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Best Restaurants in Dallas, TX

by Robin Barr Sussman

Melrose Hotel
4511 McKinney Ave.
(214) 559-3111

Featuring contemporary global cuisine, this architecturally stunning, chic five-star dining destination is one of Dallas’s finest.  The menu is overseen by Executive Chef Kent Rathbun, reputable chef-about-town. To start, don’t miss the signature lobster shooter with coconut sake. Memorable big plates include the grilled Arctic char fish and cheese grits with tequila lime sauce, and the pork rib chop on pear-marsala sauce with wilted Swiss chard. Reserve ahead for the chef’s table or consider the chef’s tasting menu of nine small courses chosen daily by the chef. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch.

Al Biernat’s
4217 Oak Lawn
(214) 219-2201
Well-heeled diners consider this boisterous Dallas born institution “the” place for prime steaks and fresh seafood. Its extensive wine list complements the cuisine to a tee.  Al Biernat knows his guests by name and ensures top-flight service and quality dishes from the tempura battered jumbo shrimp with field greens to the huge portions of wet aged prime N.Y. strip and the chicken piccata with capers and linguini. No wonder guests keep returning to this swanky scene. Open for lunch and dinner.

1326 S. Lamar
(214) 428-7300

The American-Mediterranean menu at this bistro is pure fun, which pleases the young modern crowd who live in nearby lofts. Stop for a cocktail on the restaurant’s small deck and catch a stellar view of downtown Dallas. Or plan to arrive at happy hour for a selection of inventive nibbles in the cushy lounge. Favorite entrees include the braised lamb shank with Moroccan-style couscous and the ahi tuna nicoise with Nicoise style accoutrements. Dessert is a highlight: Pick from s’mores, a banana split, or PB&J lollipops. See how fun? Open for lunch and dinner.

Angelo’s Bar-B-Que
2533 White Settlement Rd.
Fort Worth
(817) 332-0357

Since 1958, at this barbecue barn—a Texas institution—expect a loveable staff and huge plates of hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken and ribs in a highly seasoned sauce. Place your order, then help yourself to “fixins” (coleslaw; potato salad, beans; pickles, onions and white bread). Cheers to the massive mugs of ice-cold beer. Arrive early before they run out of ribs. Open for lunch and dinner.

4216 Oak Lawn Ave.
(214) 528-9400

The elegant trappings of this intimate dining room and glass enclosed theater kitchen continue to dazzle guests. For a big deal special occasion, feast on a pricey European style menu of blood orange cured salmon with Osetra caviar; pistachio-crusted veal tenderloin; Muscovy duck breast with Nicoise olives and rainier cherries on butternut squash Parisian. Award-winning seafood dishes include striped sea bass with braised fennel and Dover sole wrapped around luscious diver scallops. Well-crafted wine list with many rare selections. Open for lunch and dinner.

Bob’s Steak & Chop House
4300 Lemmon Ave.
(972) 608-2627

Bob’s is the local movers and shaker’s favorite nighttime spot for great steak, winning wines, handsome decor and stellar service. When it comes to portions, it’s all BIG at Bob’s, so order accordingly. Start with the—huge—chilled blue cheese salad with crisp romaine, hearts of palm, bacon and decadent creamy blue cheese dressing. Prime aged beef including three-inch filet, a juicy bone-in Kansas City strip steak, or the 20-ounce “cote de boeuf” (bone-in ribeye) are popular cuts, served with a signature giant glazed carrot. Sides of creamed corn, steaming broccoli, and the famous thick-cut onion rings stacked high keep the clientele loyal. Succulent seafood choices include the shrimp three-ways appetizer, grilled salmon, or the seafood of the day. Open for dinner nightly.

Bread Winners Cafe and Bakery
3301 McKinney, Dallas (214) 754-4940
5560 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas (214) 351-3339

Serving three meals a day, seven days a week, Bread Winners excels in sumptuous breakfasts and weekend brunches, served with freshly baked breads and pastries. Expect huge servings for dinner paired with an ambitious, yet reasonably priced wine list. Cozy-sleek environs and a menu for everyone: Southwestern egg “scrambles,” homemade granola with fruit and yogurt; spaghetti and meatballs; Black Angus ribeye; raspberry chipotle chicken sandwich on grilled sourdough. Open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner.

