Find Out Why Dallas was Named the #1 Restaurant City in the U.S.

As a longtime resident of Dallas, I was thrilled to hear that our city had finally been recognized by a national food magazine as the top restaurant city in the U.S. Since editors at Bon Appetit named Dallas the #1 Restaurant City of the Year in a recent issue, everyone seems to be standing a little taller. That’s especially true of those in the hospitality industry.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Bon Appetit as its 2019 Restaurant City of the Year, and we look forward to welcoming the many visitors this distinction will bring,” said Sam Coats, Interim President and CEO of VisitDallas. “Dallas’ dining scene is as vibrant as ever, and the city’s many talented chefs create a diverse range of cuisines that continue to elevate and bring recognition to a wide range of establishments.”

Find Out Why Dallas was Named the #1 Restaurant City in the U.S.

Photo: Tammany Stern-Best of Guide

The magazine article also singled out Chef Donny Sirisavath and his Laotian food restaurant, Khao Noodle Shop, for high praise. The restaurant was named the #2 Top-rated Restaurant in the Country. Chef Sirisavath was applauded for his made-from-scratch boat noodles and other delicious recipes. Since the Laotian dishes are served on small plates, the food writer recommended their readers should take a group and order everything on the menu. High praise indeed!

Petra and the Beast (brainchild of Chef Misti Norris, pictured with Eric Federlain, Executive Chef of Sevy’s Grill) is another Dallas restaurant that received special recognition in the magazine’s top 50. The small restaurant, located in a former gas station in East Dallas, is decorated with animal skulls. Chef Norris uses a variety of animal parts in her recipes, and oversees a charcuterie board called “Meatums.” The board changes daily, and it’s one of their most popular items.

Grasshoppers Anyone?

Find Out Why Dallas was Named the #1 Restaurant City in the U.S.

Karel Anne Tieszen, a Dallas-based Chef for KXII TV, also teaches a variety of culinary classes in the area. Chef Tieszen said the Dallas restaurant scene is extremely diverse now. She noted that the most difficult question she’s ever asked would have to be “What’s your favorite restaurant?” The only proper response is to fire back with some important questions, like what type of cuisine? What area of the city? A newly-opened place or long-time favorite?

Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts Historic Districts are mentioned in the article as areas known for their diversity. I recently attended a Mezcal pairing at Coco’s Fire & Ice in Bishop Arts, a Mexican restaurant specializing in authentic Mexican food (not your mama’s Tex-Mex) found in Oaxaca. I recoiled when our starter course, chili-grilled grasshoppers, arrived. Some of us may not be ready to explore all the diverse cuisines found in our newly famous #1 Restaurant City in the U.S. Thankfully, they also brought a side of guacamole!

By Jo Ann Holt | October 14, 2019

City Cafe Your Neighborhood Bistro

We have long been a fan of the beloved City Cafe of Dallas. Located in University Park, this gem of an exceptional white-tablecloth neighborhood bistro offers a seasonal menu and impeccable service.

City Cafe is a sophisticated boutique restaurant offering lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, Sunday brunch, and gourmet to-go.  At the helm of an impressive Chef Mario Flores, the food is impressive. The menu changes seasonally, and you’ll find regional American cuisine featuring rotations of seafood, veal, game, pasta, fowl, beef, pork and lamb. Chef uses highest-quality ingredients to prepare every item on their creative world-class menu and you can taste (and see) the well-thought planning of each dish.

They offer a wonderful selection of wine varied in selection and at pleasing prices. Their talented pastry chefs create decadent desserts. City Cafe has invested a lot of time and effort into having the right people on staff and it shows.

While the fare is truly delightful, equally so is the gracious service. One of the things most restaurants lack in this day and age is courteous, refined service. Certainly not missing that genteel service at City Cafe. Here you’ll find sophisticated and attentive service from the waitstaff to the Maître d’, Karim Alaoui.

Hours of operation:
Lunch  | Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2pm
Dinner | Monday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 9pm
Brunch | Sunday: 11am – 2pm

To Go Bistro Hours

Monday – Friday: 10:30am – 8pm
Saturday: 10:30am – 3pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 2pm

5757 W. Lovers Ln., Dallas, TX 75209
Northwest corner of Lovers Lane at the North Dallas Toll Road

(214) 351-223


5 Romantic Dates In Dallas


Looking for a romantic getaway or a special date night in Dallas? The third largest city in the state of Texas is filled with incredible arts, world-class museums, and the most spectacular foods. Wow your lover with our list of 5 Romantic Dates In Dallas.

Picnic With Skyline View at Klyde Warren Park

Pack a romantic picnic and enjoy the beautiful skyline at Kyle Warren Park. Be sure to check the klyde calendar for any concerts, dance lessons, or events for some more fun. For more information click here.

