Restaurant Reviews

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2014

    How Chef Brian Zenner Helped Oak Recapture That Elusive Fourth Star (Interview)

    Sometimes when a restaurant is struggling, all it needs is a new face to turn the whole thing around. In the short tenure of Chef Richard Gras, Oak went from earning four stars when Jason Maddy was chef to scoring only three from Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner. After Gras tendered hi ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 8, 2014
  • Blogs

    April 30, 2014

    Casa Rubia Chef Omar Flores on Leaving Driftwood and Dallas Diners' Fleeting Love

    It's already been a big year for Chef Omar Flores, and we're only four months in. After running the kitchen at well-reviewed seafood spot Driftwood, Flores swooped into Trinity Groves with a modern concept for Spanish tapas. Then, the world noticed. In only the first six months of being open, Casa R ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2013

    Gemma, a New Late-Night Restaurant on Henderson, Will Open the Day after Christmas

    The Dallas late-night eating scene is about to get a little bigger. Formerly of Napa Valley, husband-and-wife team Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers (who, preliminary research reveals, is not Captain America) have announced that they will open their new restaurant, Gemma, at 2323 Henderson Avenue, t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2013

    Thomas Keller Visited FT-33 and Left an Impression on Matt McCallister

    Chances are if you've ever donned chef whites, you know Thomas Keller's name. If you're a serious home cook, there's a decent chance you've heard of him, too. If you're the type who salivates over multi-course tasting menus that cost hundreds of dollars and take hours to consume, you've definitely h ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 23, 2013

    LARK Brings Lunch to the Park

    Shannon Wynne's latest on Klyde Warren Park gives Dallas some much-needed vegetables.

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2012

    Chef John Tesar's Spoon Bar & Kitchen is Now Open in Preston Center

    Chef John Tesar's latest culinary project, Spoon Bar & Kitchen (8220 Westchester Drive) is now open in Preston Center (directly across from Hopdoddy Burger Bar). The dinner menu offers raw caviar, oyster and crudo options, salads, pasta (including house-made fusilli with red wine braised octopus ser ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2012

    FT33 Plans to Open in October and a First Look at the Menu

    Chef Matt McCallister is surely working fast these days to wrap up the final details for his new restaurant, FT 33, which we now know is set to open in October. The new spot at 1617 Hi Line Drive in the Design District will feature classic and modern techniques and will focus on a seasonally driven, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    Chef Stephan Pyles Blogs Progress of New Restaurant Stampede 66

    Chef Stephan Pyles' new restaurant Stampede 66, which will be at Park 17 in Uptown (1717 McKinney Ave., northwest corner of Akard Street), is expected to open in early October. Chef Jon Thompson of Samar has been anointed executive chef. The concept: "Think modern Texas with a casual, creative and h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2012

    Oak Cliff's Mesa Planning Expansion, Including a Patio on Which to Guzzle Its Cocktails

    Changes are coming at Oak Cliff's beloved Mesa. The restaurant opened just before my arrival and was the subject of my very first review. I loved the place, and the very same week Leslie Brenner did too. It went on to become one of the most notable openings of the year. Since my visits a few thing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2012

    WhataFail: How Some Dallas Restaurants Treat Their Employees

    Restaurant Opportunities Centers United has released a new restaurant guide. The 52-page guide makes no mention of food quality, ingredient sourcing, or a customer's dining experience, but instead focuses on how well restaurants treat their employees. Wages, benefits and advancement opportunities ar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2011

    If Google Swallows Open Table Too, Yelp Could Yelp Its Last Yelp

    ​Back in September, when we wrote about Google taking a bite out of Zagat, we wondered if the Internet giant had plans to compete with Yelp. Google already allows users to give restaurants a star rating and to offer their thoughts on recent dining experiences. Zagat's database, containing prof ... More >>

  • Calendar

    February 10, 2011
  • Blogs

    November 23, 2010

    Why Critics Review Very Fancy Restaurants

    ​The New York Times this weekend dipped into a discussion that's always swirling around the practice of food criticism: Why write about restaurants where many readers can't afford to eat? "Times reviews create the illusion that indulging in expensive pleasures is common and normative," reader ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2010

    Dallas Pizzerias Have Trouble Matching
    Wines and Pies

    ​Winemakers trying to woo Americans more comfortable with cola than Cabernet tend to lard their labels with extraordinarily user-friendly language: "The perfect wine for afternoons spent with friends," a description might read. "Enjoy with hamburgers or pizza." The problem is not every wine i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2010

    The Samuels Are Back;
    Nosh Scheduled to Replace Their Famed Aurora

    The new Nosh, in the same space as Aurora, will retain Aurora's wide-open kitchen.​When Aurora announced its closing early last month, owners Celeste and Avner Samuel hinted that they were in the process of searching for a location for a brand new concept. Looks like their search is over, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2010

    Restaurant Week: Great for Charity,
    Not So Great for Special Occasions

    ​When my husband and I chose a wedding date, we thought about the weather. We thought about football schedules. We didn't think about Restaurant Week, which didn't exist back in 2006. Unfortunately, our anniversary this year fell smack in the middle of the festivities. And being new to Dallas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2010

