What kind of a mad chef would do Iranian osetra caviar on chiboust of Yukon potato and Maine lobster with green apple sorbet? Or beef tenderloin with foie gras Rossini with Himalayan truffle potato marble? Poached lobster with chlorophyll tart? All disgorged from a glass jewel-box display kitchen into a dining room nipped and tucked with ultra-suede, exotic wood and Limoges china? If you guessed Avner Samuel, you ain't heavy, just rich. In the annals of fine, fine dining, nothing surpasses Aurora, outside of a set of Michelin stars. You'll know this when Aurora kicks in; when the overbearingly self-important menu prose congeals on the tip of your tongue in a surging rush of paroxysmal glee. Shed a tear of joy. Feel the heat flashes. Grip the smelling salts. Catch your breath. Twitch. Repeat. Just make sure you don't use up all of the smelling salts before the check arrives.
Pappas Brothers Steakhouse
Just as Pappas Bros. was cleaving its way into the North Texas steak house storm, the Steakhouse ran a series of sonically sensual radio ads. Its dry-aged steaks splintered silence with the sputtering hiss of rendering beef fat. Cigar tips kindled with the scratch and pffft of a stick match. Cognacs sloshed in clanking crystal. Much of that swirled down the drain of Dallas history--the cigar part, anyway. The cognac isn't gone, but it isn't the same without a heady Partagas fume. The steak, however, remains: rich, silky, seasoned simply but with mind-bending effectiveness, its nutty dry-aged aftertaste lingering long enough to be gently sluiced away by a strapping, gripping Cabernet or Barolo. Service, too, is seamlessly orchestrated. Notice how the valet plucks the ticket stub from your windshield as he hands you the keys. Prime stuff, that.
Dairy-Ette
You can season french fries to death or smother them in pounds of ketchup and come away with a satisfying hunk of cooked taters, but there's something to be said for the perfect car fry. It always happens: You grab an order to go and can't wait to start in on those fries, their aroma filling your mid-sized sedan with delicious temptation. But ketchup isn't gonna happen during your drive, and too much seasoning results in a messy steering wheel. What's a fry purist on the go to do? Grab 'em from the Dairy-ette, where the fries' delicious balance between crispiness and plumpness is unrivaled--not soggy, not overcooked. Makes sense that the Dairy-ette has the car fry down; after all, they're one of the few joints left that comes right to your car window to serve 'em up. Oh, they'll hook a shelf to your car window and offer ketchup...but you won't need it for the fries.

Best Three-Course Lunch for Less Than $10

East Wind

East Wind Quadrangle
This spot in the Quadrangle is a stylish room with linen tablecloths and napkins and fresh flowers. It's also got one of the best cheap three-course lunches in town: soup or salad, an entre and dessert for $9.95. Entres include sushi or sashimi boxes, stir fry and big vermicelli bowls, mounded with charbroiled chicken, pork, beef or shrimp and topped with crushed peanuts and cilantro. It's all fresh, healthy and well-presented. And did we say cheap, cheap, cheap?

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of