Some looooove it, some haaaaate it, and the rest of us have a love/hate thing going on with it. It’s the same drill each year: restaurants either take advantage of the opportunity to serve guests who might not otherwise visit, or phone it in, whining about losing money and shitty tips. Not that those complaints aren’t valid, but it’s the unfortunate nature of Restaurant Week. It’s a double-edged sword. But the optimist (and deal lover) in me still wants to like RW, because fine dining is my favorite pastime. Yeah, that’s right.
The dates: Week 1: August 11–17
Week 2: August 18–24
Week 3: August 25–31
So because I’m a bossy, bossy bitch, I’m once again going over the restaurants participating in RW and giving you tips on where to hurry and snap up reservations, and which spots aren’t worth your time (or $35-45, before tip and wine pairings). Remember, some of these spots are participating in a lunch situation, which at $25 is an expensive lunch, but an inexpensive RW trip. Lunch can be especially fun at one of the more expensive restaurants.
Please note that while Restaurant Week reservations tend to fill up quickly, there are reservations that either are or become available nearly every day, especially if you are flexible. The lobster shooters at Abacus taste just as good at 9:00 as it does at 7:00. Some restaurants participate for several weeks, so get on the horn!
foodbitch-approved RW restaurants: To get onto this list you have to be delicious, offer a solid bang-to-buck ratio and offer excellent service, including during Restaurant Week. I might be hitting a few of these puppies up myself.
Abacus — Part of Restaurant Week royalty, reserve a seat at Abacus for the quintessential RW experience
Asador — Underrated, farm-to-table goodness in the Renaissance Hotel
Belly & Trumpet — B&T does RW right. Upgrade your experience with some cocktails
The Grape Restaurant — RW at The Grape is homey and comforting
The Crescent Club — You can only Crescent during RW or if you get really lucky, so take advantage
The Capital Grille
Little Red Wasp Kitchen & Bar
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
The Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek — I mean, it’s The Mansion
Nonna — One of only a handful of great Italian restaurants in town
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
San Salvaje by Stephan Pyles — New and exciting from chef Stephan Pyles
Ser Steak & Spirits – The Hilton Anatole’s steakhouse with a view
Stampede 66 — Though I can recommend Stampede any day, the higher end of the menu there would make for a RW value
Stephan Pyles – A classic for RW
Tei-An – The menu looks killer this year
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck – The only Asian fusion I find acceptable, and waaaaay up high! Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse – Menu looks pretty decent
foodbitch RW shit list: If you make a reservation at these restaurants I will hit you. Or at least shake my head.
Al Biernat’s — We all know what went down here.
Grace — Portions were an issue a few years ago during RW, and the dinner was overall not that great.
Nobu Dallas — A recent visit revealed an unimpressive experience for what it cost. So pricewise perhaps worthy of a RW reservation, but I don’t think I would do it, personally.
Nick & Sam’s Steak & Fish House — Super rushed service and phoned-in dishes during last year’s RW put Nick & Sam on this list.
Naan Sushi — Absolutely not. No.
Nick & Sam’s Grill — Certainly not expensive enough to make RW a decent deal.
Sambuca — Cougar steaks, anyone? No.
New! “MEH” list: I wouldn’t bother making RW reservations for these spots; go another time instead. Nothing wrong with them, just not really worthy of dressing up and splurging.
Grain at the Hilton Park Cities
Ocean Prime — The food here isn’t really RW-worthy; more of a mid-range night out.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib
Javier’s — I’m a fan of this see-and-be-seen spot, but I don’t think RW makes sense for it.
Kenichi — Meh. Overrated.
The Grill on the Alley — Skip RW and just go another time to this Galleria spot.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – RW wasn’t particularly stellar here. Del Frisco’s Grille — Fun night out with friends? Yes! RW? Nah. Dish Restaurant and Lounge — Great food, just not really a great value for RW. Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill, Steak & Chop House — Same as above.
Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar — I love Sissy’s, but it’s not really RW-appropriate, cost-wise, especially at $45. Max’s Wine Dive – Max’s is good but not expensive or high-end enough for RW Mesero Miguel — High-end Tex Mex but not high-end enough for RW to make sense. And $45?? Joke. Dee Lincoln’s Steak & Burger Bar Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill
Saint Ann — The food has improved here, but it’s not RW-good.
Meso Maya — Not expensive enough for RW. Try the coconut salmon though, next time you visit.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
Steel Restaurant & Lounge
India West by Ross Duggal — Good Indian food, expensive for Indian, but not quite a RW-level spot.
foodbitch RW sad list: Generally, these are either NOT fine dining, or NOT a good value at all. In short, it’s nice of them to be donating to charity, but let other folks go there.
St. Martin’s Wine Bistro — The prices might say fine dining, but St. Martin’s is weird and not really that good. Ferrari’s Italian Villa – Olive Garden upgrade does not equal high-end Lazaranda Modern Kitchen — Not expensive enough. The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant — Pretty sure you can hit the pot without spending $35 per person
Misto Bistro — If you’ve driven by this Carrollton spot you’ll see it’s not even close to RW-worthy Seasons 52 – We do NOT diet during Restaurant Week Place at Perry’s – I had a filet here once. No, no, no, no, no. Stratos Greek Taverna – Opa! But no. Texas de Brazil – all the meats cost less than $35 regularly, yes? So no. Tillman’s Roadhouse – I haven’t been super impressed with dinner at Tillman’s; brunch and lunch are much better
Now that you’ve heard what I think, it’s time to make some decisions.
Reservations are OPEN! Make yours now on Open Table, or call the restaurant directly.
Foodbitch is an expert eater and published food writer who lives in Dallas, Texas with her exceptionally well-fed twin daughters, husband and their dogs. She’ll tell you what to eat and you’ll like it.