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Eating in this renovated 1906 Victorian mansion cum boutique hotel is pure alchemy; you won't be the same once the last creamed crumb passes your lips. Dining room seams bulge with turn-of-the-century French antiques oozing lace and candle flickers. There's a New Orleans-style courtyard, lit just enough to milk shadows from the recesses and brush. Place-settings (Waterford, Schotts-Zwiesel, Limoges, etc.) are ruthlessly proper with all manner of forks, spoons and knives in polished silver placed with feverish meticulousness. Hotel St. Germain exacts its demands. Reservations are required and must be secured at least 24 hours in advance. The complexion of your eight-course prix fixe menu (a meat or a seafood, usually)-from amuse-bouche to soufflé-must be determined in advance. Coat and tie is mandatory for the men, though some rebels wear Levis and unravel the tie knot before the soup (puree of artichoke and leek with black truffle dimpling the surface) can tickle the larynx. From the exquisite seared foie gras with quince confit and a celery leaf garnish as a racing stripe to the oyster gratin with spinach and crab, no experience in Dallas compares to this. Anywhere. Oh sure, there's a little nattiness: the occasional burned-out chandelier bulb; the faux-distress on the woodwork, etc. But service is impeccable, the wine list is reasonable (a $70 Burgundy is there), and the spaces and parlors are delicious respites.