Occasionally, I'll get an email from a reader who mistakes me for a food expert and is willing to risk a meal out based on my recommendation. The worst question I'm asked is: "Where should I eat?" As if I could instantly divine what someone is in the mood for, the status of their bank accounts and how much free time they have.
Earlier this week, though, I was asked for a recommendation for a casual but nice dinner recommendation in Deep Ellum or Fair Park. I was stumped. And I'm not the only person who noticed the lack of restaurants in the 'hood. A recent story listing the best neighborhoods for foodies in Dallas glossed right over Deep Ellum.
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Pepe and Mito's, Cane Rosso and Local are the only three restaurants in the neighborhood that are worth visiting on their own. And while Local has the fine dining front covered, the other two are very casual. Both offer a nice meal out, for sure, but they're hardly an event.
The remaining Deep Ellum restaurants might suffice if you're there and you're hungry, but they're not worth a trip on their own. It would be nice if some mid-tier restaurants could round out the offering. Something like Neighborhood Services, The Grape or Mesa -- a spot that's refined enough to get you to slow down and think about your meal but affordable enough to keep in your regular rotation.
Parking a car around Deep Ellum can be a full-blown bitch, but once you're situated it's one of Dallas' most walkable neighborhoods. Considering the nightlife -- it's certainly not lacking for spaces to grab a drink should you want to linger after dinner -- it's too bad there are not more places to dine.
The building the used to hold Tracy Miller's Rosemont is a beautiful spot. I wonder how long it will lie fallow?