. My question is this... who cares? Does the food taste good? Is it made from high quality ingredients? Is it prepared with craftsmanship? Speaking of which, Craft is technically a chain (according to FoodChic's definition, and mine) - but I'd eat there any day without giving the "chain" issue a second thought. Same with Charlie Palmer. How about the French Laundry - from what I've heard Per Se isn't all that different, food wise.

                  1. re: gavlist

                    Personally, I find it weird to use a chain if you're looking for the "best" of a particular city. As in this instance, the OP wants the top 5 of Dallas. I take that in being top 5 of local restaurants. If you can find the same thing in another city, and it makes the top 5 locally it doesn't speak well to local cuisine.

                    You certainly won't see Lawry's in a top 5 of Chicago or Los Angeles

                    Considering the abudance of great local steakhouses, I would leave off anything that wasn't a Dallas original. JM2C.

                    1. re: gavlist

                      Exactly my point... Would anyone even think to label FL or Aureole chains? I mean come on. Anyway, I am not here to say Lawry's is a top 5 restaurant in Dallas. I was there for only 5 days and was reporting on my experiences.

                      Overall, I loved it.

              2. re: FoodChic

                Both past and present, you'll find nothing but positive comments on here about Lawry's.

            2. You did your homework! We would skip French Room and do Rosewood Mansion, Davalion's cooking is out of this world good and it got ***** from the Dallas Morning News. For steak we woudl do Bob's but that's just us.

              8 Replies
              1. re: OCNC

                Really skip the French Room? Hmm interesting.. everything I have heard is it is the best restaurant and cant miss Dallas. Rosewood is definitely another on my list lol.

                FYI- I actually called Lawry's last night and they informed me you can order any of their prime rib cuts at luncg. The only difference is it is a "business style lunch", which means you walk up to a counter, pick your cut, and then you are shown to your table. Seems like there is no waiter service. But the gentleman on the phone said you can still sit in the main dining room. And they also offer a full stocked salad bar with lots of goodies. So, I think Lawry's seems like the spot for my last day since we will be able to go around 2pm for a nice lunch before we head back home to New York city. This could change depending upon whether one of the "upscale" restaurants agrees to let us order off the dinner menu on Tuesday for lunch. If not, then Lawry's it is for Tuesday.

                After doing a bit more research I think I may swap out Abacus in place of 560. Keep em comin!

                1. re: steakrules85

                  yes, skip the French Room and go to the Mansion as OCNC said. I've eaten there 5 or 6 times in the last few months and Bruno Davalion's is serving what I condider to be world class cuisine which we haven't had much of over the years. It is outstanding.

                  1. re: steakrules85

                    Interesting tid-bit. I don't recall having seen the "bowl cut", so looked it up. All locs except Dallas, offer a cut named the "Beef Bowl". In Dallas, it's named the "Dallas" cut, "as served to the Cotton Bowl teams".

                    For lunch, they didn't used to have a fully stocked salad bar. More like pre-mades: potato, pastas, etc. I'll be going next month as part of a b'day outing and will try to remember to report back on what-it-is. The walk-up service is strictly for getting your beef plate, sides and salad. After that, they do have waiter service for drinks, desserts and/or any other needs.

                    1. re: CocoaNut

                      Thanks for the info! Yes I forgot to mention it is called the Dallas cut in Dallas. So I guess you just walk up to the cart and tell the carver what cut you want? Once he puts it on your plate someone then leads you into the dining room. This is what I was explained on the phone. Also, it looks like the side selections are a little more limit. No mac n cheesey or wild mushrooms.

                      Also- What are the prices like at Lawry's? Curious since the site does not list them.

                      1. re: CocoaNut

                        I was at Lawry's for lunch last week. I don't recall the price of the Dallas cut, but the smaller cuts started at around $12, if I remember. So, I'd imagine the Dallas cut would be in the low $20's. That said, most of us got the cut up from the smallest cut (don't recall the name), however, one woman got the next largest cut - the Lawry's cut - and it included the bone. It was definitely thicker.... but for some weirdity, had less meat that our thinner cuts. Still haven't figured that one out. I believe the Dallas cut is the next, and thickest cut. When ordering your preferred doneness, I've had them try to serve me something entirely different - be persistent if need be.

                        If you plan to partake in the premade salads, go to that small area prior to walking through the carving line - otherwise, you'll be juggling dinner plate, salad plate and bread plate - they do not mention this to you. They just tell you the "number" of your dining table, then take or point you in the direction of the carving line. If you like different mustards, horseradish and maybe a couple of other condiments with your prime rib, you'll find them at the salad station.

                        I hope you enjoy your lunch and watching the Cowboy's blow the Giants out of that new stadium!!

                        1. re: CocoaNut

                          Haha thanks a ton for the info cocoanut. One other question I have is do they have the signature spinning salad and the yorkshire pudding at lunch? I also heard they do have waiter service if you decide on dessert.

                          As far as the Cowboys blowing out my Gmen no way!!!!!! ahaha

                          1. re: steakrules85

                            "Do they have the signature spinning salad and the yorkshire pudding at lunch?"

                            Not as part of their normal lunch service. Guess that's one of those things you could call and make a special request. Here is their lunch menu - didn't realize they have salads-to-order, after being there a handful of times for lunch. As I said, they're not very forthcoming with info.... maybe they're of the opinion that at lunch, people are looking for a quick in-and-out, rather than a leisurely "experience". The creamed spinach and the creamed corn are 2 of their signature sides. Neither showed me any wow-factor, with IMO, the corn being really sweet...... That leaves mashed potatoes and (turkey) dressing. Yorkshire pudding would be a much better option!!!


                  2. Odd that I hadn't seen Samar suggested yet!

                    I'd also agree +1 dump the French Room. Seems like it's too easy to have a meal there without actually ordering something French.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: air

                      Wow I am very surprised at all the negative comments on the French Room. Has it declined recently or was it always overhyped?

                    2. Samar!! Have yet to have anything that I disliked.