Ten Dallas Restaurants You Should Be Eating at Right Now: Late Spring 2014

Categories: Food News

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Catherine Downes
The last time we published this list, back in February, you could still get a slumpy burger at the Village Kitchen. Turns out you can't do that anymore, which makes it a pretty good time to revisit the 10 Dallas restaurants you should be spending your money in right now.

This go-round has some newcomers, but every restaurant here is tried and tested. Look out for ceviche on the patio, a lovely formal dining experience and a whole lotta meat.

Crush Craft (Pictured above)
Get over the paper bowls that give this place a Chipotle-esque feel. The food here is serious and it's cooked to order, not assembled by a series of scoops and drizzles on an assembly line covered in aluminum foil.

Pro tip: Check out the butcher paper menu as you walk in the door. It contains chef's specials that are far more interesting than the standalone menu. And considering how good the regular menu board is to start, the specials are almost guaranteed showstoppers.

*****

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Catherine Downes
CBD Provisions
Every time I bring up CBD Provisions in conversation, I'm asked about the pig's head carnitas. "Is it really that good?" some ask. "Yes!" I reply. "Is it just a gimmick dish?" others inquire. "No!" I exclaim. The carnitas is just as I described in my review: Fatty, tender pork lies beneath that super crispy face that only a porky mother could love. Grab a tortilla and get ready to battle your tablemates for the cheek. It's worth the fight.

*****

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Catherine Downes
Gemma
"Lovely" is probably the best word to describe Gemma. The dining room, the staff, and most of the cooking is refined and pleasant. With a focus on fresh, quality ingredients and a pastry chef who knocks dessert out of the park, you can't go wrong with a night here.

*****

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Catherine Downes
Blind Butcher
With a young, boisterous crowd, Blind Butcher isn't a place for a quiet meal on a weekend evening. But if you're up for some fun, and you're in love with meat in almost abusive quantities, you have to check this place out. Get a liter of beer at the bar and the bangers and mash to start, then work through the special sausages that constantly rotate, and finish the meal off with charcuterie and cheese plates that pack impressive cuts of spicy sausage and homemade ricotta.

*****

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The Establishment
I haven't completely figured out what's going on at The Establishment, but I'll tell you this: The kitchen is plating up some seriously creative cooking at bottom bin prices. Expect plates loaded with quirky ingredients served in an industrial dining room. Oh, and a hot crowd.

*****

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Catherine Downes
FT33
A meal at FT-33 speaks for itself. This was arguably the hottest reservation in Dallas the last time we published this list, and it still is now. Vegetarians rejoice: Matt McCallister's treatment of produce can sway even the most devout of carnivores, and summer's bounty is here.

*****


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16 comments
gabe48
gabe48

Scott Hoffner, formerly chef at T.J.'s Seafood, left in January.  Does anyone know what restaurant he has moved to?

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Well, let me grab my fedora, glasses with no lenses and thrift store blazer, and head out now!

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

What about Mac's?  Rumor has it their jalapeno sausage and big, meaty ribs are off the chart.

HHudgeons
HHudgeons

I've eaten at Zoli's recently. It was not just meh but terrible. The dough was not cooked through, sauce was strange. I even sent it back to cook longer and was still not cooked. I can't bring myself to ever go back despite the rave reviews. Cane Rosso however was amazing every time. The other restaurants I have never heard of them before.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Once you mentioned Zolis this list lost credibility. That place sucks. Cane Rosso and even Cigarz blows it away. Hell I'd have Divinos before I drove back to Zolis.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

I wish more of these places were open for lunch; but most are not.....I hate crowds, I hate late night dining, I don't feel the need to be dining in the trendy place with the "in-crowd."


I like the relaxing normalcy that comes with a late lunch, a glass of wine...   Palapas is open for lunch and the menu is the same lunch or dinner.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

Good list................something for everyone..from the low-brow to upscale.

avas_mommy
avas_mommy

@P1Gunter You should really get back over to Zoli's and check out what's coming out of their ovens!  Seriously, anyone knows there are kinks to work out in the beginning, but a lot of change has come to Zoli's.  Their lunch special blows any out of the water.  And their specialty items are killer.  Check out their facebook page and see what's really going on!

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

@P1Gunter  Is Zoli's really that bad ?  I think Cgarz is very good, not great...and Cane Rosso can be great and it can be not so good - good days/bad days.



notallofeastdallasislakewood
notallofeastdallasislakewood

@CitizenKane A late lunch with glass of wine or beer ... on a patio when the weather is nice is greatness sir.  The trick is to find one without unsupervised kiddos running amuck.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

I ate there in their first month but was extremely unimpressed. It was so meh. Probably didn't help that I miss BEE which I enjoyed. To me it was just not very good pizza and not worth the drive. There are simply better places. I know Jay Jerrier owns both, but Cane Rosso just kills them.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@klassiter3 @Greg820 @jjerrier @P1Gunter  Ive hit Pier multiple times and each time I went, I was less impressed.  It just wasnt hitting my taste buds right.  As for Zoli's, I eat there weekly for lunch, and Ive never been disappointed though I will say, sometimes I get a slice that just seems so much better than others I have had.  And the Stromboli is delicious, but Ive found its even better reheated at home!

JohnTesarsGhost
JohnTesarsGhost

@P1Gunter So what? Cane Rosso sucked when it first opened. Now it's one of the best, if not THE best, in Dallas. There's a reason why published critics like Nancy Nichols, Scott Reitz, and Leslie Brenner wait at least six weeks post-opening before trying it out.

klassiter3
klassiter3

@Greg820 @jjerrier @P1Gunter  I work in the neighborhood and have eaten there plenty.  If you hit it at the wrong time, I agree, it's nothing special.  But, if you hit it at the right time, it's flippin' delicious.  But, if you are throwing out places in the BAD, I'd pick Pier247 over Zoli's (and often do).

Greg820
Greg820

@jjerrier @P1Gunter Thanks for the update, Jay.  Big fan of Cane Rosso, from the days of the portable oven at the Green Spot.  I have passed by Zoli's several times of late to go for something more interesting.  I will give it another try. 

jjerrier
jjerrier

@P1Gunter  The first month at Zoli's was a cluster frank.  Quality and consistency are much better - and we now have a lot of specialty items like stromboli, sausage & pepper/chicken park rolls, etc.  And we've changed our Sicilian after a recent trip to NYC and having the chance to try the square at Prince St. Pizza.

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