Cafe Izmir
3711 Greenville Ave.
(214) 826-7788

Have it your way: Choose from either “meat” or “vegetarian” and out comes plate after plate of delightful appetizers and entrees at this clubby upscale Mediterranean restaurant. On Tuesday nights, enjoy the discounted tapas menu and drink specials. Romantic, energizing atmosphere. Dinner nightly.

Café on the Green
Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas
4150 N. MacArthur Blvd.
(972) 717-2420

Here’s your hotel for a power lunch or romantic dinner complete with beautiful vistas and exceptionally polished service. The enticing contemporary American menu has excellent choices ranging from light—watercress soup with truffle potato salad, to rich—seafood risotto with main lobster, to meaty—prime New York strip or lamb chops with creamy polenta. Serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and fabulous Sunday brunch.

Cafe Pacific
24 Highland Park Village
(214) 526-1170

Fashionable mainstay with a view of Highland Park shopping is reminiscent of a London bistro with classic artwork, soaring ceilings, and black and white checked marble floors. The room buzzes with movers and shakers or ladies-who-lunch of all ages. Must orders include seafood in all forms: Chopped salad with shrimp; seared Atlantic scallops with sundried tomatoes and braised spinach; cioppino. The “Simple Grills” let you custom design your meal with a choice of colossal tiger prawns, lamb chops, salmon, etc. topped with either papaya salsa, ginger soy, spicy tomato basil sauce or piccata caper sauce. Gratis surprise on your birthday -- a marvelous, massive vanilla ice cream ball rolled in pecans and topped with rich chocolate sauce. Open for lunch and dinner; patio dining.

City Café
5757 Lovers Lane
(214) 351-2233

Park Cities regulars frequent this upscale neighborhood cafe for an ever-changing menu of contemporary yet comforting American fare. The informal, chic decor with an open kitchen gets a “10” on looks alone. But a great wine list and specialty dishes also rate high: Warm cabbage salad with Roquefort & pepper bacon; rosemary-cured Colorado lamb chops with black truffle whipped potatoes; whole fried bronzini (a European sea bass). “Eggs as you like them,” are the ticket for Sunday brunch served with sour cream hash browns and jack cheese. The open-faced omelet layered with herbs, pesto, tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella is also a perennial favorite. For dessert, try the apple-cherry crisp with blueberry ice cream. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Visit City Café To Go next door.

Deep Ellum Café
2407 Elm St.
(214) 741-9012

Casual and contemporary American favorites include the rich lobster ravioli in a silky cream sauce; roasted red bell pepper-jalapeno soup; decadent southwest crab and spinach dip with toasted pita bread. Lunch on a wedge salad draped in blue cheese dressing, green onions and bacon or the “Dagwood” sandwich of black forest ham and blackened chicken breast with roasted garlic mayo. Southern fried steak with garlic mashed potatoes and peppered gravy, or meatloaf with sautéed spinach and mushrooms are entrees for big appetites. Banana and pecan bread pudding with white chocolate sauce for dessert. Patio dining; open for lunch and dinner.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
5251 Spring Valley Road
(214) 490-9000

Dallas’s original steak empire keeps the crowds coming for pricey big beef in handsome surroundings. The dining room is cozy and dark with a rich ambience and a gracious Texas attitude and service.  USDA prime aged corn-fed beef cooked to specs; bread is freshly baked; plus amazing Australian lobster tails. Appetizers, salads, and steak sides are classic and well executed. Long waits for tables? Yep, expect it. Dinner nightly.

Hotel ZaZa
2332 Leonard St.
(214) 550-9500

Sexy restaurant with sumptuous fare keeps pace with this hip, pampering hotel. At Dragonfly, you’ll experience the cuisine of Chef Marc Cassel who features a collision of global cuisine with American comfort foods. Specialties include the lobster jalapeno bisque; ginger beef and calamari salad; Kobe carpaccio with horseradish aioli; yogurt marinated lamb chops; tandoori barbecued prawns with cucumber raita, to name a few. Expect an ever-changing menu of exciting choices and fabulous views of the Dallas skyline along with celebrity sightings. Open for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner.

