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TOP 5 Can't miss restaurants in Dallas

s
steakrules85 May 12, 2010 01:23 PM

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

  1. c
    CocoaNut May 12, 2010 01:46 PM

    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.

    http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

    1. f
      fixer May 12, 2010 01:57 PM

      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
        s
        steakrules85 May 12, 2010 05:28 PM

        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
          c
          CocoaNut May 13, 2010 10:03 AM

          "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
            h
            healthyscratch May 13, 2010 11:53 AM

            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
              s
              steakrules85 May 13, 2010 04:34 PM

              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
                bhoward May 13, 2010 04:45 PM

                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
                  s
                  steakrules85 May 13, 2010 05:58 PM

                  Another on the list but we have Aureole on NYC.

        2. re: fixer
          FoodChic Nov 1, 2010 01:45 PM

          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
            s
            steakrules85 Nov 3, 2010 06:44 AM

            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
              FoodChic Nov 3, 2010 08:38 AM

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

              1. re: FoodChic
                s
                steakrules85 Nov 3, 2010 07:02 PM

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

                1. re: steakrules85
                  g
                  gavlist Nov 4, 2010 08:54 AM

                  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
                    FoodChic Nov 4, 2010 11:07 AM

                    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
                      s
                      steakrules85 Nov 4, 2010 08:17 PM

                      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
                Scagnetti Nov 4, 2010 09:58 AM

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

            2. o
              OCNC May 13, 2010 04:30 AM

              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
                s
                steakrules85 May 13, 2010 05:47 AM

                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
                  j
                  J.R. May 13, 2010 07:24 AM

                  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: J.R.
                    s
                    steakrules85 May 13, 2010 08:17 AM

                    Why not do both?

                  2. re: steakrules85
                    c
                    CocoaNut May 13, 2010 08:42 AM

                    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
                      s
                      steakrules85 May 13, 2010 09:26 AM

                      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
                        c
                        CocoaNut Jul 2, 2010 06:19 PM

                        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
                          s
                          steakrules85 Jul 3, 2010 08:45 AM

                          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
                            c
                            CocoaNut Jul 3, 2010 09:17 AM

                            "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!!!

                            http://www.lawrysonline.com/theprimer...

                  3. air May 13, 2010 09:11 AM

                    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
                      s
                      steakrules85 May 13, 2010 09:28 AM

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

                    2. d
                      DallasChowChick May 13, 2010 10:59 AM

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

                      1. f
                        foiegras May 13, 2010 10:32 PM

                        +1 for skipping the French Room, and I also think that Lonesome Dove is not by itself on a top 5 list--but with the whole stockyards experience (if you like the western thing) maybe it is. They do have custom-cut steaks there. I've never been to Lawry's, so shouldn't comment on that--I have seen fit to miss it all these years ;)

                        I would add Local (great steak + lots of other great food), Cadot, and possibly Rise (all about souffles). Bijoux is good (and right across from Rise). I've had good experiences at Nana in the past, but haven't been during the current regime.

                        -----
                        Cadot Restaurant
                        18111 Preston Rd # 120, Dallas, TX 75252

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: foiegras
                          s
                          steakrules85 May 14, 2010 05:26 AM

                          So I am still waiting to hear about why the negativity with the French Room?

                          1. re: steakrules85
                            f
                            fixer May 14, 2010 08:58 AM

                            I don't really see it as negativity. It is very good it is just that there are just so many other excellent options to choose from. Since you are staying at the Adolphus I think you should give it a shot. I like the French Room, but it is not the most comfortable dining experience. It is very "fancy" and while the food is excellent, I often choose to dine elsewhere because I can have a quality dining experience in a more confortable setting. I think of it more of a special occasion restaurant.

                            Given the list you have come up with, you are going to have great food. If you hit Abacus, Al Biernet's, Lawry's, The Mansion, Nick and Sam's and perhaps Fearing's or one of Stephen Pyles restaurants, you are getting a good taste of Dallas dining and some good prime rib.

                            1. re: fixer
                              s
                              steakrules85 May 14, 2010 10:31 AM

                              Great fixer thanks for the advice. It seems like for me Fearings, Stephan Pyles, and Lawry's are all definites. I consider these uniquely Dallas and something different from what I would find in NYC. Lawry's definitely fits the bill for my last day in Dallas since I called and they confirmed you can get the "Dallas cut" for lunch. Our last day will be Tuesday, so we will be having a nice lunch at around 1:30, since it will be our only meal of the day.

