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2323 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
Critics' Pick
Gemma +

Beth Rankin


  • 5 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 5 p.m.-midnight Sunday; closed Monday
  • Dinner, Late Night
  • Full bar
  • Parking Lot Available
When Gemma opened six years ago, it was a Dallas pioneer, bringing along the dressy-casual seasonal cuisine from co-owners Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers’ last home, in Napa. Since then, a dozen imitators have sprung up around town serving renditions of Gemma’s Mediterranean-accented, California cooking. Even specific dishes, like braised rabbit on pappardelle pasta, have radiated out from Gemma onto other menus.

In late 2018 and early 2019, Gemma reacted by changing its direction to a more globally inspired approach, but always preserving Rogers’ impeccable taste and sense of proportion. Squid ink bucatini topped with lobster and uni became one of the restaurant’s biggest hits (though the noodle of choice is now spaghetti); gai lan, bok choy and shishitos joined the all-star squad of vegetable sides. But the rustic Mediterranean spirit lives on in absurdly tender curlicues of octopus in a fiery red sauce that includes 'nduja and brandy.

Top pick: After the mandatory snack bowl of fried olives and pecans, indulge in some of Dallas’ best house-made pastas, and one of the state’s best wine programs. Oh, and if the head cheese is available, grab it.

Fun fact: The reverse happy hour, with discounted oysters and bubbly after 10:30 p.m., makes Gemma one of the best (and classiest) places in Dallas for a late-night meal.

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