Yes, Dallas, another upscale steak and seafood mini-chain has invaded the city. Eddie V’s, the popular spot with two locations in Austin, is now operating in Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas. We entered the chic spot on Oak Lawn with a ho-hum attitude. We left quite surprised. The food, service, and decor combined to create one of the best meals I’ve had all year. We ordered a glass of Veuve Clicquot and a tall handmade mojito and looked over a somewhat standard list of seafood and steaks. The preparations offered, however, were anything but average. Calamari is wok-seared “Kung Pao-Style” in spicy soy and ginger sauce. There are three preparations of gulf red snapper: meuniere, almondine, or stuffed with fresh Jonah crab. The long, slender fish was mildly sweet with the fresh briny flavor of the sea on the finish. A 16-ounce Prime New York strip arrived on a hot plate and stayed warm and medium rare throughout the meal. Seafood is the star. The executive chef, Dallasite Brad Albers, cheffed at one of Dallas’ top-notch seafood restaurants, Cafe Pacific. If you are celebrating a special occasion, ask for one of the lovely round booths. Or sit along a wall and get a full view of the dining room. The night we dined, several restaurant industry heavy hitters were checking out their new competition.

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