                              Only thing is that you have to actually walk up to the carving station at lunch, rather than get served by a waiter--- kind of a bummer but whatever. Also, some of the sides selections like mac and cheese, asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes au gratin, and baked potato are not listed on the lunch menu. Perhaps if I request they would prepare for me? At least they let you sit in the main dining room which is cool.

                              Now I just have to plan my other two spots. Seems like the general consensus is Abacus and the Mansion. But being in the Adolphus, I just don't see myself passing up on the French Room. Is it jackets required?

                              -----
                              Stephan Pyles
                              1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                              1. re: steakrules85
                                air May 14, 2010 11:17 AM

                                Jackets are required at the French Room. Optional at the Mansion.

                                1. re: steakrules85
                                  bhoward May 15, 2010 11:07 AM

                                  I was just about to add my opinion not to go to the French Room but have done an about face. I haven't been there in a couple of years and the food, service and ambience were superb but just a little too formal for me to eat there often. Last Thursday, however, some relatives of mine stayed there and brought me a menu. Every single dish looks great. And, even better for steakrules85, the three course $80 prix fixe menu is $50 for those staying at the Adolphus. That looks like a hell of a bargain to me.

                                  1. re: bhoward
                                    s
                                    steakrules85 May 15, 2010 11:29 AM

                                    Wow I had no idea that it was $50 for those staying in the hotel. Where did you see this? I have not heard about it or seen it advertised for the French Room. I do agree that the latest menu looks awesome. I think French Room is going to make my list now especially at that price point. Looks like me and dailybread are in the same camp... it comes down to Abacus or Steven Pyles unless I can somehow swing em both.

                                    1. re: steakrules85
                                      bhoward May 15, 2010 01:48 PM

                                      They were advised at check in and there was also a small placard in their room. They already had dinner plans but the "deal" was why they picked up a menu. They did not know of the discount until they arrived. If you call the hotel and find out the special has expired please correst on this thread. I think it is a steal.

                                      1. re: bhoward
                                        s
                                        steakrules85 May 15, 2010 09:21 PM

                                        I'm not going until October but I am praying it sticks around until then loll.

                                2. re: fixer
                                  f
                                  foiegras May 14, 2010 05:47 PM

                                  I would agree no one's being negative, just saying we don't consider it a 'top 5 can't miss.' And you did ask ...

                                  My own experience there has been competently prepared food, but in general I'm not a big fan of hotel restaurants. Nana does it much better IMO. The waitstaff and their expertise are part of the experience, and can really make the difference (with good recommendations) between a so-so and a stellar evening. The waitstaff at The French Room have been extremely unimpressive in my experience. They don't really appear to be restaurant staff or food people, but hotel employees who happen to be working in a restaurant. It's also very old school and formal, which is not to my taste.

                                  Actually the most memorable part of the experience was the guy in charge of valet service. He had personality & was very very good.

                                  I've heard good things about the tasting menu, but haven't had it. The food I've had was competently prepared as I said, but in no way stellar or very memorable. The restaurant has a huge vaulted ceiling, so it's not either cozy or intimate. I felt like I was being served by an extremely large organization. Nothing about my experience was top 5--or even 20.

                                  1. re: foiegras
                                    bhoward May 22, 2010 01:20 PM

                                    My experience with the waitstaff at the French Room is 180 degrees from that of foiegras. Never been waited on by anyone there who was an iota less than totally professional. The waitstaff there, in my opinion, are some of the best in DFW and certainly not "hotel employees who happen to be working in a restaurant." The ONLY thing I agree with about his post is that I agree that the restaurant is not cozy or intimate.

                                    1. re: bhoward
                                      f
                                      foiegras May 23, 2010 10:44 AM

                                      Her post, thank you.

                                      I never said they weren't professional ... where did you find that? In my opinion ... and that's what we're posting here ... they more invoke the servants of times long past than the restaurant service I prefer, which is personal, knowledgeable, friendly, fluent, and enthusiastic about food.

                                      1. re: foiegras
                                        bhoward May 23, 2010 12:42 PM

                                        Where did you read that I said that you said the staff was unprofessional? I said that "I"found them professional. You said the waitstaff was "extremely unimpressive" (but also professional I suppose...) and not "restaurant staff or food people" and "not to (your) taste." I cannot, of course, comment on your taste but I can state that I disagree completely with what I have quoted from your post.