Late Date Night at The Dallas Museum Of Art

At the third Friday of every month the Dallas Museum of the Arts hosts a variety of events that include tours, concerts, performances, and film screening. This makes for a beautiful and interesting date for the two of you.

Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is packed with romantic gardens perfect for a proposal or perhaps grab a blanket and enjoy a romantic picnic. Take a relaxing stroll through the gardens and take amazing photos. If you plan accordingly during the summer you can catch a few of the events they have including shows, and concerts.

Gondola Adevnture

Nothing says romance more than a gondola ride. Never-mind spending a fortune on a ticket to Venice to cruise the canals on gondola. Just head over to the canals of Las Colinas.

Swoon you’re date as you enjoy a romantic first class experience cruising the Mandalay Canals and Lake Carolyn. Be sure to reserve in advance, you even get the option to include music or a singing gondolier to go along with your delicious dinner and wine.

Dinner & Flight

Try something new and exciting at Delta Charlie’s Bar & Grill. They offer a romanic 3 course dinner for two with an aerial tour of the Dallas skyline. Whats more romantic than a dinner while observing Dallas’s star filled sky and moon.

‘A Fine Line’ Celebrates Women in the Kitchen

This past Saturday, Palace Arts Center held a limited screening of A Fine Line, a documentary celebrating women chefs and restauranteurs. A Fine Line features appearances from notable female chefs, including Lidia Bastianich, Dominique Crenn, and Cat Cora, who was in attendance at the screening.

A Fine Line was directed and produced by Joanna James, who had been working for five years to put the film together. While production of A Fine Line didn’t come without its roadblocks, James credits resurgence of the #MeToo social media movement and sexual assault allegations against high-profile chefs like Mario Batali as motivation to finish work on the film.

The film is centered mostly around restauranteur Valerie James, a single mom who struggles to secure a loan to build her restaurant. A Fine Line also brings to light sexism and misogyny female chefs and restauranteurs face while working in the hospitality industry. Currently, less than seven percent of head chefs and restauranteurs are women, despite many chefs of all genders citing women as their inspirations. James, Cora, and all of the chefs involved in A Fine Line hope the film helps create a more equal system in kitchens around the world.

Prior to the screening, Cat Cora and a group of children from the Come and Eat It program, a division of Independence Gardens, held a cooking demonstration, in which the children prepared a special dish for Cora.

Founded by Chonnie Richey, Independence Gardens aims to help the community build a relationship with the environment, both natural and man-made. The Come and Eat It program provides resources to children and teaches them how to select healthy ingredients and cook healthy meals.

A Fine Line is currently showing on select dates in select theaters across the country. For more information on how to attend a screening, visit afinelinemovie.com

 

Adrienne Hernandez talks Fresh Art Foodie, eating clean, and coping with illness

From the carnivore to the vegan, the athlete to the couch surfer, Fresh Art Foodie has a menu sure to please the eye, palate, and soul. Fresh Art Foodie is a company dedicated to helping people eat clean and maintain health while consuming healthy food designed in artistic shapes. It was founded by Chef Adrienne Hernandez, who was inspired by her work in the medical field.

“When I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, I went into healthcare,” Hernandez says. “I was working 80-90 hours in a nursing facility.”

Hernandez’s responsibilities included preparing meals for patients. While she enjoyed doing this, she felt that her creativity was limited, and eventually moved on to a catering position at Centennial Hospital. She worked as a Chef, moving up the ladder to Sous Chef and eventually to Executive Chef. She is also as a fitness coach and a wellness coach for Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University.

Hernandez was diagnosed with Lupus in her young adulthood and has used her experience to help others alleviate pain by eating healthy.

“Some of the food we eat mutates our bodies, so I try to help people get clean from the inside,” Hernandez said. “It’s hard, because I’m learning with my clients, but if you have Lupus or any other inflammatory disease, I try to help you fix that with food.”

Hernandez adds that her experience working in an Oncology department have helped her learn to create dishes to help subside the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

“If you have cancer or are going through radiation therapy, let’s sit down and talk about it,” Hernandez says. “There are certain vitamins that inhibit the chemotherapy’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do.”

Some of Chef Hernandez’s signature creations | Image courtesy of Adrienne Hernandez

With Fresh Art Foodie, Hernandez’s mobility allows her to work directly with clients, offering catering services, meal prep services, and even food challenges for team building activities in corporate or church environments. Hernandez caters to people of all diets and works with each client to meet their dietary needs. Some of her signature items include watermelon cakes, radish flowers, and healthy sushi rolls.

To book Chef Hernandez for your next event, visit freshartfoodie.com

 

Howard Wang’s opens in Frisco

Via @HowardWangsFrisco on Facebook

After much delay, Howard Wang’s China Grill is finally open in The Star in Frisco.

