Fishbowl+offers+a+private+room+for+those+who+wish+to+chew+the+fat+on+cell+phones.
Tracy++Powell
Fishbowl+offers+a+private+room+for+those+who+wish+to+chew+the+fat+on+cell+phones.
For roughly 10 bucks you can experience Fishbowl's sizzling whole catfish in sweet chile sauce. Though this sounds like a bottom feeder dolled up in a sequined corset with tassels gyrating from its underbelly, it's actually a fish covered in a sternly crisp sheath, seemingly deep-fried in the midst of a swim shimmy. The meat is tender, sweet, and moist. Knots of crisp bok choy surround the colorful oval platter like aquatic weeds. Just don't get the garter straps caught in your bridgework.
Its cool, slick Milano-inspired dcor may be a bit much for some in Dallas to stomach (we think it's stunning). OK, although it looks like a cross between a bank lobby and a Shriner's dinette set, we admire successful crossbreeding. The food is even more stunning. With Salve!, restaurateurs Phil and Janet Cobb have created a marvel featuring "Tuscan-style home cooking" such as delicately delicious pastas and risottos, briskly fresh appetizers, and heartily savory entres. Plus the all-Italian wine list is broad and comprehensive, with selections organized by region. And it has an interior piazza, just in case you want to let your hat tassels flutter in the wind.
It's lodged in a circa-1946 duplex cluttered with family photos, stained-glass windowpanes, and antique furniture (all with little Minnie Pearl price tags dangling from them). It features delicious Southwestern-inspired items (lobster tacos) and dishes of other influences (Muscovy duck, seared pork steak ravioli), all at prices that won't force you to tie Minnie Pearl price tags on the kids and park them next to those stained-glass windowpanes. Casa Del Lago is owned by former Landmark-Mansion-Nana Grill chef Hector Angeles, who has done quite a job fashioning a respectable restaurant out of a space that could just as easily have been a wig salon.

Why would a Houston-based grocery store chain have good sushi? For that matter, why would 7-Eleven announce it has entered the bait business or expect to compete in freshness? We don't know the answers, but check out Tom Thumb's selection. For about five bucks, you can acquire a sweet little package of the sticky rice and seaweed concoctions. In summer months, with an abundance of caution, we stick to the California veggie offerings, because we're never quite sure about any fish that has traveled any distance in the Dallas heat in allegedly refrigerated trucks.

Suze Restaurant
OK, so this little restaurant is tucked into a strip mall. But it's outfitted to resemble a sophisticated country caf, with lacy curtains that delicately refract light in a cozily assembled dining room that's tight but comfortable. It's casual but sharp, with a sweet caviar-in-the-rough feel. Plus, the kitchen is directed by chef and owner Gilbert Garza, whose grasp of Tuscan cuisine adds a lyrical thread.

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
What could be better than sipping your Shiner Bock with a piping hot bowl of this delicious concoction? Served in a large bread bowl with a convenient lid for dipping, this is perfect for chilly winter evenings on the couches in the beer garden. If you feel like being social, ask for a chess set or checkers. We promise they won't laugh at you.
This restaurant gets the nod because of great food at even better prices. Owner Mark Serrao's second restaurant (the first being the flagship store Vitto's in Oak Cliff) has been open only nine months, but it's already made a big splash with Oak Lawn-area patrons. The mood is cheery when you enter, with a friendly and competent staff. (The background disco music made us feel like we were in high school again.) We really loved the spinach-and-cheese tortellini; the various styles of pizzas were similarly gooey and loaded with sauce. The chocolate cake was creamy, smooth, and sinful. The wine list comes highly recommended. What's really amazing is that a meal at this place won't break the bank in comparison with establishments of similar quality and atmosphere in town. Head for this little jewel and discover why so many Oak Lawn dwellers start off their nights here.
The Old Monk
Most beer gulpers don't have a palate that ventures much beyond leftovers found between the couch cushions. But Trappist monks have always enjoyed good food to go along with their beer brewing--or so we've been told. That's why the Old Monk, a pub rife with Trappist monk imagery, has a range of good nibbles such as delicious mussels steamed in beer spiked with garlic and herbs, cheese boards, and fried calamari sleeved in a light, airy batter. What we want to know is, do monks pray before the same altar the rest of us do when the brew gets out of hand?
The Green Room
The Green Room, a small and very loud dining room tucked behind a Deep Ellum saloon, offers a variety of excellent fare, including the very best crème brûle in Dallas. The perfectly balanced, deep smooth pudding beneath a crackly caramelized surface can make you oblivious to any amount of hilarity and mayhem around you.

Parigi Restaurant
Late Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Westbrook Pegler once said that a martini was the meanest, no-damn-goodest mess of rancor ever concocted. More fights and more people get their glasses broken and arrested and divorced on account of martinis than for any other reason. So head on down to Parigi and recoil at one of life's great splashes of rancor. Parigi's martinis are smooth, balanced, and shivering cold with a barely perceptible layer of slush lurking just below the surface. Just make sure you have a good optician, a good lawyer, and enough money to post bond before the shaking starts.

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