                                3. re: steakrules85
                                  bhoward May 15, 2010 01:53 PM

                                  Part of the "negativity" may be the fact that the French Room is almost certainly the most formal restaurant in Dallas. I believe that only it and the Mansion still require jackets. If I wanted to get really dressed up and have that experience (which I do from time to time) I would certainly place the French Room at the top of my list. The entire experience, including the food, is excellent for sure.

                              2. d
                                dailybread8383 May 14, 2010 11:52 PM

                                i'm in a similar predicament, with only two evenings available for fine dining. The mansion is already a definite, but i am torn between Abacus and Stephan Pyles for my other night. Does anyone have any thoughts? Take into consideration that I'm looking for dining experiences exclusive and representative of the Dallas area and flavors (things I won't find done better in other cities)

                                -----
                                Stephan Pyles
                                1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: dailybread8383
                                  o
                                  OCNC May 15, 2010 05:11 AM

                                  Stephen Pyles FTW! Abacus is ok but its a lot of Asian fusion you can get anywhere. Stephen Pyles is Texas all the way!

                                  1. re: dailybread8383
                                    v
                                    vstock May 15, 2010 05:12 AM

                                    If choosing between Abacus and Stephan Pyles, I would pick Abacus everytime. This is only because at Abacus I have had stellar service and outstanding food each and every visit. At Stephan Pyles, I have had both mixed food and mixed service at different visits. I know there are some die hard Pyles fans on this website, and I have enjoyed a good night at Samar, but my experience says Abacus.

                                    -----
                                    Stephan Pyles
                                    1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                    1. re: vstock
                                      d
                                      dailybread8383 May 15, 2010 10:14 AM

                                      I think I'm going with Stephan Pyles, ONLY because I'll be going to Chicago in a few weeks and will be able to get better global cuisine there than at Abacus. Just wondering, what are the chances that Stephan Pyle will actually be in the kitchen while I'm there?

                                      -----
                                      Stephan Pyles
                                      1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                      1. re: dailybread8383
                                        f
                                        foiegras May 15, 2010 11:34 AM

                                        He's got multiple restaurants in the area ... I would guess he'll probably be somewhere ... I would think the best place to look would be his newest restaurant? I'm sure there are those who know much more about his movements & can comment more intelligently ...

                                        1. re: foiegras
                                          v
                                          vstock May 16, 2010 06:48 PM

                                          We were at Samar about four weeks ago sitting on the patio having dinner on Friday night. Stephan walked down from Stepehn Pyles to Samar to say hello to diners and check in at Samar. I would imagine he will be at one or the other, or both, just like he was that weekend.

                                          1. re: vstock
                                            DallasDude May 17, 2010 09:34 AM

                                            Pyles is excellent about chatting up clientele (and reads most of these food blogs) and unless he is out of town you will fine him most likely at one of the two locations. Chef McCallister is also an interesting person to converse with, if thats what you are looking for.

                                            And they cook, too.

                                            1. re: DallasDude
                                              d
                                              dg1873 May 17, 2010 11:42 AM

                                              I'd consider: French Room, Mansion, Hibiscus, Bijoux, Charlie Palmer, Stephan Pyles, and Fearing's.

                                              If I had to pick of those .. I'd probably nix Hibiscus and Fearings.. although Bijoux is the furthest from you (15 min drive from downtown) if that makes any differenece.

                                              -----
                                              Stephan Pyles
                                              1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                              1. re: dg1873
                                                f
                                                foiegras May 17, 2010 04:32 PM

                                                To make the drive to Bijoux more worthwhile, you could catch a movie at the very cool Deco Inwood Theatre that's just around the corner (easy walking distance) ... possibly the most comfortable movie seating in town.

                                    2. re: dailybread8383
                                      m
                                      Mike C. Miller May 26, 2010 07:12 PM

                                      As between Stephan Pyles and Abacus, I'd pick Stephan Pyles without hesitation. Better food, better service, etc. And I'd say that the odds are about 75% Stephen would be in restaurant that night.

                                      And for what it's worth, I'd go to Bijoux in preference to either. By a long shot.

                                      -----
                                      Stephan Pyles
                                      1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                      1. re: Mike C. Miller
                                        DallasDude May 27, 2010 02:59 PM

                                        If you go and wish to meet Pyles, just ask. Chances are he is in the neighborhood. his Samar is a few blocks down the street and he bounces.

