Harmony in Disharmony: Dish Serves Up High-End Cuisine for Low-End Budgets

Dallas has a reputation for being a little pretentious. Sorry to step on any toes here, but the city really appreciates fine dining, lavish shopping and upscale living. Most of the time, the ultra-chic lifestyle comes with a high price tag, but if you want to socialize like high society on a middle-class budget, Dish in the eco-friendly Ilume complex on Cedar Springs Road is your new haven.

So does the premium menu match the milieu? In terms of price, no way. But that's the objective of this concept. The ingredients are fresh and simple, reflecting the "green" theme by using local farms and gardens when possible. Rich dishes, like steak and eggs and Harris Ranch 8-ounce burger, don't seem to match the relatively low prices -- with all items priced from $4 to $21.

But you know what happens when venues offer reasonable prices -- just about anyone can wander in, including diners that occasionally hump legs and drool. We're talking about dogs here, and Dish offers a specially prepared menu for canines that accompany their owners on the patio.

Both the patio and interior are super modern but infused with sustainable design, and it's well known that building future friendly isn't cheap. The expansive patio is furnished with ipe (ee-pay) wood cabanas and an assembly of contemporary lounge seating. A flanking of glass walls retracts to reveal the interior bar.

The wood and glass theme continues inside, but with the addition of bold metals. The wenge wood floors look great against the hot rolled steel hostess stand and open stainless steel kitchen. The whole interior seems to glow with eco-friendly lighting. "The interior of Dish is complimented by LED lights that wrap the dining area and wash color across large sculpted wall panels," said Dish owner Tim McEneny. But perhaps one of the most unusual features of the space is a polycarbonate chain-mail drapery -- also highlighted in a spectrum of LED.

The men behind the proverbial curtain bring some impressive experience to this concept. Dallas restaurateur Tim McEneny, the man responsible for obar and Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, created this establishment idea, along with chef Doug Brown. The general manager, Shawn Horn, hails from Wolfgang Puck's Five Sixty and has held the reins at a few of Dallas' reputable dining establishments, including The Green Room, Abacus and Ferre. They each seemed to have brought many of those restaurant's admirable qualities with them and left the pretension at the door.