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Jun 2, 2012 06:11 PM

Staycation weekend in Dallas for wife and I - Need help

Wife and I live in the Dallas 'Burbs, kids out of town we decided to grab room at the Zsa Zsa next weekend and have a staycation intown for the weekend.

Friday Night Dinner - Fearings or Stephen Pyles? What sayeth the board?

Saturday Night Dinner - Tei Tei, Craft, Nonna?

We've only been in DFW for about 2 years so these are some places we as a couple (nor I as an individual business allows me to hit more places in the city then her) have yet to visit......

Interested in some insights from people who've been....


EDIT - Just checked out the wine menu at Craft and nearly blew a gasket. As an avid Wine Collector, those markups are beyond ridiculous......that along might rule that out for me!

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  1. Fearings! It is close and a nice stroll back to the hotel. Pyles is ok; I know people rave but I found Fearings menu to be far more interesting and the execution was spot on. For Saturday you might try Nosh just a short hop down Oak Lawn. My hubby and I did a chefs tasting at the bar one night when Avner was at the helm and we were delighted and I remember a few wine gems on the menu. You might also try to catch a bar seat at Lucia. It is worth the drive and you can always stroll Oak Cliff while you wait for your seat. Whatever you choose, your bound to have a great time. Enjoy!

    1. You listed so many good restaurants for so few evenings.
      Quite a dilemma.

      However, to add my two cents worth.......

      Fearings for Friday night and, as tough as it is to not say Tei Tei, I would go with Nonna for Saturday.
      Others would probably say Tei Tei but, I'm just crazy for the food at Nonna. The best Italian this side of Lucia. Just be sure to reserve early!

      1. I also live in the burbs also but I would rather go from in city to burbs....just me. That said I would say hit Tei An for the first night and then Lucia for the second. Those are both places I regularly drive to dine at. The others not so much just because the price point and the lack of interesting food.

        I really liked Craft when I went and that was for the earliest dinner during Restaurant Week. My wife and I are more into beer than wine but we had some nice pairings at Craft that didn't break the bank.

        3 Replies
        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          Love Tei Ann, have been there about 4-5 times so that's why that has been eliminated.

          To VStock.....Like Nosh alot, have been there about 1/2 dozen times though.

          Might have to look into Lucia.

          EDIT: Lucia has no openings in June per their website........

          1. re: masnole

            The bar at Lucia is walk-in ... but you may not be up for the risk for your staycation ;)

            1. re: masnole

              Lucia has four first come first serve seats at the bar and two two tops outside if the weather isnt brutal. If you get there when they open, if you dont get a seat they will put your name on the list and call you when it is ready. It is worth the effort.

          2. You list some good restaurants that we frequent and enjoy.

            As between Fearings and SPyles, I'm generally more fond of Fearings. Haven't been to either in about three or four months because we've been out of town a fair amount, but I've found the execution and the vision at Fearing's just better. That being said, I've heard from two reliable foodies that their last two visits to Fearing's -- separate from one another -- were not quite up to the restaurants heretofore high standards. I didn't go into detail with either as circumstances didn't permit (and one visit was for lunch), but you might try to find someone who has eaten there in the past month or so. As to wine, it's a mixed bag at Fearing's. Not a great list, markup in in the high to mid range, but not as high as Craft. If you're partial to California wines rather than international varieties, you'll be OK.

            Among the next evenings selections, there i no doubt I'd choose Nonna. The food is at least as good as Craft, and for my money a good notch or so better. Or at least more to my taste, might be a better way to put it. Very Cal-Italian in concept. Wine list is nice, though not deep, with all Italian wines. You're not going to find deep verticals of Elio Altare Barolos as it is much more oriented towards value priced wines. In fact, if there is more than one or two bottles on it over $100, I'd be surprised. But the staff knows the list and there is always something interesting, if not earth shatteringly good, to drink. And the food is wonderful. Simple, elegant, fresh and seasonal. It is in my opinion one of Dallas' five or six best restaurants.

            There is certainly nothing wrong with Tei Tei, but it can be crowded and loud on week end nights. And as a wino, I think Nonna is a better match. Save Tei Tei for a week night. At least that's my vote.

            Craft is a great place for a crowd, so you can try bits of this and that -- the food is served family style. But unless you have very deep pockets and don't mind high markups, it's a hard place to justify spending money for special wines. I've taken to ordering lower end wines there -- petite Chablis, etc. -- when I go, which works well enough when you've got more than two diners in any event. But I confess that their wine prices keep me from eating there more often. If their wine prices were more in line with Nonna, for example, I'd eat there twice a month instead of once every two or three months. (If there were essentially retail, like Charlie Palmer, I'd eat there all the time.)

            Finally a note about Lucia. Great, great restaurant. I'd eat there any day in a heartbeat. BUT, you have to contend with the "will there be a table at the bar" and "how long will I have to wait" factor. Unless you reserve a month or two ahead of time (something that is just not compatible with my lifestyle), it's hard to eat there often enough. But other than the "nobody eats there anymore because the line is too long" factor, you can't beat it with a stick. If you go, go hungry and get one more course than you normally would have and split the salumi platter. I want at least one of their salumi platters for my last meal on earth. Wine values are excellent there, also. Interesting, quirky list that the staff, especially Jennifer, knows well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              Thanks to all of you who offered input. Sorry it took so long to write back, but I'm just lazy sometines.

              Chose Fearings over Pyles Friday night - Great dinner. Great place. Dean came by and spoke with us on several occasions. I started with the Seared Fois Gras, wife had the bisque. She had the Bison, I had the Lamb Rack. Phenomenal. Bottle of Gaja Sito Moresco with the meal. We'll be back.

              Saturday -
              Lunch at Il Cane Rosso - fabulous, I'm a huge pizza snob, will make a pilgrimmage to places if they warrant it (eg Pizza Bianco in Phoenix....). Had a great pie with Jimmy's Hot Sausage. Was a bit bummed that they did not serve the Burrata appetizer during "brunch hours".

              Dinner - Nonna. OUTSTANDING! I had the Charcuterie appetizer.....mmmm Pate, Lardo, and an awesome braised pork treat. Wife had one of the salads, and a nice pasta. I went with the Porchetta....oh My God...... was that good. Nice bottle of Barbaresco to go with that.

              Sunday - Loaded up on Tacos at Fuel City for lunch ..... Barbacoa....need I say anything more???? Great....even though the messed up my order (flour tortillas for us both.....I ordered Corn for me).

              All in all a great stayeatcation in Dallas. Appreciate the suggestions! Really have never been steered wrong on this site in any city, or country about which I've inquired!