Dream Cafe
2800 Routh St., Dallas
(214) 954-0486
5100 Belt Line Road, Addison
(972) 503-7326

Health nuts, all-American parents, and kidos alike find this adventurous menu user-friendly. Bountiful breakfasts are the specialty with migas, huevos and assorted omelets, fruit pancakes, all served with beautiful baskets of warm baked breads and pastries. Vegetarian specials of roasted tomato blue cheese soup, Thai noodle salad, and custom-made sandwiches round out the lunch menu. At dinner, check out spicy shrimp pasta; chicken enchiladas; Tuscan salmon. Kids play with toys and listen to weekend storytellers on the serene, green lawn of the original artsy, airy Quadrangle location. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ferrari's Italian Villa
14831 Midway Road
(972) 980-9898

Family-run establishment by Jane and Francesco Secchi and their son Stefano, who is the chef. They have been in business for decades and serve authentic Italian food from Sardinia. Salads sparkle and hearty entrees of lamb chops, veal chops and flambé jumbo shrimp continue to satisfy. Fresh pastas like orecchiete tossed with Italian sausage, tomato sauce, rapini and Parmesan reflect true Italian ingredients. The service is sometimes considered uneven, but the food, the enjoyable open kitchen concept, plus nice Italian and California wines make up for it. Open for lunch and dinner.

III Forks Steak and Seafood
17776 Dallas Parkway
(972) 267-1776

Dale Wamstad, founder of Del Frisco’s steakhouse, introduced this upscale steakhouse to Dallas. This special occasion steak palace features indulgences: Thick-cut tender prime beef, fine grained porterhouse and lean filet mignon. Ocean fresh fish and succulent buttery lobster also take center stage along with crab cakes full of Cajun spices, and trout with pecans. Don’t miss the house salad with blue cheese crumbles, apples and pecans, or the extensive wine list. Open for dinner nightly.

French Room, The
The Adolphus Hotel
1321 Commerce
(214) 742-8200

Adorned with dreamy cherubs and baroque architectural accents, The French Room is undeniably the most elegant restaurant in Dallas. With a wide range of meat and seafood selections, the classic French fare is contemporized with a light touch and artistically presented. Start with the baby arugula and white asparagus salad with tarragon vinaigrette. Then dive into the exquisite entrees: Seared European turbot with Swiss chard and rock shrimp forest mushrooms; roasted lamb ribeye sided with herbed goat cheese polenta and tomato confit; tomato-lobster consommé over seafood stuffed ravioli; ethereal chocolate soufflés. Bottom line: Expect a superior dining experience. Open for dinner only.

Go Fish
4950 Belt Line Rd.
(972) 980-1919

If you love seafood, you must Go Fish. The fresh seafood cult flocks for fish prepared by talented chef Chris Svalesen so frequently that the handsome space gets frenetic with too much business some nights. Mexican bouillabaisse stocked with seafood and laced with poblano peppers is a signature dish with slow-burning heat. Seared ahi tuna is as fresh and silky as first-rate sushi; diver scallops sport a sautéed-crisp Parmesan crust. Specials can also be noteworthy: pan-cooked flounder with lump crab, served on sautéed spinach with a basil beurre blanc. Carnivores can enjoy prime steaks. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Grape, The
2808 Greenville Ave.
(214) 828-1981

Romantics, wine lovers, and foodies favor this original wine bar that’s been going strong for decades. The Euro/New American bistro menu changes weekly via “black board specials” along with the rotating multitude of good, fairly priced wines by the glass, Signature dishes: baked Brie; wild mushroom soup; beef tournedos; Key West red snapper with black bean jicama relish; tomato coriander-seared pork chop. Specials such as the whole Hawaiian threadfish glazed with lemongrass and coconut can also be exemplary. Dreamy desserts sweeten the deal even more. Open for lunch and dinner.

Hector’s on Henderson
2929 N. Henderson Ave.
(214) 821-0432

Hector Garcia’s refined, gracious style and hospitality is reflected in all aspects of his namesake restaurant. The atmosphere is low-key and spacious but the real star here is the innovative down-home food.  Must haves: fried chicken livers adorned with caramelized cipollini onions and served on mixed greens; fried green tomatoes with crawfish remoulade and picked okra; velvety pepper steak with goat-cheese mashed potatoes. Other Texas influenced favorites include meatloaf, licorice root-smoked venison loin, and tiger shrimp on cheddar grits. Open for lunch and dinner.

India Palace
Preston Valley Shopping Center
12817 Preston Rd., Ste. 105
(972) 392-0190

India Palace has the reputation for having the best Indian food in Dallas. Followers return for the wonderful lunch buffet that is considered to be a “best buy” for the quality of food and an ideal way to sample a variety of this savory, mystical cuisine. Unlike some Indian restaurants, it also has a lovely setting and impeccably correct service. Favorite dishes: Chicken, lamb or beef curry in every degree of spiciness; Samosa and roti flatbreads; rich aloo gobi (spicy potatoes and cauliflower). The cuisine is rooted in the rich heritage of northern India. Open for lunch and dinner.

