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Where would you take a food personality when visiting Dallas?

mtbwustl Jul 16, 2010 05:36 PM

Good friend of mine, who is a reasonably well-known food personality, will be in Dallas for 24 hours. We're taking him out to dinner, and we're in charge of picking the spot. He's really into the farm-to-table movement as well as sampling indigenous fare. I want to show him Dallas' sophisticated, urbane side. Price is not an object, he may not want to get dressed up though. This dinner is not for his job at all, but I want to make sure that one of his rare "dinners off" is a great one. Where would you take him?

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  1. bhoward RE: mtbwustl Jul 16, 2010 06:19 PM

    Bolsa, Fearing's or York St.

    614 W Davis St, Dallas, TX

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      Littleman RE: mtbwustl Jul 16, 2010 09:00 PM

      I would take him to Lonesome Dove Bistro in Ft. Worth. Chef Love is doing great things there. Fearings would be my choice next.

      Lonesome Dove Western Bistro @ 2406 North Main St., Ft. Worth, TX 817 - 740 - 8810.

      1. c
        CocoaNut RE: mtbwustl Jul 17, 2010 06:23 AM

        I will hesitatingly suggest Potager, and truly hope that someone else comes behind with glowing recs for it. I've eaten there 3 times - twice with great satisfaction, the third time, great disappointment. I will say that the 3rd time was during dinner service and we were there when the doors opened - so perhaps they were quite ready??? hopefully that is the reason. Potager is a most unique food experience with open pricing (you pay what you feel is the value), participating in the Slow food, farm to table philosophy. Other review sites continue with nothing but happy reviews. Short of them having a "bad day", I believe this would be a great dinner adventure for your friend - even if not dished up by a sophisticated, celebrity chef.

        You may see a sample of their menu and "who they are" at:

        For hours and add'l info, see the top of their home page.

        Potager Cafe
        315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

        1 Reply
        1. re: CocoaNut
          air RE: CocoaNut Jul 17, 2010 07:49 AM

          Would also agree for Potager being a really unique experience for Dallas. Have been there 5 times and found nothing to complain about on any of those visits.

          If it has to be more urbane, go to Bolsa.

          Potager Cafe
          315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

        2. f
          foiegras RE: mtbwustl Jul 17, 2010 04:25 PM

          Local would be much higher on my list than Potager, based on my experiences at both ... I also wouldn't call Potager 'sophisticated and urbane' ... not that there's anything wrong with places that aren't!


          Also, the Mozzarella Company is right next door ... I'm sure Paula would be happy to give you a tour and tasting.

          Potager Cafe
          315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

          1 Reply
          1. re: foiegras
            bhoward RE: foiegras Jul 18, 2010 07:24 AM

            And Potager is BYOB which may be a plus or a minus for the original poster.

            Potager Cafe
            315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

          2. Dallas Alice RE: mtbwustl Jul 18, 2010 06:59 AM

            Given your criteria, York Street. Chef Hage focuses on local, organic ingredients. Her food is sophisticated and urbane, not flashy or pretentious. It is a small, neighborhood venue. Local would be my next choice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dallas Alice
              twinwillow RE: Dallas Alice Jul 18, 2010 10:14 AM

              I concur. York Street is arguably, Dallas' most "chef driven" restaurant.

            2. s
              sike101 RE: mtbwustl Jul 19, 2010 07:43 AM

              The out-of-town foodies that I've taken out in Dallas have been most geeked about Samar and (somewhat suprisingly) Smoke. Smoke has some new things going on and chef Tim always seems to be toying and experimenting on his own in the kitchen. The kitchen staff has always been very approachable and excited to talk about what they're doing, wait staff not so much.

              If I were coming from out of town, I'd want to hit Fearing's or Local.

              1. f
                fixer RE: mtbwustl Jul 19, 2010 10:09 AM

                I was thinking about Patager also. Your friend might appreciate something different like what Potager has to offer. While York is great, your friend can have experiences similar to York St. in many different places. Potager is certainly unique.

                York St
                6047 Lewis St, Dallas, TX 75206

                Potager Cafe
                315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                1 Reply
                1. re: fixer
                  CocoaNut RE: fixer Jul 19, 2010 10:51 AM

                  I forgot to mention that the menu at Potager changes daily based on availability of market selection. Today's menu looks particularly enticing.

                  Potager Cafe
                  315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                2. scjohann RE: mtbwustl Jul 25, 2010 07:27 AM

                  This was a pretty cool post. I'd love to hear where you went and what he thought about it.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: scjohann
                    mtbwustl RE: scjohann Jul 28, 2010 02:42 PM

                    I sent my friend links to Smoke, Local and York Street. Letting him pick, since he so rarely gets to decide where to eat. He's here next week, and I'll be sure to post.

                    I kinda wish I could get the guys from Il Cane Rosso to come set up their grill in my front yard to make pizza all night. That, my friends, is some outstanding pizza.

                    1. re: mtbwustl
                      DallasDude RE: mtbwustl Jul 28, 2010 02:56 PM

                      Jay will for a small retainer.