Every Howard Wang’s restaurant embodies over 30 years of family recipes, tradition, and experience. Howard Wang’s is a family-owned business that has been passed down across generations. The new Frisco location will be run by Jowin Wang, son of founder Howard Wang. Jowin has also served as the Director of Operations in Howard Wang’s Uptown and Southlake locations.

“We heard a lot of good things about The Star,” Jowin says. “[Dallas Cowboys Owner] Jerry Jones has been to our other locations and wanted us to open in The Star. We had a good opportunity and we couldn’t pass it up.”

Howard Wang’s specializes mainly in Chinese cuisine, offering traditional Chinese dishes like broccoli stir fry and orange chicken, as well as signature dishes, like Wang’s Bulgogi and Ginger Beef Tenderloin. The new Frisco location will also be offering Dim Sum.

Howard Wang’s will offer both traditional and signature Chinese dishes | Photo credit: Tammany Stern

“All of our food is fresh and made to order,” Jowin says, “We use fresh vegetables, a lot of which are sourced from various parts of Asia.”

Howard Wang’s is open for lunch and dinner in The Star. This holiday season, the will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Howard Wang’s, 6740 Winning Dr #1000, Frisco

hwrestaurants.com | (469) 213-2002

 

 

Scotch & Soda opens in Northpark Center

Courtesy of Scotch & Soda

Scotch & Soda celebrated their Dallas opening with an in-store party hosted by lifestyle and fashion bloggers Alex Young (Eat Style Dallas) and Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes). Tunes were spun throughout the evening by DJ Blake Ward and cocktails were mixed at an open-bar, sponsored by Damrak Gin.

“We’re thrilled to be here,” Scotch & Soda CEO Ari Hoffman says. “This is our first entry into the Texas market, with our Houston store opening next spring, and our Austin store opening next fall.”

Courtesy of Scotch & Soda

Although Scotch & Soda is labeled as Amsterdam couture, Hoffman believes the store offers a diverse collection.

“We’re far from couture, we just have a great sense of humor,”  Hoffman says. “We travel the world and we blend all of the world’s flavors to create this eclectic mix.”

While Scotch & Soda’s clothes may be a bit pricey, they are comfortable, fitting, and stylish, giving each wearer an artsy, cultured, bohemian look. Amsterdam couture will soon be the next trend to sweep the metroplex.

QC Stone on finding your purpose and giving back

Since 2010, QC Stone has used her privilege and good fortune to help others in DFW. She is the president of The Source of Hope, an organization to provide vocational support and meals to low-income individuals. By reinforcing their skills, Stone believes The Source of Hope helps people get on their feet and rebound from adversity.

“We offer advanced education in the beauty industry,” Stone says. “We also have a clinic, where we treat skin and beauty conditions at a reduced cost. We have another program where we feed our community with home cooked meals. Any time we have extra ingredients from our restaurant sponsors, we make meals out of it.”

The Source of Hope helps put together meals for homeless people | Photo courtesy of QC Stone

Stone believes that the skills the students learn at The Source of Hope will stay with them for a lifetime.

“Our goal is to teach people how to fish, rather than give people fish to eat,” Stone says. “Because of the struggles I’ve endured, it’s very easy for me to bounce back.”

Throughout her life, Stone has faced multiple hardships, however, she has used what she has learned from her adversities to help others.

“I grew up in the orphanages in Vietnam,” Stone says. “My mother was struck by lightning, and she was unable to care for me. She gave me to an elderly couple and said she’d come back to get me. 12 years later, my family sought out for me. We built a fishing boat and went to this country. We went 13 days with no food or water.”

Upon arriving to the United States, Stone hit the ground running, however, the path to success wasn’t smooth or clear of any roadblocks.

“My success has been 31 years in the making,” Stone says. “I’ve failed twice. The first time was when my oldest daughter had a brain tumor. It wasn’t expected that she’d survive, but now, she’s a successful model and blogger in DFW. The second time was here, in Plano, where I became homeless for a short period of time.”

No matter how successful she becomes, Stone emphasizes the importance of gratitude and humility. Stone wants each of her Source of Hope students to feed homeless people and help others find their God-given purpose.

The Source of Hope is looking for volunteers this holiday season | Photo courtesy of QC Stone

“God allows people to go through some things so they learn how to survive,” Stone says. “Before you inspire somebody, you need to be of service. At some point, we all struggle, but you always have to remember where you were and how you got to where you are today.”

 

 

 

 

First Look: Tulum in Highland Park

Photo credit: Shaban Athuman

From the masterminds behind Firebird Restaurant Group (El Fenix, Taqueria La Ventana) comes a new, luxury concept called Tulum.

