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.”
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.
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