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Where to take foodie Grandma out for dinner in Dallas!

soupsample Feb 14, 2011 10:13 AM

My grandmother lives in Grand Prairie, TX...she is a major food addict/foodie/food lover. She has fallen on hard times and hasn't been out to dinner in more than a year. i'm in town tomorrow night and want to take her out for a great food experience. She loves French...I'm heard of Rise, but reviews are mixed.

I'm looking for something:
- possibly french
- medium to higher end price range
- something modern and foodie noteworthy
- something with good service (i work at the Trump Hotel, Chicago so my standards are high.)

THANKS DALLAS HOUNDS!

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    DrnknMc RE: soupsample Feb 14, 2011 10:24 AM

    It's not French, but notable, nice view for G'ma and the food and service are stellar. Five Sixty - Wolfgang Puck at Reunion tower.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DrnknMc
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      pinotho RE: DrnknMc Feb 15, 2011 10:30 AM

      I would second 560....particularly for a foodie grandmother. There are a number of tasty, unique dishes (quail for just one) and just enough pomp to impress her , but not overdone.

    2. DallasDude RE: soupsample Feb 14, 2011 10:52 AM

      Rise is wonderful, but on the high end choose Bijoux and much less expensive check out Toulouse.

      8 Replies
      1. re: DallasDude
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        pgwiz1 RE: DallasDude Feb 14, 2011 02:50 PM

        While the food at Bijoux is very good, I've had bad service each of the two times I've been there. So if service is important, then I wouldn't recommend Bijoux.

        1. re: pgwiz1
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          Mike C. Miller RE: pgwiz1 Feb 18, 2011 10:33 PM

          News to me and I eat there about twice a month. I've always had impeccable service. I think that if you take wine aside, it is the very best restaurant in Dallas. And frankly, their wine list isn't too shabby. It's just surpassed by several other resaurants with deeper (Pappas Brothers, of all places) and better priced (Charlie Palmer's) wine lists. But the food is, in my mind, unquestionably the best in town now that York Street is closed. And the service has been flawless on my couple of dozen visits.

          1. re: Mike C. Miller
            DallasDude RE: Mike C. Miller Feb 19, 2011 08:31 AM

            I agree with most, Mike. But Charlie Palmer is really special. I simply could never make a blanket statement like "best in town", but Bijoux is pretty wonderful. Scott and Gina Gottlich are fantastic hosts.

            1. re: Mike C. Miller
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              gavlist RE: Mike C. Miller Feb 19, 2011 10:32 AM

              I've only eaten at Bijou twice... those experiences weren't bad, but they were far far far from achieving "best in Dallas". In part, I'm not a big fan of the atmosphere/decor. I find the place a bit too stuffily appointed... not that this is a huge problem, just not my preference.

              Service wise, the staff has always been friendly - but they have a couple of servers that seem quite inexperienced. Same is true at Suze, but whereas Suze has a more neighborhood feel to it, the more formal atmosphere at Bijoux seems to call for more professional wait staff.

              Food wise... it's just been hit or miss. A great example would be the trio of oysters I had on my first visit. The quality of oysters was great (I want to say that they were Malpeque, but it's been a while...) but the toppings varied widely. The first was brilliant - a pink-grapefruit mignonette that brought just the right notes of sweet/bitter/acid to the oyster. The second was ok... it was a meyer lemon curd. Nice curd, which tasted great on its own, but was too intense and too sweet... totally overwhelmed the oyster and if anything undermined the texture of the oyster. The third topping was some variant on cocktail sauce - smoked tomato, I think... it wasn't very good... mostly tasted like cocktail sauce with very little smoke flavor.

              So there were three approaches... all sounded good in concept, but widely varying in execution. I had similar experiences with the rest of the food... some great (pork belly, skate wing, vegan carpaccio), some ok (rack of lamb, risotto), and some I would prefer not to have eaten (agnolotti).

              one thing I do really like is Gottlich's quiet use of "modern" techniques. They're really there to enhance the flavor - not to upstage it.

              -----
              Suze
              4345 W Northwest Hwy Ste 270, Dallas, TX 75220

              1. re: gavlist
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                Mike C. Miller RE: gavlist Feb 19, 2011 05:05 PM

                If I could design Bijoux from scratch, I would make the room a bit less formal, no doubt. But that doesn't really bother me. I've been welcomed there in my blue jeans and starched shirt with the same warmth as the older gentleman from the park cities in the bespoke suit.

                And while some dishes are better than others, I've never had one that wasn't at least very good.

                I likely wouldn't have ordered your oyster dish as I've generally found those sorts of oyster assortments with accompaniments very unrewarding in general. The only one I've had that I much liked was at La Bernardin in NY. But everybody likes different things so I can't fault you for ordering it.

                As I've said, I've never had problems with the service, although it's sometimes a tad more formal that I prefer, but it certainly matches the setting and is appropriate for the tone of the restaurant.

                1. re: Mike C. Miller
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                  gavlist RE: Mike C. Miller Feb 20, 2011 01:09 PM

                  totally agree with you on the issue of oysters. They are generally best left unmolested... maybe a touch of lemon juice - I don't even like the typical mignonette, which dominates the flavor. But if a great chef wants compose an oyster dish and add something (say, sabayon and tapioca pearls) then I'll put my trust in them and give it a shot! Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at how well Bijoux's grapefruit mignonette worked. The other two let me down.

                  1. re: gavlist
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                    Mike C. Miller RE: gavlist Feb 26, 2011 02:29 PM

                    I agree with you that if it's on the menu, it should be good. It's hard to argue with that logic. (And much more than good at a place as well regarded as Bijoux.)