                                    3. s
                                      steakrules85 May 28, 2010 09:43 AM

                                      Just as an update I emailed Fearing's to see if they would serve us dinner menu during lunch hours and they got back to me within a few days and said absolutely yes!

                                      I was extremely impressed by the fact that #1 They actually check their emails and got back to me in such a timely manner and #2 are very accomodating and service-oriented to deliver on the request. The only problem is that I am forced to change my original dining plans because The French Room is closed on Sunday. Actually, many of the restaurants on my list are closed on Sunday (except for Fearing's). Which is why we are DEFINITELY going to eat at Fearing's most likely on Sunday for dinner instead now.

                                      So the plan now is to call Stephan Pyles and see if they would allow us to order off the dinner menu during lunch. If Fearing's obliged I am sure SP would also.

                                      So here is the updated dining itinerary albeit 5 months out:

                                      Friday- Dinner at Abacus
                                      Saturday- Dinner at The French Room
                                      Sunday- Dinner at Fearing's
                                      Monday (game night)- Big mid day lunch at Lawry's 3pm- Originally I was going to have an early dinner at around 5 pm or so but people are telling me I need to allow myself at elast 2 hours to get to the stadium on game day! Since the game is at 7:30 that means we would have to be on the road by around 5 or so.
                                      Tuesday- Lunch at 2 pm at Stephan Payles before we head back home. Hopefully they will let us order off the dinner menu during lunch time (crab tamale and bone- ribeye signatures baby!)

                                      -----
                                      Stephan Pyles
                                      1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: steakrules85
                                        bhoward May 28, 2010 06:57 PM

                                        Hate to burst your bubble (again) but Lawry's closes at 2:00 p.m. and opens again at 5:00 p.m. Also, Pyles closes at 2:00 p.m. although I assume they would seat you at that time.

                                        1. re: bhoward
                                          s
                                          steakrules85 May 28, 2010 07:43 PM

                                          Ok so I'll make a 1:30 REZ.

                                        2. re: steakrules85
                                          bhoward Jun 4, 2010 01:20 PM

                                          There is an interesting discussion on the plight of the French Room on the Sidedish Food Blog.

                                          http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/

                                          1. re: bhoward
                                            f
                                            foiegras Jun 5, 2010 05:53 PM

                                            Interesting. I suspect the economy is not going to rebound that fast ...

                                        3. s
                                          steakrules85 Nov 1, 2010 12:20 PM

                                          I wanted to come back so I can tell everyone how wonderful Dallas was. The Giants win was the added bonus baby!!!!!!!! Anyway, I must say that Dallas is really a fine city and a great foodie destination. We really had some wonderful and memorable experiences. Here is a little rundown and review of each restaurant.

                                          First night- French Room- This was such an incredible restaurant. We stayed in the Adolphus so I booked this for the first night knowing that it would be very convenient. They left no stone unturned. We did the three course menu and got several amuses between courses. The room was absolutely beautiful and the service was truly flawless. As far as food we sampled the porky belly, crabcakes (one of the best I've ever had), lobster risotto for appetizers. For our mains we had the lamb and duck which were both fabulous. And for dessert we splurged on a HUGE hazelnut souffle and a pumpkin bread pudding. Absolutely fantastic. They would have bent over backwards for us. Before dessert I asked if they had any ice creams and my waiter looked at me perplexed and said.. actually.. no.. BUT if you would like I can go into the hotel and get you some? I was like WHAT? No I would never make you do that but thank you so much. It just goes to show you how they would do anything to please you. On our way out we had a great conversation with the maitre'd Jim Donahue. He knew we came from NY and asked how the French Room stacked up with the finest we had back home. I told him they were right on par with the best. He was also from NY which was really cool. All in all I am so happy we decided to stick with the French Room and I advise anyone who goes to Dallas to go there for a rare dining experience.

