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

The accompanying text for


's much-hyped

list of best new restaurants

is finally online, which means eaters can now follow author John Mariani's logic for anointing


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.

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