The 2009 Dallas Restaurant Design Awards
The D Home editors found the prettiest particulars in restaurants all around town. Forget the food. This is all about the most delightful dining details.
(above) There’s just something about Charlie Palmer at The Joule that gets us excited. It’s probably because the place is full of energy—literally. Designer Adam Tihany nestled six slowly rotating wind turbines in the ceiling as an homage to Texas wind energy, and artist Bram Tihany (Adam’s son) created six wind-themed photo art pieces for the restaurant, with fantastical subjects such as The Wizard of Oz. You’ll be blown away, we promise.
(above left) Our friends at Shinsei encourage you to focus on a different time—the days of your youth—instead of that pesky bill. So they deliver the bad news in the pages of a children’s book such as Goodnight Moon. The best part: it works. Plus, you can borrow this idea. Use your favorite literary works for place settings or name cards at your next dinner party.
Best Comic Relief
(above right) There’s plenty of delicious pork on the menu at Smoke, but the pigs that really put a smile on our face are the ones on these quirky dishes the restaurant uses as bread plates. Part of the Les Cochons line by Jill Butler, the appetizer plates can be purchased as a set of four. Combine them with her matching glasses and “tidbit dishes,” and you’ll be in hog heaven.
(above) In our debates to the death regarding each category, one restaurant kept showing up: Rise No. 1. Why? Everything about this charming, authentic French restaurant is meant to contribute to a five-sensory experience. Even the bathroom is darling. Owner Hedda Dowd designed the space, and, luckily, she’s willing to share. Everything in the restaurant is for sale: the silver, linens, even the chair you’re sitting on. And feel free to borrow one of the books in the library, as long as you replace it with one of your own.
(above) Our crush on Craft owner Tom Colicchio has nothing to do with this proclamation. The intimate booths here, part of the design scheme by New York-based Bentel & Bentel Architects/Planners, win on their own merits. That said, we wouldn’t be opposed to canoodling with the Top Chef judge in a corner booth after inhaling some of Craft’s signature chocolate chip cookies.
(above left) Snagging a table at Neighborhood Services is no easy feat. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so your wait may include making a friend—or enemy or two—at the bar. Once you finally get seated, signal your good fortune (or raise your white flag, if necessary) with this adorable linen napkin from Admiral Linen and Uniform Service. The buttonhole even ensures that your new Tommy Bahama shirt will remain unsoiled.
(above right) Masterpieces by Nana’s Anthony Bombaci are obviously a treat on regular china. But plan a private party of 20 or so, and you can experience a Bombaci creation served on Versace—Medusa or Russian Dream patterns. It’s out of this world. Purchase your own set at Neiman Marcus, Bombaci fare not included.
Best Outdoor Furniture
(above left) Until recently, we never liked to think about eating in conjunction with trying on clothes. The veranda at Cibus at NorthPark Center changed all that. Eating al fresco at the mall feels downright cosmopolitan when you’re lounging in a “Thayla” chair by Kartell, in all of its “almost feminine form” glory. Purchase
your own Kartell collection at
Scott + Cooner.
Best Place to Rest your Bum
(above right) At most restaurants, you don’t spend much time admiring the spot where you put your tush. Not so at Screen Door. George Cameron Nash designed the “One Arts” chair for the restaurant, and the style has become a top seller. With their generous seating proportions, the chairs provide the ideal place to settle in for a leisurely brunch, lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea. Both pretty and comfy, these seats are just as stylish and genteel as you’d expect in a “modern Southern kitchen.”