Question Of The Week: What Is The Best New Restaurant Of 2009?

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Yeah, I know--the year's not up yet. But our annual "Best of Dallas" issue comes out in September and I've already turned in my selection.

So what's your pick for best restaurant to open so far this year? Is it a fancy spot like Five-Sixty or something simple--Lumi, perhaps, or Si? Maybe a Knox-Henderson hotspot such as Park or the more placid Cadot up north?

There's a lot to choose from.

Results from last week, in which we asked if coupons attract or deter you from trying a restaurant:

The question actually came from TLS and it tapped into a complex, almost class-driven issue.

Typical was this response from fletch: "For me, coupon use depends on the restaurant. In the past, I have used coupons at very casual places like Dickey's BBQ. However, I would not feel comfortable whipping out a coupon at a higher-end establishment. I remember picking up a booklet at this past year's Byron Nelson golf tournament and in it was a 25% off coupon for Al Biernat's. I just don't think I have the nerve to use a coupon at a place like that."

Yet a few readers, such as DougM, dismiss such divisions. "So you peeps are telling me that if you use a coupon as a nice restaurant you fear the judgment of...who? Your waiter?" he writes. "Maybe if it was a first or second date you should avoid the coupon, but if it is your bf/gf/wife/husband then they should be glad you're saving the two of you money. Silly Dallas, all about appearances."

Most agree that coupons affect their perception of higher end restaurants. As to whether they bring business, Ollie Voyle concludes with this: "As a former restaurant owner, during the lean times following 9/11/01 I tried coupons. My verdict: No long-term benefit to the business; most of the coupon-users appeared to be "professional" coupon chasers, going anywhere that offered a coupon. They very seldom became regular customers, and very few spent anything extra...appetizers, desserts, drinks, etc. On top of that, many of them, not expecting to return after one coupon-subsidized visit, would tip the server only like 3-5%, if at all."

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