The Top 100 Dallas Restaurants, No. 46: There are solid, always-satisfying neighborhood restaurants all around Dallas that make for a great dressy date night or celebratory dinner. That category includes Boulevardier, Macellaio, The Grape, The Heritage Table, City Hall Bistro and class valedictorian Gemma. But Neighborhood Services probably has the biggest, most glowing reputation of all, and it has by far the busiest dining room. Why? We’re not sure. Perhaps it’s the Highland Park location, in a neighborhood where many of Dallas’ big shots — and food writers — live. Perhaps it’s the clubby good-old-boys atmosphere. Or, heck, it might just be owner Nick Badovinus’ flashy interpretations of old-school American tavern fare like steak frites, meatloaf ($24!), scrumptious green chile crab dip and fried peach bourbon hand pies.
Top pick: Listen carefully to the recitation of daily specials, which range from a rotating pasta dish to a splurge-tastic hunk of grilled beef. While you eat, look around to spot local socialites and celebs — and make sure to save room for that fried pie, or the impressively rich butterscotch pot de creme, which truly lives up to its reputation.
The downside: There are occasional details, like clumpy grits or a long wait for a table you’d already reserved, to remind you that Neighborhood Services has been more or less continuously slammed since it opened.
Fun fact: The Addison location is open for lunch, unlike the original on Lovers Lane, and there’s a Bar & Grill spinoff that caters to the Preston Hollow crowd, along with a new location at The Star in Frisco.