19009 Preston Rd.
(972) 248-1911

The customized country-French decor is a fabulous breath of fresh air and the bistro style fare from the south of France continues to excel. High marks for the incredibly rich lobster bisque, house-smoked salmon, tuna Nicoise, duck with black currants and Tournedos Felix Faure in a cognac-cream sauce. The well-crafted, moderately priced wine list is heavy on French selections. Lavendou’s retail area is stocked with fine teas, pottery and beautiful tablecloths. Ask about the cooking classes. Open for lunch, high tea, and dinner.

Lola, The Restaurant
2917 Fairmount St.
(214) 855-0700

Talented executive chef David Uygur has returned to Lola and things are better than ever. Diners have two options: The regular prixe fixe menu, which offers two to four courses and choices for each course. Or, the set multi-course menu in the Tasting Room, where the ten or so courses are formally presented and described by servers and wine pairing is an option.  Expect innovative combinations and explosive flavors on both menus. Memorable dishes include creamy risotto with fresh herbs and snails; grilled scallops with black pudding; seared foie gras with spring peas; wild striped bass with vibrant salsa verde. Affordable wine list. Open for dinner only.

Mansion On Turtle Creek, The
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
(214) 526-2121

This restored cotton magnate’s palatial residence perched atop the hill on Turtle Creek Boulevard brims with understated elegance and polished Southern hospitality. Expect pricey yet exciting regionally-specific dining by executive chef John Tesar. Start with the landmark warm lobster tacos or savory tortilla soup, both Mansion signature items.  Entrees of braised short ribs with chipotle macaroni and cheese; duck three ways; or diver scallops with spring ramps and sunchokes keep things contemporary. The perfect ending? Classic crème brulee studded with fresh raspberries served in a pool of tart raspberry puree. The adjacent hunting theme bar serves a casual lunch or supper and is also popular for the movers and shakers at happy hour. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Jacket required in dining room.

Matt’s Rancho Martinez
6312 La Vista Drive
(214) 823-5517

Expect great service, but a wait at this wildly popular Lakewood neighborhood Tex-Mex landmark loved even by Julia Child. Favorite menu items: Baked flautas, unusual chile rellenos, monstrous Mexican-style chicken fried steak, and Bob Armstrong dip—guacamole and ground beef smothered in queso. Chef/owner Matt Martinez serves solid, consistent comfort food to the faithful. He douses many of his specialties with his “Texas sprinkle” spice, which leaves a lasting—magical—impression. Open for lunch and dinner.

Mercury Grill
1418 Preston Rd.
(972) 960-7774

Cutting-edge towering plate presentations reign at this sleek American bistro. Handsome chef/owner Chris Ward offers complex New American cuisine in civilized portions. The jumbo lump crabmeat enchilada is a sizzling starter. Equally rich is the savory braised duck confit on foie gras whipped potatoes, or choose the lighter classic heirloom tomato salad. Entree favorites on the ever-changing menu include the mesquite grilled veal chop; braised lamb shank with Belgium French fries; swordfish with smoked corn relish and warm artichoke salad. Molten chocolate cake is an awesome dessert. Open for lunch and dinner.

Mi Cocina
3699 McKinney Ave.
(469) 533-5663
Multiple locations: 14 in and around Dallas

The Mexican food is reliably good at all locations and features both upscale dishes and basic tacos and enchiladas. Latin stir-fry fajitas provide a great option for vegetarians along with healthful salads like the Rico, which comes with beef or chicken fajita meat, avocado, shredded cheese, bacon, tortilla strips and creamy house dressing. Tortilla or bean soups are soothing and soulful. Amazingly, no two Mi Cocina’s locations look alike. Open for lunch and dinner.

Mi Piaci
14854 Montfort
(972) 934-9620

Mi Piaci offers solid classic and New Italian food with smart, spacious surroundings reminiscent of a warm Italian villa on the water. Extensive antipasti menu plus reliably hearty zuppa ribolitta Tuscan white bean soup with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and homemade breadcrumbs. Dig into the fresh daily-made pastas such as gnocchi con funghi, ravioli with rock shrimp, tagliatelle alla Bolognese; plus entrees of grilled seafood; roasted rosemary pork tenderloin with six onion orzo; brick chicken with artichokes, green olives, capers and oregano. Inviting bar overlooking water-surrounded, flower-adorned patio. Open for lunch and dinner.