                      1. re: DallasDude
                        mtbwustl RE: DallasDude Jul 28, 2010 03:05 PM

                        Might be a little pricey for only 3 people. Or maybe we should have over all the kind people who gave the above recs for a pizza party!

                        1. re: mtbwustl
                          foiegras RE: mtbwustl Jul 28, 2010 05:17 PM

                          I'm sure we'd be up for that ;) Look forward to your report.

                          1. re: foiegras
                            DallasDude RE: foiegras Jul 30, 2010 11:34 AM

                            Ha we can call him, but he reads this. Jay? Up for a party?

                  2. m
                    mtbwustl RE: mtbwustl Jul 29, 2010 08:53 AM

                    Rainy days and Mondays...so I sent links to my friend for York St., Smoke and Local. He chose York St. or Local. Naturally, they are closed on Mondays. My husband and I will try York St. and Local soon though! Both look really fantastic.

                    So now we have a res at Abacus with the possibility of checking out Smoke if the mood strikes.

                    York St
                    6047 Lewis St, Dallas, TX 75206

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mtbwustl
                      bhoward RE: mtbwustl Jul 30, 2010 04:09 PM

                      Don't get me wrong--I love Abacus. But in my opinion it meets little of the criteria you set out in your original post.

                      1. re: bhoward
                        mtbwustl RE: bhoward Jul 31, 2010 08:41 AM

                        I agree, but Abacus is my go-to restaurant when other options disappear, like places being closed on Monday. We'll have a great meal and lovely experience while spending time with an old friend. Objectives met.

                    2. u
                      unclepat RE: mtbwustl Jul 30, 2010 10:35 AM

                      Id suggest meddlesome moth for something different.

                      1. CharlieKilo RE: mtbwustl Jul 31, 2010 10:53 PM


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                          mtbwustl RE: mtbwustl Aug 3, 2010 02:02 PM

                          Dinner at Abacus was fantastic as always. My friend was really happy with the meal, and we were all able to enjoy each other's company. Great night all around.

                          Tomato consomme -- clear winner of this course
                          Caprese salad -- exceptional tomatoes...this tasted like summer.
                          Duck confit/goat cheese -- least favorite of all courses. Not bad, but I don't think I'd do this again

                          Salmon w/ serrano-jack cheese grits and chipotle lime butter -- rich, flavorful, perfectly cooked fish
                          Chipotle bacon wrapped duck breast w/ couscous -- the winner of the night! Well-balanced dish, duck cooked beautifully.

                          Only one scoop of peach ice cream which, like the caprese, tasted like summer in ice cream form.

                          We all enjoyed many, many of the special margaritas that features cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno. Wow. We had way too many of these, but they were just perfect on a day when the temp peaked over 105. I've been really into spicy flavors in my summer drinks, and this one was perfection.

                          Thanks to all who gave great suggestions! I'm glad I didn't make reservations at Fearing's since that's where I took my friend last time he was here...doh! I'll report back after my husband and I try York St. and Local.

                          But don't you think that Jay should throw a Chowhound pizza party for all of us?

                          1. c
                            coelacanth RE: mtbwustl Aug 7, 2010 11:20 PM

                            Interesting thread -- my wife started and owns Potager, and her head chef, Mike Shaw, actually started York Street and ran it for 17 years. Sharon Hage took over York Street quite a few years ago and it's a great restaurant -- eclectic with some unexpected flavor combinations, but they really work, unlike so many of the "fusion" places around these days. Definitely in the top handful of restaurants in the DFW area and the real thing in terms of honestly representing food sources and philosophy. Potager has a similar approach, is as organic as possible, constantly sources local produce, meat, cheese, etc., and is unusual to say the least but always delicious. They don't have a predictable menu (it's short and changes every day according to what's available; often the menu is decided a couple of hours before they open). Potager has no set prices -- you pay what you think it's worth. Cynthia does expect that customers be fair, nearly all are, and she doesn't monitor it anyway.

                            York Street is fairly upscale (but not pretentious), while Potager is more like eating at a friend's house (everything mismatched, most of the furniture, dishware, cutlery etc. either from garage sales or donated by customers and friends) . You DEFINITELY don't have to dress up -- you'll see everyone from doctors, lawyers, etc. to pierced/tatooed artists to Buddhist monks in saffron robes to auto mechanics to some of the farmers and artisans who supply her. Cynthia has a very loyal clientele that keeps growing, and it's a lot of fun to see it evolve.

                            Again, I'm her husband so of course I'm biased, but you couldn't go wrong with either Potager or York Street, and Mike is a common thread uniting the two. I still haven't tried Abacus but have gotten very positive feedback from multiple people, many of whom who also frequent Cynthia's place, and we keep meaning to go. You couldn't go wrong with any of these.

                            BTW, this is no knock against any of the other places mentioned here; I just have limited or no experiences with them. Funny how when you're in the restaurant business, or at least your wife is (I help out but my main job is as a biology professor and environmental biologist) you don't really have much time to go out to dinner/lunch yourself.


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