When she's not busy cranking out housemade sorbets and ice creams at Gemma, pastry chef Stephanie Childress, the subject of this week's chef interview, has to eat. Like most chefs, she's pretty particular about where she dines out, to the point that being at a less-than-great restaurant makes her a little anxious. "I see all of these details, things that could be fixed," she says. "And it drives me crazy."
Still, she finds time to make it out occasionally to check out what some of her favorite spots around the city. The team at Gemma all makes family dinner for each other, but when she's off work, Childress heads to these five Dallas establishments.
Nova (above) You wouldn't think of Nova as the kind of place where you would find really refined dishes, but Childress says there's a little magic hiding behind this dive bar slash restaurant. According to Childress, It's kind of a dive bar slash restaurant, but every once in a while one of the owners makes a homemade pasta dish.
Lucia When Childress made the move from Las Vegas back to Dallas two years ago, she knew she had to stop by Lucia. David Uygur's excellent pasta spot in Bishop Arts is still one of the most difficult reservations in town, and Childress understands exactly why. Get adventurous and try Childress's favorite dish - Uygur's interpretation of a chocolate sanguinaccio, made with pig's blood for texture and flavor.
Bolsa Like the rest of the city who enjoys great food, Childress is a big fan of Bishop Arts, which means loving Bolsa. If she's heading out for a cocktail, the expertly crafted refreshments here are the perfect choice. When it comes to desserts, Bolsa's white chocolate tile surprisingly ranks as Childress' favorite Dallas treat, even if she isn't really a fan of white chocolate.
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Kenny's Burger Joint Should you ever end up stranded in Frisco, at least you know that Kenny's is there to make you feel better about being stuck so far up north. Because Childress lives in North Dallas, she's grown to really enjoy the Kenny's-owned restaurants, including Dallas' Kenny's Woodfire Grill. It's clear that this guy knows his way around hunks of meat and a grill, so you're probably going to be golden if you choose some kind of protein.
Victor Tango's Here, the chefs found a way to improve on one of Stephanie Childress' favorite foods, burrata. This Henderson Ave institution served the soft, Italian cheese with a peach salsa and grilled bread. Unfortunately, this dish isn't still on the menu here, but Chef Kirstyn Brewer's updated burrata selection, served with marinated eggplant and traditional bagna cauda sounds equally delicious.