Monica’s Aca y Alla
2914 Main St.
(214) 748-7140

Artsy crowd hang-out for innovative Tex-Mex and Mexico City favorites with a hip twist and excellent, affordable breakfasts and brunch. Other pluses: live entertainment, attentive service, and unbeatable people watching in an imaginative setting. Specialties include pumpkin ravioli; Mexican lasagna; Greene pasta with shrimp; Lisa’s Crabcakes; Greene mole chicken; fancy filet Azteca. Don’t pass up the stellar margaritas or cuatro leches cake. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

Hilton Anatole Hotel
220 Stemmons Frwy.
(214) 76107470

Wow—there’s dinner, dancing and private dining at this posh hotel restaurant. For dinner, expect an innovative menu of avant-garde dishes from Spain with terrific steak and seafood. Start with the elegant appetizer of seared half Maine lobster with corn cream, mozzarella “bikini,” tomatoes, and fresh basil. For mains, enjoy pan-roasted venison sirloin on celery root puree, or farm raised Chilean turbot with chanterelles and “saba” olive oil. Or opt for the Chef’s Tasting menu of 7 or 10 courses served with wine. Service and wine selections are stellar along with the best view of the Dallas skyline. Ah…romance. Open for dinner.

Crescent Court Hotel
400 Crescent Ct.

The Crescent Court Hotel houses the Texas edition of this international celebrity-favored chain restaurant. Expect pricey and artful Japanese food in this theatrical, often noisy, upscale Asian setting. Premium ingredients like Kobe beef and the toro cut of tuna appear frequently on the menu. Signature dishes include the Peruvian style spicy salmon skewers, and the Alaskan black cod with miso. Save a little money by choosing to dine at the sushi bar on ultra-fresh sashimi and creative rolls. Or just save the trip to Nobu for a special occasion; it will be worth it. Open for dinner.

Nove Italiano
3090 Olive St.
(214) 720-9903

Nove (pronounced no-vay) combines classic, somewhat dramatic Italian dining in an upscale modern space with elegant style. The kitchen turns out an extensive selection of crudos—Italy’s answer to sashimi or ceviche—cured with sea salt, citrus or infused oils. Other highlights include a showy tableside prepared Caesar salad, and Spaghetti Nove, a seafood pasta prepared at a prominent station in the dining room for guests to view. Anticipate a wine list focused on premier Italian appellations revered around the world. Open for dinner.

Palomino Euro Bistro
500 Crescent Court, #165
(214) 999-1222

The awesome size, dynamite decor and urban style of this Euro bistro will wow newcomers. Besides chic clientele and oak-fired ovens, expect a huge array of Mediterranean food. Specs: signature spit-roasted chicken; butternut squash risotto with roasted pumpkin; cream of Portobello mushroom soup; eggplant panini sandwich. Lounge area boasts striking original paintings from late Seattle artist Ambrose Patterson and incredible hand blown colorful glass art chandeliers. The sinuously curving 42-foot bar showcases marbles, mahogany and polished steel. Must sample frozen Palomino Palini on a hot Texas summer day! Open for lunch and dinner.

25 Highland Park Village
(214) 522-7878, and
1900 Preston Park Blvd., Ste. 343
(972) 964-2200

The original Patrizio is housed in a spiffed up charming, older building that suggests the ambiance of Old World Italy. Expect crowds of high-end shoppers, singles and the like clamoring for good, mass-appeal Italian food. The extensive menu includes entree salads, pizza—including great veggie, house specialties such as the massive meat lasagna and ravioli, and daily chicken/seafood specials. A “meet-market” bar reputation, deafening noise, and occasional slow service (weekends are the worst) are the drawbacks, but now you’ve been warned. Grab a few extra biscotti for your troubles. Open for lunch and dinner.

