BEST BAR PATIO 2020 | Dot's | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Sipping palomas on the expansive patio of Dot's Hop House & Cocktail Courtyard in Deep Ellum is one of the finer joys in life, especially during fiery Texas summers. And the ooey-gooey, succulent duck fat cheese fries don't hurt either. They will haunt your dreams in the best way possible. Sadly, Dot's had to temporarily shutter because of Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that forced the state's bars closed. Owner Jeff Brightwell created a video that offers a decent compromise, though, so if you know Abbott, tell him to tune in. Let's get this virus under control so Dot's can reopen.

Holy mother of God, this cheese is good. Denton's Ten : One Artisan Cheese Shop is a true treasure with a stellar selection of fine cheeses from across the globe. Their custom plates would make Wolfgang Puck weak at the knees, hitting all manner of high notes on a diner's palate. For a steamy date night, order a custom-made cheese board, which boasts a top-notch selection of cheese and fresh bread with accoutrements such as house-made pickles and jam. Also, be sure to tune in sometime to a virtual wine and cheese pairing class conducted by the shop's staff.

Kimberly Jurgens

Once, mortadella with peppers was the star. The times are a-changin': Shoals has flipped its entire model to vegan after a honeymoon of meat (and it won't go back). Now you'll find a sandwich of smoked jackfruit or ground-shattering, beer-battered tempeh or griddle-encrusted seitan with a remarkable smoked prosciutto-meets-bacon flavor. That one is part of a — you heard us right, plant-based —Cubano sandwich. Yes, it's a vegan cubano and all of the sensations are there. "This is a Latin-American restaurant. The food just happens to be all vegan," says owner Omar Yeefoon.

Go for the marinated olives, stay for the tapas and out-of-this-world hummus. Café Izmir reigns supreme as Dallas' finest noshing spot, taking standard staples from the Mediterranean canon of classic dishes and alchemizing them into mouth-watering pure gold. In addition to the most perfect falafel in the West, they've got delicious dolmas and killer kebabs that'll make your entire year. Oh yeah, and their coconut shrimp is astounding. Seriously, we could go on and on, so it's best to stop while we're ahead.

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