Last year I wrote up my recommendations and thoughts about some, okay most of the participating restaurants for Restaurant Week. This year, I’m reposting for your dining pleasure, and I’ve added some updates where I thought it was necessary. Enjoy!
The famed KRLD Restaurant Week started on Monday, and while I would never recommend being late for a reservation, it’s not too late to throw your fork in the pasta and tummy up to the table for a sampling of the best Dallas has to offer. For less.
Now, I’m a girl who LOVES a deal, but I want to get quality for my money. That’s why I’ve compiled what is—in my opinion—a thorough list of the participating restaurants, divided into nine categories: The Riches, The Newbies, The Sexies, The Stuffy, The Overrated, The Royalty, The Disinteresting, The Meat and Potatoes and The Gems. Some spots make repeat appearances on two different categories, and I know there are a few missing. Please forgive me. But bonus: I’ve even included some recommended dishes to try. Maybe you don’t make it out this year, but next time you head to one of these eateries…you’ll know what to splurge on.
Please note that while Restaurant Week reservations tend to fill up quickly, there are reservations that 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 through September 6, so get on the horn!
Note also that I have very limited experience outside of Dallas proper. Thus, I have not listed many restaurants located in Lewisville, Ft. Worth, Arlington or Plano. I invite you to try these places for yourself and let me know how they taste!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Abacus – Everybody knows this spot. It’s well-known to be the most expensive restaurant in town, and it delivers a high-quality dining experience worth writing home about. And of course you’ll want to, y’know, to brag.
Craft Dallas – Sexy with a side of truffle oil.
The Crescent Club – Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to dine at this member-exclusive establishment. Take. That. Opportunity! It’s a unique culinary experience. 2011 UPDATE: This is my official RW recommendation. You can’t go here just any time you want and it’s truly a culinary experience. Winner.
Fearing’s – Ritz-Carlton – Ahem—RITZ—ahem. Excuse me.
The Mansion Restaurant – What’s fancier than the Mansion??
Eddie V’s – I have been to the Austin location, but that was before I was a “food person”. I’ll have to report back once this Dallas newbie meets the more matured, bitchier me.
Horne & Dekker – The menu at this Henderson spot sounds fancy-home-cookin’-fantastic. Can’t wait to try. 2011 UPDATE: H&D is tasty for sure, but not RW-worthy simply for value reasons.
The 2nd Floor – In the Galleria. I haven’t eaten there, but it sure is pretty.
AMPM Restaurant & Lounge
Bolla Restaurant – in the Stoneleigh Hotel. Beautiful with chef POWER!
Central 214 – Sexy, sure, but I’ve had better. Ahem. 2011 UPDATE: I clearly need to go back. The sole was a poor choice.
Charlie Palmer at the Joule – Last year’s RW dining experience. Delicious and they gave my party of 10 our own room!
DISH – This is a new arrival in town. It’s like gourmet-sexy-dining lite. I recommend giving it a try, RW or not.
Dragonfly – Quite possibly the sexiest restaurant in Dallas. I’m not sexy enough to even go there.
Eddie V’s – Sexy seafood. Is that a good thing? I’ll find out one of these days…
Ferre Ft. Worth – the former Ferre in the West Village was a tasty, sexy spot. I can still remember the taste of the perfectly-cooked fish I enjoyed after quite a few glasses of wine…
Kenichi Dallas – Probably the sexiest sushi in town. So if you’re looking to see and be seen in Victory, try it out.
Steel – Come for the sushi, stay for the inventive main dishes. Just don’t show up on Wednesday – it’s free sushi happy hour night. Read: PACKED.
Arcodoro & Pomodoro
The Landmark Restaurant
Oceanaire Seafood Room
Abacus – The proverbial fois gras, lobster, caviar and finest champagne of Dallas’ dining scene. Worth a try just so you can say you’ve been.
Charlie Palmer at the Joule – last year’s RW adventure. Delicious with a great waitstaff and an interesting menu.
Fearing’s – Ritz-Carlton 2011 UPDATE: Fearing’s is booked up, but if you can, go. It’s lovely and tasty.
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck – It’s right there in the name, and way up in the sky. Anything would be better than the tourist trap he replaced.
Jasper’s Plano – Abacus’ little sister, Jasper’s is known for inventive and delicious, fusion-y fare.
Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen – Celebrity chef Kent Rathbun does fancy country right.