707 Preston Royal Shopping Center
(214) 692-5497

Linger in the contemporary ambience of this first-class North Dallas neighborhood bistro over a reasonably priced healthful Mediterranean menu of salads, pizza, seafood and savory grills from the wood-fired oven. Take comfort in the fact that anything goes: dress up or down, take a date or a friend, eat pizza or a multi-course meal. Vegetarians will feel blessed by the thoughtful list of choices, like the wonderfully substantial grilled market plate with myriad of vegetables served atop herbed couscous. House baked breads with flavorful basil dip are a highlight; wine list includes a nice array of wines by the glass with a sturdy handful of selections from Italy, California and France. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

3526 Greenville
(214) 826-6850

One of Dallas’ best burger joints also serves top-notch fried goodies: cheddar fries, crisp skin-on fries, puffy peppery onion rings, fried mushrooms and spicy chicken fingers. Big, juicy burgers are made to order with a perfect ratio of lettuce, tomato, pickle and mustard. The high quality meat is seasoned precisely, served sizzling hot and encased in fresh, remarkable buns.  Open for lunch and dinner.

Sonny Bryan’s Barbecue
2202 Inwood
(214) 357-7120.
Several locations with differing hours.

Long lines of faithful followers, yes, even celebrities, belly up and happily wait for what’s known as the best Texas barbecue in Dallas. This original barbecue shack is funky and run-down with a gas station ambience and crusty waitresses, but it’s simply the best. Sit indoors at the old school desks or sweat it outside on the hood of your car -- many do. Memorable meaty ribs, tender sliced brisket, savory golden onion rings, tangy savory barbeque sauce and more. Go early, because when the barbecue runs dry, it’s gone until the next day. Lunch only.

Stephen Pyles
1807 Ross Ave.
(214) 580-7000

Accomplished celebrity chef Stephan Pyles’s namesake restaurant is dubbed to serve “New Millennium Southwestern Cuisine.” You’ll find Dallas favorites and Pyle’s classics like the big bone-in cowboy ribeye with red chile onion rings or the tamale tart. Other dishes incorporate Spain, Morocco, South American and the Mediterranean, like salmon filet wrapped in spicy hojo santa leaves served on crabmeat paella, or coriander-cured rack of lamb with cranberry mojo. For a quick nosh, try the tasty tapas, ceviche bar, or flatbreads and pizzas. In this temple of contemporary southwestern cuisine, the lighting is stunning and flattering. There’s a command-view of the 1,500-square foot kitchen complete with a rotisserie and wood-burning oven where nightly changing fish specials are cooked; also an intimate 10-seat wine room and patio dining. Open for lunch and dinner.

Stoneleigh P
2926 Maple Ave.
(214) 871-2346

Situated across from the Stoneleigh Hotel, this vintage—decades old—pharmacy is now a relaxed neighborhood bar that’s considered “the real thing” with sleek booths and an urbane atmosphere but no extra frills. Beyond cocktails, expect super burgers, steaks, juicy pork chops, serious pasta and fish. Also known for its Godiva pie and friendly crowds. Late night menu and live music. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Tei Tei Robata Bar
2906 N. Henderson
(214) 828-2400

“Tei Tei,” as the regulars call it, reveals the cosmopolitan side of Dallas dining. Tokyo’s wood grill bar is the center of the action at this very pretty Japanese haunt where tapas-style selections of tempura, sashimi, grilled meat, and duck are featured. Don’t miss the extravagantly expensive thin slices of tender Kobe beefsteak, which melts in your mouth, or the more affordable Kobe beef and potato stew. Spanking-fresh seafood also rules: Seared king mackerel and whole grilled kinki snapper are dramatic, multi-textural presentations. Cold sakes and Asian beers pair well with this menu. Finish with a scoop of the exotic ginjo sake ice cream. Open for dinner.

York Street
6047 Lewis
(214) 826-0968

This petite, chic East Dallas bistro is known for its daily changing menu featuring locally grown produce, exotic seafood and organic beef. You’ll never get bored with such French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes as sea bream coupled with herbed bulgur and red-grape jus; tender hanger steak with creamed potatoes; or grilled monkfish with piquant ratatouille. The mezze appetizer platter is a nice start for a small group. Desserts are simple and perfect. Open for dinner.

Ziziki’s Restaurant and Bar
4514 Travis
(214) 521-2233

Business is booming with new restaurants in this Knox-Henderson area, but slick little Greek Ziziki remains an all-time favorite among the casual, suave crowd. Ziziki bread is the big draw -- tiny discs of dough topped with melted cheese and tangy, yogurt-garlic Ziziki sauce. Other hits: Greek salad with glorious feta, stuffed grape leaves and souvlaki kebabs; lamb or grilled salmon salad. Lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Robin Barr Sussman is a freelance food writer and columnist for Houston's My Table Magazine: A Critical Guide to Dining in Houston. Her work also appears in national publications, websites, and travel books.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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