Hello, Dali

A few days later, I came back. But this time, I tried out lunch. The Monday I went was their soft opening, so they were offering complimentary lunch.

Us: "Is the wine free too?"

Owner: "Yep."

You want art in your Arts District? We suggest a still life with wine at Dali.
MEREDITH L. MOORE
You want art in your Arts District? We suggest a still life with wine at Dali.

Location Info

Map

Dali Wine Bar & Restaurant

1722 Routh St
Dallas, TX 75201-2535

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Downtown & Deep Ellum

Details

Pan-seared quail $9

Cheese sampler $12

Bibb lettuce salad $7

Feuille-wrapped mozzarella $6

Veal $23

Pan-seared halibut $21

Grilled NY strip $28

Pappardelle pasta $15

Butterscotch pudding $8

Closed Location

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Us: (high-five, low-five, three-way chest bump)

On this day, the service was great, and the food was great too. As far as speed, it's definitely not the fastest turnaround (lunch took us two hours, and dinner a few nights before clocked in at three and a half hours), but it's a nice place to catch up with an old friend on a fake sick day. We started our lunch with the lemon-herb crab and shrimp cakes. When they showed up, the guy at the table next to us clearly had appetizer envy. And rightly so. Unlike most crab cakes, these were (happily) much more crab and shrimp than they were cake. They were flaky and a little crispy—but not greasy at all. When the waiter showed up two seconds later to ask how our appetizer tasted, the only proof that we'd actually ordered an appetizer at all was the naked plate in the middle of our table.

The entrée highlights at lunch were the buttery bay scallop and rock shrimp with spaccatelli pasta—giant al dente half-tubes of macaroni that were really fun to eat—and the pan-seared salmon with a fresh, palate-cleansing radish-cucumber relish.

We finished off our meal by trying every dessert on the lunch menu (jealous?), and the table agreed that the mascarpone and cream cheese cheesecake—that was simultaneously creamier and lighter than any cheesecake we'd ever tasted—just barely out-touched the black currant sorbet (which, if sorbet-brain-frozen memory serves was seasoned with a touch of thyme) for first place in the 200M Individual Medley of Desserts.

The trying-too-hard-to-be-swanky atmosphere and mediocre service at Dali turned me off, but the food was so freakin' tasty that I'd go back. If I were you, I'd sit outside to avoid the blaring '90s Top 40 playing inside, drink your wine by the bottle and order your courses by the truckload. I'd also wear a tube top and jorts just to thumb my nose at the Wine Snob Popped-Collarfest in this place if I were you, but that's totally optional.

1722 Routh St. at One Arts Plaza, 469-385-9360. Open 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 5:30-10:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday (small plates and drinks until midnight). Sunday brunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $$-$$$

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