    And The People Rejoiced: Green Room Opens Today, and We Have the Menus

    ​The Green Room, the Deep Ellum legend that's back in business as of this afternoon, has put quail eggs and halibut cheeks on its elegant opening menu. According to a press release, executive chef Joel Harloff's menu features "modern American cuisine with European influences that will change ... More >>

  • Dining

    April 22, 2010
  • Blogs

    January 20, 2010

    Days Gone Bite: The Riviera

    ​Seven years ago today Dallas' grand old fine dining destination was in its death throes. The Riviera would close for good in February of 2003, leaving as its legacy some of the finest chefs, restaurateurs and managers in the city.David Holben (now at Del Frisco's) and Lori Finkelman served as the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2010

    Hash Over: Five-Sixty Celebrates 365, Capital Grille Offers Small Plates, New Restaurant To Open In Victory Park And More

    ​Beginning today, Five-Sixty by Wolfgang Puck is celebrating its first year in Dallas's One Big Ball with a special anniversary tasting menu created by executive chef Sara Johannes. Through February 11, diners at the Reunion Tower restaurant can order a chef's amuse and various options for first c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2009

    10 Questions: James Tidwell Of Four Seasons

    He was the 100th American wine professional to earn the title of Master Sommelier, but that's not the only thing Tidwell can be proud of.After graduating from LSU with a degree in international trade and finance, this son of a small town preacher set off for culinary school at the prestigious Culina ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2009

    10 Questions: David Uygur

    His name is synonymous with "tasting menu" in Dallas, thanks to his work with Lola's Tasting Room.He runs the main kitchen, as well. But the 10-course tasting ranks as one of the most impressive, spellbinding experiences in the city--at least as far as cooking goes. Uygur's emphasis on seasonal ingr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2009

    Food For Thought: 3.18.09

    "Our average check is lower, but transactions are up 10 to 15 percent." (John Hurley, owner of Garibaldi's Restaurant in Oakland, CA, on the value of a prix-fixe menu. According to Nation's Restaurant News, fine dining restaurants are increasingly turning to multi-course, set price dinners to combat ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 1, 2009
  • News

    July 24, 2008

    Want to work for the Dallas Observer?

    Current openings for Web editor and restaurant critic

  • Dining

    March 27, 2008
  • Blogs

    July 23, 2007

    N9NE Minus One

    Brian Harkin The best thing about dining at Victory Plaza is no longer. Sommelier Rudy Mikula has evacuated Nove Italiano for Consilient Restaurants pastures. There he will serve as wine and beverage director at Hibiscus and consult for other venues in the Consilient stable. Mikula, formerly of L ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 10, 2007

    Fertility Rites

    Spring breeds new dining establishments

  • Dining

    February 1, 2007

    Hate Crime

    Bijoux is an endearing experience

  • Dining

    December 7, 2006

    Gone Fishing

    Can tragically defunct become magically hip?

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2006

    How 'Bout Something for the 469?

    Chef Tony Gardizi worked the kitchen for the defunct Riviera, the defunct Buddha Bar, the defunct Vino & Basso, the defunct J. Peir in Terrell and the defunct Guthrie's; he also had short stints at Hibiscus, Mi Piaci and Stephan Pyles (whom John Mariani just named Chef of the Year in the November is ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 7, 2006

    Birding Barcelona

    Vilaclara isn't afraid to be chicken

  • Dining

    November 3, 2005

    The Name Game

    "Fine Dining" when they don't try too hard

  • Best of Dallas

    October 14, 2004

    Best Wine List

    Lola the Restaurant

  • Dining

    February 26, 2004

    Where's the Boot?

    Vino & Basso needs to merge its split personality

  • Dining

    February 27, 2003

    Ring Toss

    Royce Ring anxious to cut ties with Triple R

  • Dining

    February 27, 2003

    You Say Somalia

    What is a sommelier?

  • Dining

    February 7, 2002

    Damn Yankee

    Daddy Jack brings Texas to New England

  • Dining

    July 26, 2001

    More Bang for Your 'Burb

    Legacy Grill offers a reason to say, "Let's go to Frisco."

  • Dining

    May 31, 2001

    The Whole Boot

    Eccolo rises from the asphalt

  • Best of Dallas

    September 21, 2000

    Best home cooking

    Traci's Restaurant

  • Best of Dallas

    September 21, 2000

    Best lunch deal (tie)

    Nuevo Leon & Monica's Aca y Alla

  • Dining

    June 15, 2000

    Eurotrash pickup

    Avanti Euro Bistro proves that a little smarminess isn't all bad

  • Dining

    July 29, 1999

    Hash Over

    A Black hole; Avner goes tapas; Mel Hollen's is closed; Antonovich is in Kentucky

  • Dining

    May 6, 1999
  • Dining

    April 29, 1999

    Thin line between love and hate

    Cork is a promising wine bar that's plugged its excitement for the drink

  • Dining

    September 17, 1998

    Food play

    Nana Grill's new chef toys with compelling flavors

  • Dining

    April 2, 1998

    Grand hotel

    The Adolphus' French Room offers courses in dining elegance

  • Dining

    October 26, 1995

    Princess for a day

    Don your rhinestone tiara: The Pyramid's prix-fixe dinner is the best deal in town

  • More >>