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Dallas' Hottest Restaurants

By Valerie Jarvie
October 29, 2013
Photo by: Claire McCormack Photography

Whether you're looking to impress a date or for bragging rights as the city's most in-the-know foodie, here are our top picks for the hottest dining spots in town. Some, opened a year or so ago, have already won national recognition; others are pioneering new dining neighborhoods or filling a niche we adore. Either way, we can't get enough - or a table.

  • FT33

    Chef Matt McCallister’s creative culinary artistry has brought plenty of attention to this Design District destination in Market Center. The daily changing menu of inventive American dishes has a bent toward local sourcing (example entree: Sterling lamb with salsify, braised apples, coffee-chocolate crumble and pumpkin), and even the most sophisticated diner will find surprise and delight.

    1617 Hi Line Dr.; 214-741-2629

  • Photo by: Claire McCormack Photography

    Stampede 66

    Where to take a visitor for Western-themed fare that’s not hokey? Chef Stephan Pyles' tribute to his local roots presents Southwestern dishes and smokin’ margaritas amid stylish modern art and tunes with a Texas twang. The menu features the chef’s take on chili, Tex Mex, barbecue, steaks and homestyle classics such as fried chicken with mashed potato tots, buttermilk biscuits and ham hock gravy.

    1717 McKinney Ave.; 214-550-6966

  • Spoon Bar & Kitchen

    Acclaimed chef John Tesar (of Bravo TV and the Mansion on Turtle Creek) turns his toque to seafood at this Preston Center destination. He's won kudos for stellar crudo, à la carte fish and luxe fixed-price tasting menu options that reflect his classical training and talent. A sophisticated, contemporary space and polished service make for an extraordinary dining experience.

    8220 Westchester Dr.; 214-368-8220

  • Lark on the Park

    Restaurateur Shannon Wynne’s latest venture is a vibrant eatery with a globally influenced menu, set on the edge of Klyde Warren Park. It's a timely outpost for lunch before or after museum visits, dining pre-theater or making a night of it Downtown. The spacious, casual setting features a happening bar scene and chalkboard illustrations from local artists. 

    2015 Woodall Rodgers Fwy.; 214-855-5275

  • Belly and Trumpet

    A globally influenced menu of shareable plates and craft cocktails bedazzles at this colorful, glam hot spot, a collaboration between Richard and Tiffanee Ellman (Oak) and John Paul Valverde (Coeval Studio). An intimate old house is the setting for all-over-the-map dishes such as crudo of hokkaido scallop, Asian pear-horseradish purée, pickled shiitake and black bean paste; Indian-spiced Colorado lamb with asparagus, paneer and chanterelles; and crab beignets with Pernod aïoli.

    3407 McKinney Ave.; 214-855-5551

  • Twenty Feet Seafood

    A standout among new casual seafood spots is chef Marc Cassel’s rustic Lakewood spot. The counter-served traditional shack chow includes lobster rolls, fried Ipswich clams, oyster po' boys and fish 'n' chips, plus more esoteric items such as pork belly banh mi sandwiches, ramen noodles and signature mussels beloved by fans since Cassel’s Green Room days. It’s well-priced to begin with, but the BYO policy makes it an absolute bargain.

    1146 Peavy Rd.; 972-707-7442

  • Môt Hai Ba

    The street food of Hanoi and the French- and Chinese-influenced cuisine of North Vietnam inspired farm-to-table chefs Colleen O’Hare and Jeana Johnson to open this petite, energetic cafe. It turns out fragrant pho and tasty banh mi sandwiches, as well as delightful appetizers and entrees such as Imperial rolls made with pork and shrimp; shaking beef with red onion and watercress; and crab with chile, garlic and scallion. Housed in a tiny East Dallas cottage modernized with casual Asian-accented decor, it’s a hot spot for a modern take on trendy Asian street fare.

    6047 Lewis St.; 972-638-7468

  • Le Bilboquet

    With the blessing of the original’s owners, alumni of the New York longtime restaurant of the same name opened this Travis Walk white-tablecloth bistro earlier this year. We love its light and airy ambiance, Parisianlike patio seating and the reservation policy that guarantees an unhurried two-hour time frame to enjoy a meal of classic French fare and American specialties such as Cajun blackened chicken.  

    4514 Travis St.; 469-730-2937

  • Tanoshii Ramen + Bar

    For months, excitement has been building about a ramen shop launching in Deep Ellum. The long-awaited Japanese noodle atelier by husband and wife team Joey and Chi Le is now open for dinner and weekend late-night service. The first nights saw long lines of diners, waiting to get a taste of fresh, housemade noodles in savory broth and dumplings. While the verdict remains to be seen, it's on the "must-try" radar of foodies about town anxious to sample the trendy noodles and vegan options in a rustic, contemporary space softened with Asian elements.

    2724 Commerce; 214-651-6800

  • Photo by: Claire McCormack

    Kitchen LTO

    While it’s usually best to give a new restaurant time to iron out the the kinks, urgency is part of the excitement at this concept - a limited-time-only pop-up that will disappear 120 days from inception (at which point another chef and design team gets a shot at the space). Chef Norman Grimm kicks it off, applying a French classical technique to the indigenous ingredients featured in his modern American cuisine. 

    3011 Gulden Ln.; 214-377-0757


Places Mentioned


American • Design District

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
Stampede 66

Tex-Mex • Victory Park

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
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