Tulum was inspired by Firebird CEO Mike Karns’, and his wife, Valerie’s, travels to the namesake city in Mexico. It is the couple’s favorite vacation spot, and with Tulum, they hope to recreate the experience for guests of the restaurant. Tulum, the restaurant, encompasses many elements of Tulum, the city, and is an amalgamation of what people seek on their vacation; good food, relaxing atmosphere, and a temporary escape from the ordinary.

Atmosphere

Upon entering Tulum, guests are greeted with a flowing bar in the center of the entryway. Sounds of the Amazon rainforest are heard throughout the restaurant and images of the beaches and the waters are projected onto a large screen in the back of the main lounge. The music selection consists of jazz vocalists, electronic trance and house, and Latin sounds. Overall, the atmosphere and ambiance allow for a luxury, cultural experience.

Starters

Guests cannot find the typical chips and queso on Tulum’s starter menu. Instead, they are offered a diverse selection of land, sea, and even vegan plates. Among the starters are the chicken flutes, the vegan ceviche, and the charred Spanish octopus. The octopus comes served as a portion of an octopus tentacle sat atop an achiote ginger orange sauce, and with charred hearts of palm on the side. The outer skin of the tentacle is grilled to a crisp. The tentacle itself cuts like a steak, and is juicy, hearty, and flavorful.

Spanish charred octopus from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Mains

From a menu curated by Chef Nico Sanchez, guest can choose from a variety of minimalistically plated dishes. The diver scallops are an arrangement of three jumbo scallops sat atop a bed of mashed potatoes. They are served with a side of grilled beets and tamarind sauce. The scallops cut fairly easily and despite being a seemingly small portion, they are filling and satisfying.

Diver scallops from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Another good choice is the cheshire pork ribs, which are wood-burnt baby back ribs immersed in a chile Morita and served with a side of salsa negra and charred pineapple. The chile Morita makes the ribs spicy with each bite. When dipped in the salsa, the ribs become even spicier, however, a bite of the charred pineapple instantly cancels out the heat, making for an ideal symbiotic pairing of food.

Cheshire pork ribs from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Dessert

One of the desserts at Tulum is a chocolate sponge cake, which is served soaked in Nestle Chocolate Abuelita. It is a warm, comforting dessert that is not too heavy, yet makes for a delightful conclusion to a meal.

Chocolate Abuelita Cake from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Tulum is set to open its doors to the public on  Thursday, October 25 at 5:00 P.M.

Tulum, 4216 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas (Highland Park) | thetulumexperience.com

Sixty Vines Uptown welcomes new Chef de Cuisine

Via @emerazphotography on Facebook

Award-winning wine concept Sixty Vines has recently named Ty Thaxton as their new Chef de Cuisine. Thaxton, who previously worked at The Keeper, came on board as Sixty Vines’s new Executive Chef late last month, following the departure of Stan Rodrigues. According to Thaxton, taking over the Sixty Vines team was a smooth process.

“It’s refreshing to be in such a well-oiled machine, and just run it a little bit tighter as well,” Thaxton says.

Thaxton’s restaurant industry resume boasts incredible feats, including experience as the Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Georgetown, Washington D.C. He hopes to use the knowledge he’s acquired in his almost two decades in the industry and apply that to cultivating success in Dallas’s growing food district.

“I hope to bring even more creativity and innovation,” Thaxton says. “Something that can keep Sixty Vines fresh and relevant in the area, but also, fall in line with our brand.”

Thaxton has traveled to various parts of the world, studying the cultures and crafts of various populations. He came to Dallas due to his and his wife’s desire to be closer to family. Upon moving to Dallas, he was hired in Plano at The Keeper, where he worked for almost a year until coming on board with Sixty Vines. As Thaxton has been part of Frontburner since he moved to Dallas, he was familiar with most of the Sixty Vines team before taking on his new role.

“I was actually involved in some of the hirings for this locationearly on, so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch with a bunch of strangers,” Thaxton says. “It’s very important to have that cohesiveness right off the bat, that way, we can just hit the ground running.”

As Sixty Vines’s new Chef de Cuisine, Thaxton hopes to continue to help Dallas’s restaurant scene grow and diversify.

“I like that Dallas is just now starting to dip its toes into food diversity,” Thaxton says. “You’ve always had these little ethnic pockets around town, but the selection is a lot more diverse now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. People are starting to open up their horizons more. For the longest time, our only options were Tex-Mex and steakhouses.”

As for the future of Sixty Vines, Thaxton is preparing his team for greatness as Frontburner expands its empire.

“We are planning on opening properties in other cities next year,” Thaxton says. “We want to make sure we have our techniques and processes down to a T here before we move forward.”

Sixty Vines is currently open in Plano and Uptown Dallas, with its next location slated for Houston in early 2019.

Sixty Vines, 500 Crescent Ct #160, Dallas, TX