The Adolphus' no-expense-spared renovation has yielded several additions to the downtown Dallas dining scene.
The French Room, the storied fine dining destination that had become stale in recent years, found new relevance with a new kitchen, new look and updated menu. (Its bar also has new flair, including a new happy hour that launched a few weeks ago.) The newly designed lobby has a gorgeous bar, and a few steps away, City Hall Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with shared plates with a Southern-European vibe.
But perhaps our favorite addition, and one that will serve the downtown Dallas crowd best, is a gorgeous new coffee spot called Otto's Coffee & Fine Foods. The Viennese-style cafe has a few helpful touches: grab-and-go bites like chia seed pudding and fresh-pressed juice, fresh baked goods and even a waffle window opening up onto Commerce Street. But the two things that make it stand out are the design elements and the coffee itself.
This is, unabashedly, a gorgeous place to grab a cup of coffee. Rich, dark blues and metallic gold tones are offset by crisp white marble and midcentury modern furniture that keeps the room from feeling too stuffy. Tiny tables offer a quiet place to curl up on a coffee break, and a library-type room off to the side of the cafe just begs to become your uber-classy office for the day.
Downtown, it's all about convenience, and Otto's nails that, from grab-and-go breakfast in the morning to European-style baguette sandwiches and salads ready to go the rest of the day. There are fun touches outside the norm, too, like the Eiskaffee, an iced espresso served with vanilla ice cream, and the walk-up window serving Liège handheld waffles and coffee.
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Aside from all that, the coffee is what really makes Otto's a downtown standout. Otto's doesn't just serve coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters; OCCR has been working in tandem with Otto's for more than two years, owner Shannon Neffendorf says, building the coffee bar, creating the menu and keeping the cafe stocked with beans roasted just over the river in Oak Cliff. The folks at OCCR are meticulous. When you spot their beans in a cafe, you're likely to find a stellar cup of coffee.
With the opening of Otto's, the Adolphus did what it set out to do: find relevance in a city market saturated with hotels that offer branded "experiences" that go well beyond room and board. With plenty of options, the Adolphus is likely to draw in Dallasites, too, not just the well-heeled out-of-towners who fill the ornate lobby.
Otto's Coffee & Fine Foods at the Adolphus, 1321 Commerce St. Open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.