                                          Second Night- Abacus- Fresh off our wonderful meal at FR we headed to Abacus. We were running late but they seated us promptly which was nice. I really liked the dining room and the open kitchen (which turned out to be a recurring theme throughout our time in D). After reading so much about Abacus and Rathbun I was so psyched to eat there. Our waiter was an absolute tool to say the least. He started off by going through literally each and every single menu item on the small plates and big plates telling us how every single item was " the best thing ever". Waxing poetic about every single ingredient and item in every dish going on and on and on as if we had never eaten in a restaurant before. Don't get me wrong- I appreciate when a waiter makes recommendations and is helpful. But there really is no need to run through early single menu iteam and upsell each one adnauseum for like 40 minutes. By the time he was done hawking how great everything was it was seriously 40 minutes later. And.. we SKIPPED the sushi part of the menu which was another 2 pages long. Imagine if we cared? LOL. Anyway, by the time he was finished we were almost exhaused listening to him. It felt like we were at a car dealership being sold by a used car salesman. Kind of tacky if you ask me. And the whole time I kept thinking... this place better be as good as this guy keeps saying. It started off very well.. the bread basket was great even though it wound up coming out 45 minutes after we sat down due to this moron waiter we unfortunately had to deal with. For appetizers we had the famous lobster shooters (which he said he had at the bar one day and it made him want to work there.. really?? haha ok), kobe carpaccio, and a special ahi tuna. Of the three, I would say the ahi tuna was stupendous and probably the best thing I ate all night. The kobe carpaccio was also good but nothing over the top. The lobster shooters were a big disappointment for me. I just didn't see what was so great about em honestly. The lobster meat gets lost in the wonton and the "sauce" was a little to spicy for me. Glad I tried them but I wouldn't say that they are a must order again. For mains, on the waiter's rec we went for the venison and the walu walu. Never having venison I was really psyched. While it was cooked to my preference, I didn't really care for it too much. Maybe I just don't like venison but it lacked flavor and kind of reminded me of london broil. The veggies and sauce were delicious but when paying $38 I wish I liked the main event more. My father's Walu was great. Asian flavors and kobe beef dumplings accented the dish very well (even though he wound up getting sick later in the night which I'll get to). By this point we were actually very full but decided to press on for dessert since we may not even get the chance to eat here again. We had the cherry cheesecake and the "rocky road" ice cream which were both very good. All in all I liked the place a lot. The food was very good, but that waiter I think really left a bad taste in our mouth. I hate being SOLD. If you are a quality institution just let your work speak for itself, which is what the other places did. On to why my dad got sick-- I am not too sure. I think it may have to do with the Walu which is close to white tuna and I have heard that people tend to have a hard time digesting it. Overall, unfortunately Abacus turned out to be one of the most expensive but probably our least favorite.

                                          Third night- Fearing's- After being a little disappointed the night before, all sins were atoned for at Fearing's! WOW! This was without question my favorite restaurant on our trip and a MUST visit for anyone going to Dallas. What a wonderful place from top to bottom. I am gunna try to keep this short since I went on and on about Abacus too much. We dined in the Gallery which is such a beautiful room. I literally sat in a 7x7 chair that was more like a couch. So comfortable! I really loved everything about the place- the food, atmosphere, and service were tops. The other dining rooms were cool too- chef's kitchen, sendero, etc. all really cool. The servers seemed to really embody what Chef Fearing is all about- down to earth yet refined and comfortable. They were the complete OPPOSITE of the server I had at Abacus. They didn't try to sell us on anything but rather just listened to whatever questions we had and accomodated us in every way. For appetizers, the barbecued crispy oysters were one of the best appetizers I've ever eaten and yes I am someone who's eaten in some of the finest dining institutions in NYC and New Orleans. The other was the trio of crabcakes, lobster tacos, and duck tamale which was also sublime. For our mains, I went with the buffalo tenderloin and asked if I could add the Chicken fried lobster. They didn't blink an eye and the best if they didnt charge extra. My dad got the mopped ribeye which came with cornbread pudding and three of the largest tempura asparagus known to man. Holy SHIT was the buffalo one of the best plates of food I have ever laid into. The buffalo was incredible. The maple peppecorn it was marinated it was soooooo delicious. I have never had buffalo before, but I must say this rivaled some of the best pieces of prime beef I have ever had. AWESOME. And the sides? Jalapeno grits, butternut taquito, spinach all so perfect as compliments. For dessert we had the ice cream trio which was really fun and a must order the banana pudding with beignets. Overall, Fearing's was so amazing and exceeded all of our expectations. Oh yeah and they win for having the coolest restaurant bathrooms in the world lolol. Chef Fearing you are truly the freakin main man.

