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 left) Is there a more sophisticated place to drink than Highland Park Village’s Cafe Pacific? From the black and white tiled floor to the tiny tables and the marble-topped bar, every detail is perfection. The people-watching at this haunt, open for some 29 years, is surpassed only by the dizzying array of liquors stocked behind the bar. According to a source who knows: “It’s the best-stocked bar in Dallas. They have liquors other bartenders have never even heard of.”
(above center) Close your eyes and listen to the soothing sounds of the fountain on the patio at Dakota’s and you’re sure to find some peace. Close your next deal, and you might even be able to afford a fabulous fountain of your own. In the meantime, close out the bar while enjoying this Akard Street fixture, designed by the late Keith Simmons of HKS Inc. in the early 1990s.
Best Art Collection
(above right) Server Tamara White and pastry chef Rick Griggs lead double lives at Abacus. Sure, White is happy to talk specials and Griggs makes a mean dessert, but both are also accomplished artists. Check out their artwork hanging around the restaurant and purchase pieces of your own at Nest.
(above) The employees at the Park Cities Houston’s could have come directly from central casting. Clad in black uniforms, dewy-eyed, and polite, these waiters and waitresses have faces fit for head shots and portfolios. Even better: the fine fleet combines good looks with great service. Trust us, you drink your water (or wine) a little faster here just for the punctual refill.
(above left) When Liz and Jim Baron opened the Blue Mesa Grill on Northwest Highway, they faced a couple of challenges: how to create a dramatic entryway in a strip mall and how to avoid the second-floor “kiss of death.” Architect Rick Carrell saved the day with this gorgeous oversize door that creates a canyon effect in the restaurant’s entry. Once inside, you completely forget that you passed a Container Store on your way in.
Best Private Dining Room
(above right) Todd Fiscus and Rob Dailey created something out of a fairy tale in the back room at Tillman’s Roadhouse. The dreamy, tree- and feather-filled private parlor can seat up to 24, and it’s ideal for an elegant lunch, dinner, or cocktail reception. Choose from three set menus. Looking to bring some of this whimsy to your own backhouse? Hire party planner extraordinaire Fiscus for your next big bash.
Best Side Service
(above) At Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, the side dishes are a main attraction—and not only because of the food. The serving dishes aren’t bad either. While you’re munching on veggies, grits, and other sides, the lovely pots from Le Creuset add a splash of color to your table decor. Lucky for you, the cookware company just opened a new signature space in Allen (see p. 24), so getting this look at home just became a whole lot easier.
Best Lip Service
(above) Wet your whistle with these gorgeous glasses: (from top left) Impulse! Enterprises Galaxy water glass at Villa-O; silver mint julep glass from Screen Door; hand-blown polka dot water glass at Stephan Pyles; La Duni water glass; Riedel beer stein at Neighborhood Services; and Schott Zwiesel Pure fine champagne glass at Charlie Palmer.