Dallas Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
2323 N. Henderson Ave., Knox/Henderson
Owners (and lovebirds!) Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers brought their passion for friendly fine food and wine with them when they left their posts running Press—one of Napa Valley’s must-go dining destinations—to return to Rogers’s hometown. They poured it all into Gemma and opened the restaurant earlier this year. Always expertly executed but never too fussy, the menu covers a lot of ground, from crudos to duck confit with fried rice, so come late when reservations loosen up and the $2 oysters make an appearance.
Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (Closed)
2929 N. Henderson Ave., Highland Park
You’ll get a taste of modern day Southern hospitality in every sip of vodka-spiked sweet tea. Settle into a seat on the screened-in porch of this cozy spot in Henderson and keep the squash puppies and chili fried oysters (topped with cane vinegar green sauce and Sissy’s spicy mayo) coming. Braised beef short ribs and the smothered T-bone will tempt you, but who are we kidding? One mixed bucket of house spiced, buttermilk soaked, fried chicken for the table, please.
1617 Hi Line Dr., Arts District
Matt McCallister is probably Dallas’s most talked-about chef, and with good reason: The food served at FT33 comes in the guise of modernist cuisine—it’s no surprise he’s cut his teeth at both Alinea and Daniel—but is still rooted in local, seasonal ingredients that he crafts into homey, relatable food. In other words, don’t be fooled by the super polished plating, the sleek Nordic-style restaurant interiors, and the seriousness of the seven-course tasting menu: It’s all delicious.
7713 Inwood Rd., Bluffview
While the menu at Shinsei might be a little offputting with its pan-Asian ambition—it offers not only Japanese sushi but also some Korean BBQ dishes along with plenty of Chinese-American options—the truth is the food is well, great. It’s no surprise, though, as the owners are Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun, the wives of two of Dallas’s most established chefs. We tend to opt for the sushi and tempura dishes and find ourselves enjoying the Dallas-style innovations, including using jalapeño as an ingredient in the rolls. The gorgeous interiors—mid-century Swedish gone to Japan—are a plus.
Rise No.1
5360 W. Lovers Ln., Bluffview
There’s something pretty charming about this Francophile restaurant located in Inwood Village. As its name suggests, the specialty here is the soufflé, which they’ve totally mastered in all its forms, both savory and sweet. Each comes prettily plated on traditional French dishware, making it the kind of fanciful place you might take your daughter for a special treat. If you’re just along for the ride and not a huge fan of the dish, there are plenty of healthier, equally French-inflected options to choose from.
614 W. Davis St., Bishop Arts District
Surrounded by independent stores and galleries, this all-day eatery in the Bishop Arts district is kind of the perfect neighborhood spot. Housed in a restored historic building, it has a slightly industrial, patinaed vibe that runs through both the more casual café and the wine bar. Go in the day for great coffee, a generous Cobb salad, and the best turkey burger in town. At night, it's great for dinner dates at the cozy restaurant/wine bar, which serves up hearty dishes—pork chops, merguez—complemented by a great wine list that delves deep into the Californian wine scene.
1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Oak Lawn
While we hear that Oak has had its fair share of upheaval with three different chefs in the span of three years, it seems to have finally hit its pace with chef Brian Zenner and his elegant, ever-evolving menu—we’re fans of the Jidori Chicken and his perfectly spiced, slightly Indian-influenced veggie mains. Beyond the food, what makes this Design District spot so popular among the locals is its comfy-meets-classy vibe: With its friendly but on-point service and elegant but cozy decor—big leather couches for seats—it’s perfect for every occasion, from romantic dates to business lunches.
Lockhart Smokehouse
400 W. Davis St., Bishop Arts District
Get in while the getting is good at this Central Texas–style smokehouse: When the day’s brisket, pork chops, chicken, and sausages run out, that’s that. If you’re not sure what to order, don’t be shy—ask for a sample. Meat is sliced to order and handed over wrapped in butcher paper, and the pickles, onions, bread, and crackers flow freely. Round out your Big Tex–worthy meal with blue cheese slaw, baked beans, and extra extra creamy mac ’n’ cheese.