Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2000

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Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best muffaletta

Ah, New Orleans--capital for all things salacious, sodden, and spicy. For a slice of that easy-livin' place, go to the Crescent City Caf in Deep Ellum, where the food is Cajun and the risk of heartburn is high. The food is the gastronomical culprit, not only because it's spicy but because it's so damn good that it's hard to eat it slowly. The key to a divine muffaletta is in the bread and in the spices, both of which are perfect at Crescent City. Take advantage of the specials offering a quarter or half a sandwich with a side of crawfish etouffe, gumbo, or soup. Take a bite and project yourself to the bayou, where the cheap drinks flow easy, the catfish leap out of the muddy river in a spastic dance, and the police can be paid to ignore virtually any heinous crime.

Best New Restaurant

Sometimes putting your money where your mouth is...doesn't taste very good. But not all the time. Sure, multimillionaire Scott Ginsburg has used his considerable shekels to assemble a world-class wine list (1981 Chateau Haut-Brion is served by the glass in the bar) and a stunning array of knickknacks. (They include an exploding dish chandelier by lighting designer Ingo Mauer and a bullet-proof glass case cradling a collection of Dale Chihuly glass sculptures.) But if great bottles and swell gimcracks made great restaurants, Woolworth's lunch counter would not have faded away. You gotta have tasty hors d'oeuvres to go with all that eye candy. Or at least tasty liver sans onions (which Voltaire does, only they call it foie gras). There are those rare moments while dining when you slip a forkful of food into your mouth and time stops, or least your Hyundai payments do (Voltaire isn't cheap). This is what eating at Voltaire was like on two occasions months ago. The food was perfectly prepared, the sauces well orchestrated, and the plates brilliantly assembled. But then the restaurant was afflicted with serious stumbles, most notably with service. Missteps spread to the cuisine when Executive Chef George Papadopoulos diverted his focus from the kitchen to grease the gears grinding in the front of the house. All those shortcomings have been smoothed over, however, and Voltaire is once again as good as it was. Now if we could only find some money to put this tasty cuisine in our mouth.

5150 Keller Springs Rd., Dallas, 75244
MAP
972-239-8988
Best lesbian drink

A couple of these sly concoctions of Crown Royal, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice will turn a mousy brunette into a scarlet temptress. The pinkish red color and the deceptive sweetness hide the puissant punch that quickly brings out the tart in anyone. Drink at your own risk.

Best quail

Il Sol's pan-roasted bobwhite quail with a truffled taleggio risotto cake is plump, juicy, and bursting with delicate flavors. The risotto cake edged the bird in racy cheese sharpness, putting the game in this game. It makes you wonder what kind of miracles they could perform with a parakeet.

4514 Travis St., Dallas, 75205
MAP
214-559-3888
Best Jack and Coke

We like our alcoholic beverages the same way we like our panty hose, perfume, and boyfriends--strong and cheap. The process for making this barroom staple isn't hard to master. Put ice in a plastic cup. Pour in Jack Daniels. Hose in some Coca-Cola. Sure, it happens all over town, but here it will cost a least a buck or two less per drink than other places. And with the potency, you'll save even more in the long run.

3615 Parry Ave., Dallas, 75226
MAP
214-823-6617
Best pasta to go

If you're looking for a quick, inexpensive meal, check out the Corner Bakery in North Dallas. Take-out or eat-in, pasta is prepared fresh as you wait. Entres include fettucine Alfredo, pasta with pesto, pasta with tomato, pasta with ragu, and pasta with marinara sauce. Each dish is served with a salad of your choice, and a fresh assortment of bread--all for less than $10.

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Best muffaletta: Crescent City Café,

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