                                          Fourth day- We were going to the Monday night game between our beloved Big Blue Giants and the hated Cowboys. So, we decided to do it up in style and have a nice lunch at Stephan Pyles. I had spoken to their wonderful event coordinator Lisa Moore ahead of time and she allowed us to select some signatures that we wanted from the dinner menu to be served to us during lunch. This was such an incredible gesture on their part and I really appreciated them accomodating orur "customized" menu selections. When we arrived they already had our selections printed on two menus which was cool. Again, I though the look of the place was cool and another open kitchen contributed to the vibe. Our server was really wonderful and attentive. We had the signature crab tamale tart and the sea scallops migas. OMG! Both were to die for but the crab tamale tart realllllllllly deserves all the raves. What a wonderful concoction with tons of crabmeat being complimented by that roasted garlic custard and the masa crust. WINNER. Sea scallops were huge and equally superbo. For the mains, I went with the signature cowboy ribeye and my father had the bone-in short rib. WOW. I for one am a steak purist in every way. I don't like any fufu seasonings or spices on my steak. I want prime beef and don't want to tarnish it with all kinds of crap. But when in the southwest... and eating at SP.. let's see what they can do. And do they did lol. I really did enjoy my steak and thought it was really wonderful. It was cooked to my rare specification and for the scene, the spices and such were appropriate. If I were in a steakhouse and had a choice would I order it? Probably not because I prefer my steaks in their pure state with salt and pepper, but at a restaurant yes. This was one great entree and piece of meat. The mushroom,bean,corn ragou was delicious as well. My father's short rib was enourmous and just fall apart tender. He really loved it. After our mains guess who... STEPHAN PYLES himself came out to talk to us and take pics! For a foodie like me this was like a dream come true. He was so down to earth and took some time to tell us cool stories about Bobby Flay and Fearing and the business. I told him he should open a restaurant in NYC and he said "You never know" with a smile, but I can't see him doing it. Seems like the chefs in Dallas are perfectly comfortable where they are and I guess I'm fine with that. For dessert the heaven and hell cake was the fitting ending to a rich meal. SP was incredible and another must for foodies going to Dallas.

                                          Final day- We went to Lawry's for lunch and it really hit the spot. After having the bone-in cowboy the night before, it was more MEAT for us. They allowed us to order the Dallas cut at lunch and they even went in the back to get us an extra rare slab just for us. Creamed corn was so awesome, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes all good. They had a private party that day and they had some leftover yorkshire pudding so to my surprise and ultimate delight I got to taste it! YUMMMMMMMM I love popovers and this is exactly what it tasted like. I am not a huge potato chip dude but theres were homeade and sinfully scrumptious. For dessert I was dying and waiting for that strawberry trifle I have been hearing so much about, but to my dismay they were out. I was really bummed but we had some chocolate chip cookies which were AWESOME and homemade. But the real highlight and a great substitute for that trifle was the coconut banana cream pie. WOW! I love banana cream pie and this rendition was fabulous. One of the best desserts I have ever put into my mouth. It rivaled my favorite from Emeril's in New Orleans. It really was good. Service was outstanding, friendly, price was right, food was incredible. I really Loved Lawry's and it was perfect for our last Dallas "bite".

                                          Overall, I must say Dallas is a fine dining city. We had a blast and we will definitely be back.... maybe even in February for the Super Bowl if we are so lucky that the Giants make it back baby.

                                          -----
                                          Stephan Pyles
                                          1807 Ross Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75201

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: steakrules85
                                            Scagnetti Nov 1, 2010 12:33 PM

                                            Wonderful writeup! I'm glad all of your choices, albeit Abacus, worked out so well.

                                            Thanks for reporting back.

                                            1. re: Scagnetti
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                                              steakrules85 Nov 3, 2010 07:16 AM

                                              It's not that Abacus didn't work out, it is just that it wasn't as impressive as the others on that night. And the waiter's demeanor was very annoying.

                                            2. re: steakrules85
                                              air Nov 1, 2010 12:48 PM

                                              >>Oh yeah and they win for having the coolest restaurant bathrooms in the world lolol

                                              Well you didn't go to Tei An! Though I wouldn't be shocked if some the Japanese restaurants in NYC are similarly equipped.

                                              Glad to hear you had a great time.

                                              1. re: air
                                                DallasDude Nov 4, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                I look for excuses to use a Tei An mens room its so cool. I don't know how that door works, but I am like a kid in there.

                                                OK, that sounded weird.

                                              2. re: steakrules85
                                                c
                                                CocoaNut Nov 1, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                So happy that you had such a wonderfully successful experience! I was at Sat.s World Series game, passed by Cowboy Stadium and remembered you were to be here. I wondered how you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for the in-depth recap!

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