              2. re: Mike C. Miller
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                pgwiz1 RE: Mike C. Miller Feb 21, 2011 09:59 AM

                It's not that the people are not polite or anything like that, but here have been my gripes with the service....1) I shouldn't be waiting 20+ minutes between courses with nothing in front of me. A month ago will did the full chef's tasting, and we were honestly there for almost 4 hours. There would be times when they'd pour the wine for that course and then we'd sit there for 15 minutes before the food would come. Other times, the wine would get poured 10 minutes after we got the course (and when the tasting courses are 4-5 bites, you're almost done eating it or risk having the course get cold waiting for the wine). The wait issue happened to us the first time we went also, and we disregarded it as a one time occurance. 2) My second gripe is that last month I specifically called them the day off and told them we were coming for my husband's birthday. And I asked if they could do a candle or something with the dessert. They were very polite and said thank you for letting them know and that they were making a note. We saw other tables get candles and happy birthday messages with their dessert. We didn't get any of it. After our dessert the hostess came over and asked how our dinner was and was like "you're celebrating an anniversary right?". I corrected her saying it was a birthday, but that was that. I was just hugely disappointed about that.

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            gavlist RE: soupsample Feb 14, 2011 11:47 AM

            I don't have any suggestions for French restaurants, but...

            how about Nana? I've only eaten there once (and it was Restaurant Week) - so I don't have much personal experience there. But I've heard generally good things about it, especially if you do the chef's tasting menu.

            The Mansion might also be worth considering.

            Tei An can be pretty high end (get the omakase and let them know you're culinarily adventurous, if you are) and has outstanding, authentic Japanese food.

            Craft - simple preparations, outstanding execution.

            gotta say that I didn't love Bijoux. Some dishes were great, some pretty disappointing. And a note about 560... it's a rotating restaurant, so if any of you are prone to motion sickness you might want to wear blinders.

            2 Replies
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              sass RE: gavlist Feb 15, 2011 05:46 AM

              Nana is a great suggestion. I adore that place.

              I think Bijoux pretty much sucks. There, I said it. Terrible service, mediocre food that sounds really great on the menu but never quite delivers. There are so many better options at that price point.

              1. re: sass
                DallasDude RE: sass Feb 15, 2011 12:25 PM

                wow

            2. irodguy RE: soupsample Feb 14, 2011 02:02 PM

              You might also want to add the French Room and of course the Mansion should be in the mix.

              2 Replies
              1. re: irodguy
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                thatdarnblake RE: irodguy Feb 16, 2011 05:31 AM

                I'm surprised it took this long to have French Room mentioned. Exceptional service and the best food I've eaten in Dallas. My only gripe was that the dining room seemed to be geared to old women, so it might be perfect for you!

                1. re: thatdarnblake
                  loratliff RE: thatdarnblake Feb 19, 2011 10:50 AM

                  I was reading this thread and thinking "where's the French Room?" Seriously, there's almost no other option. Nana and the Mansion are the only others that come remotely close.

                  I have not eaten at the Mansion since Bruno Davaillon has taken over, but I did have a stunning experience at Alain Ducasse's Mix, where he worked prior to coming to Dallas, so I would recommend him.

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                pgwiz1 RE: soupsample Feb 14, 2011 02:52 PM

                I second Nana. Great meal and great view (the tasting menu is worth it).

                I also will way Rise is very good if you are set on French.

                Other notable notes, 560, as someone else mentioned, and Abacus -- both have asian influenced menues.

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                  flomogal RE: soupsample Feb 19, 2011 04:07 PM

                  Just wondering why no one has mentioned Fearings at The Ritz? Haven't been there yet, but thought it might be somewhere worth mentioning.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: flomogal
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                    Mike C. Miller RE: flomogal Feb 19, 2011 05:11 PM

                    It's very good. I think of the large gourmet restaurants in town -- Charlie Palmer, Fearings, Stephen Pyles, Craft, etc -- the food is as good as any, and more inventive than most. I'd have no hesitation in taking a foodie to Pyles, especially if they are from outside the region and not had southwestern style cusine from either Fearing, Pyles, or Robert del Grande, etc. And Fearing now incorporates as much Asian into his dishes as he does SW style. Quit interesting.

                    I think Charlie Palmer is as well executed in terms of the cuisine as Fearings, and is a tad less inventive, but still very, very good. And a tad less inventive has a positive side. Some dishes at the more inventive places, including Fearings', just don't come off or appeal to a narrower range of palates. And Palmer's wine program is unmatched here in Dallas now that Lola is gone. No mark up at all -- a wine list a essentially retail prices. Moderately deep and well selected.

                    I'm also fond of Craft. We ate there last night, in fact. The food is very well done, with a great variety. I also like the home style service which make sharing de rigeur. The wine list is fair, at best, in my opinion, although if you're into domestic wines, you'll like it better than I do. Healthy marks up, however, though none that are higher than what has unfortunately been traditional in restaurants.

                    1. re: Mike C. Miller
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                      flomogal RE: Mike C. Miller Feb 20, 2011 03:43 PM

                      Great posts. Thanks for all the info!

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                    TexanGert RE: soupsample Feb 26, 2011 06:06 PM

                    I have a soft spot for Cadot Restaurant. Chef Jean-Marie Cadot has a wonderful talent for homey French goodness, and he's lovely fun to chat with as well. You can get something yummy for a really reasonable price there, but I have also had one of the most expensive ( and delish ) meals of my life there. Totally worth it.

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

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