Samar by Stephen Pyles – One of the few ethnic choices on the RW list, I’ve been meaning to head to this fusion spot.
Stephan Pyles – Spent my first Restaurant Week dining experience here. While I’ve heard good things since, our experience was far from top notch. While I’m not ruling it out completely, I probably won’t be back there soon.
Tillman’s Roadhouse – The classy addition of event design genius Todd Fiscus makes this place a feast for the eyes and the countrified heart.
Craft Dallas – Honestly, Craft is too rich for its britches. I didn’t LOVE anything I had, and everything felt more heavy & fattening than fresh. Not my bag.
Dallas Fish Market – The food here should have been better for what it cost.
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck – While the prices and altitude are both sky-high, the follow-through was not. Asian Fusion menu yielded tasty items, but none were inventive enough to warrant the price tag.
Hector’s on Henderson – Meet Hector: He sings, you eat. It’s kinda weird. The food is good, but there are better selections on that street for the money. 2011 UPDATE: Hector’s is closed.
Ocean Prime – With a business based most likely entirely via business lunches, it’s no surprise this relatively new place is a bit lazy. And I’ve heard heavily salted, oddly enough.
Sambuca – The one on McKinney Avenue is fun enough, but Sambuca360 in Frisco is a loud, cougar-filled hot mess with a line and a cover charge on Saturday nights. BEWARE.
Ferrari’s Italian Villa – Not pricey or high-class enough to be involved in Restaurant Week. Sorry.
Go Fish Ocean Club – See above.
The Grill on the Alley – Huh? Somebody feel free to let me know if this place is worth checking out.
Silver Fox Steakhouse – Nope.
Salum Restaurant – I’ve heard mixed reviews, but it’s in a strip mall, and I’m obviously a food snob.
Hully and Mo – A stand-up, classy spot for business lunch, but not RW-worthy, in my opinion. 2011 UPDATE: Do not. Not even close to RW-worthy.
Bailey’s Prime Plus (all locations)
Dallas Chop House
III Forks – I love to indulge in old, Dallasy, JR Ewing-style steak at this mainstay, but the family-style sides are honestly my favorite part. Fresh tomatoes, buttery snap peas and creamed corn. To die. Literally…
Lawry’s the Prime Rib – Try the prime rib. 😉
McCormick & Schmick’s
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse 2011 UPDATE: Brian Luscher of The Grape has personally recommended this steakhouse to me.
The Place at Perry’s 2011 UPDATE: Fantastic for lunch. I’m guessing dinner does well too.
Steve Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge
Texas de Brazil 2011 UPDATE: Don’t think I’d do this for RW. It’s not a great value.
Woodfire by Kirby’s – Excellent service at this Greenville avenue spin-off; try the salmon.
Capital Grille – Sure, I haven’t sampled every steak in town, but I’m guessing the ones here give the other slabs a run for their money.
DISH – Relatively new and sexy-like, this place serves up elegantly designed food that tastes great.
The Grape – A Greenville Avenue staple, I love this place for brunch. The burger is supposedly #1.
Hattie’s – Spent a Valentine’s Day dinner here, and the foodie sparks flew.
Hibiscus – Different and delicious. In the delicious corridor on Knox just east of 75.
Jasper’s – Abacus’ little bro. Give it a try – it will likely impress you!
Sangria – If Lombardi “concepted” it, odds are I’ll adore it. Sangria is no exception. 2011 UPDATE: Not RW-worthy.
Parigi – I’m a BIG fan. Haven’t had dinner there, but lunch is fantastic. 2011 UPDATE: I’ve since had dinner and it did not disappoint.
Pyramid Restaurant & Bar – I’ve heard good things, so this one is on my short list to try out very soon. 2011 UPDATE: Still on the short list, which never seems to get any shorter.
Café Toulouse – L-O-V-E Toulouse, but I’m not sure RW is a good value here.
York Street – I’ve heard rave reviews about York and cannot wait to try it out myself. 2011 UPDATE: York Street was glorious, but it is now gone. Sorry folks.
From the looks of this list I obviously have a lot more eating to do.
Remember, it’s not too late to make an extraordinary night out of an ordinary one. Call last minute and see if something opened up! Enjoy!
KRLD Restaurant Week 2011
Make reservations for most via OpenTable.com.
Or get the complete list here.