Samar Makes Esquire's Cut,
But Is Dallas Not As Trendy as it Thinks?

Samar
The accompanying text for Esquire's much-hyped list of best new restaurants is finally online, which means eaters can now follow author John Mariani's logic for anointing Samar a top 10 stand-out (He was apparently smitten with the patio, hookah selection and "women in painted-on blue jeans who proved just about everything George Strait ever sang about Texas women.")

But the feature also includes a list of "trends we'd like to call a thousand-year ban on." For the targeted offenses to qualify as trends, I'm assuming a fair number of restaurants are perpetuating them. Yet I'm hard-pressed to come up with Dallas examples of at least a quarter of the practices cited.

Then again, I'm still relatively new to town. So I ask you: Where can I go if I want to be annoyed by the following trends?

  • Showing off today's bounty of local vegetables as if it's dessert on a dessert cart
  • Maple powder
  • iPad wine lists (I know the wine list at Charlie Palmer at The Joule is digitized, but I'm pretty sure the restaurant doesn't use honest-to-goodness iPads.)
  • Water sommeliers
  • Being forced to "know the farmer"
  • The term market on the menu (Please tell me I'm just not thinking hard enough here.)
  • "This morning's egg"

There is some evidence on the trend list that Dallas isn't entirely out-of-step with the national restaurant scene: Thanks to Wolfgang Puck, we do have a restaurant with a "name that includes numbers" and "miso cod." And surely the number of mussels sold nightly in Dallas County proves restaurants here have mastered the "faux bistro aesthetic." I only wish some of those eateries would force me to know the farmer.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Hanna Raskin
Contact: Hanna Raskin

Latest Stories