Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul.
There's something about the new location of Smoke that makes me wonder if chef Tim Byres made a deal with a darker power in exchange for his recent success. It's not just all the fire and brimstone that glows and smolders behind the pass of his wood-fired kitchen; it's the lusty, primal excess of the meals he serves that makes me think he's reaching into the devil's larder.
Order the Eisenhower steak and you'll get enough dripping red meat to serve four. Order a few side dishes and your table will be laid out like a banquet from a long lost era. You could drink viscous wine from rustic goblets and not look a bit out of place at a table like this.
Of course, it could just be that Byres' novel approach to cooking produces some of the tastiest fire-kissed meats to be had in the Dallas area. Byres harnesses a wood-burning hearth to grill steaks and roast meats and fish, occasionally throwing hunks of flesh right onto the burning coals themselves.
The results are meals with a character that is distinct to Byres' cooking — rough around the edges, smoky and deeply satisfying — almost too good.
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