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

Beth Rankin


  • Tues-Sun 5pm-1am, closed Mondays
  • Dinner, Late Night
  • Full bar
  • Parking Lot Available
The Top 100 Dallas Restaurants, No. 8: When Gemma opened, 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. But while those restaurants practice their sincere forms of flattery, Gemma maintains its high standard year after year and finds ways to keep separating itself from the pack. A recent, subtle redecoration has lightened up the atmosphere slightly, to its advantage.

Top pick: A just-right-chewy bucatini colored with squid ink and topped with morsels of lobster is one of the best Gemma has ever served and shows that the restaurant is still finding ways to make decadent food from seemingly simple ideas. And the snack bowl of fried olives and pecans is a mandatory order.

The downside: Gemma is more old-school, and more classically European, than its younger sibling, Sachet. That’s not a complaint, but it means that the restaurant faces stiffer competition around town from newer rivals.

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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