Somebody Help This Poor Couple: In-Laws in Town

My husband’s parents will be in town this weekend for a quickie and we have three dining out meals to fill. They are somewhat sophisticated (from Indianapolis) and close to 60. They told us they wanted to taste Dallas’ finest. What do you recommend?

My first answer would be to buy a copy of D Magazine, or check out the 600+ on our website, and peruse the listings. You know you in-laws better. But we’re not like that (today) here on SideDish. We are giver gods and goddesses and we are here to suggest until our fingers bleed. (Close to 60? What does that have to do with this equation?)


  • Maddie

    The Mansion. I took my MIL there and she was sufficiently impressed. Beautiful setting and great food. Lunch there Saturday would be nice. They have a $29 prix fixe lunch too . .

  • Dallasite

    Al Biernats
    Stephen Pyles
    Javier’s (My personal choice for an out-of-town guest. They probably haven’t had anything close before).

  • sophisticated Hooser couple seeks fine dining, mid-afternoon dinner reservations

  • Margaret

    Hattie’s at some point.
    I second Al Biernt’s.
    Causal, Kent Rathburn’s Blue Plate Kitchen. Just checked it out this past week, it was delightful.

  • Original version of “The In-Laws” starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin just might be the funniest movie, ever. EVER!
    Off topic, I know, so I will suggest bringing the in-laws to The Grape.

  • but seriously I know a few people from Indy and they have a taste for the bland, very stereotypical mid-westerners

    their favorite restaurants in Dallas? Celebration, Babe’s and Brio.

    yes. Brio.

  • Bobby Ewing

    Javier’s or Trece
    Stephan Pyles
    Nick and Sam’s (for Dad)
    Nobu (for out of towners it’s special)
    The Zodiac at Neiman Marcus (old-skool)
    Burgers at Twisted Root
    La Duni (Brunch, Lunch)
    Mexican at El Ranchito in Oak Cliff (local, authentic)

  • shelbyg75

    LOL… Creth Davis, you are exactly right! I grew up there and was recently up there visiting my brother. Their version of D-Magazine (Indianapolis Monthly) had an article about how Indianapolis is chain restaurant heaven!! “the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area has one of the highest concentrations of chain restaurants per capita of any market in the U.S.”

  • hahahahahahahahaha, so what are some “sophisticated” Dallas chains? la Madeleine, Chili’s… um

  • and you have to be honest, the sophisticated Hooser won’t be impressed by the Bishop Arts gentrification project- they will be TERRIFIED. lovers of chains as they are, they prefer safe neighborhoods a.k.a. West side of 75.

  • Karen

    Charlie Palmers
    York Street
    Tei Tei
    The mansion or Fearings

  • do out-of-towners find the Dallas Nobu more special than the others?

  • luniz

    has Weaver left the French Room already? That’s probably about as sophisticated as Dallas gets, not that I’ve been there. And El Ranchito is a good choice also.

  • TLS

    Well if they are in town for a “quickie” might as well kill two birds and eat at Central 214 and head on upstairs to Hotel Palomar and finish the task at hand.

  • SB

    Try Alamo City Grille – new in Plano with several ‘Texas’ cuisines – texmex, bbq, fine steaks. Great atmosphere and bargain prices. Everything is made from scratch, fantastic!

  • Darren

    Having lived in Indianapolis for 7 years, please ignore Creath Davis. Let me give you some suggestions:

    Tei An
    The Place at Perry’s
    The Zodiac at Neiman Marcus Downtown
    Twisted Root Burgers
    The Grape
    Cuba Libre
    Fireside Pies

    While there are quite a few chain restaurants around Indy, most locals know of the hidden gems in the neighborhoods “inside the loop” (I-465 which surrounds the city). St. Elmo’s, Mama Carolla’s, Sakura, and Bazbeaux are just a couple of my favorites, which are still in business over a decade later!

  • hahahahahahahahaha, oh Darron. you’re no more a Texan than you are a Hooser, find a home.

  • N

    The French Room – before Jason leaves
    Abacus – just always good, really good
    Hattie’s – mmm, shrimp and grits
    Local – the understated gem of Dallas
    Tei Tei – hard to outdo for great sushi and sashimi
    Tei An – who can’t love Soba?

  • Darren


    I apologize for misspelling your name in my post. But in the 6 replies you have left so for, you have yet to offer any suggestions. Where would you send them?

  • Darren

    “… left so far,…”

    I hate Tuesdays.

  • californiaorbust

    The Mansion: 29.oo a person lunch menu or request the chef;s table for dinner I hear Eric is amazing

  • well I was serious about Celebration, Babe’s, Chili’s and la Madeleine. all of which have been open for well over a decade, as well as they are Dallas originals.

    want to make a splash while still pleasing the visitors? Fearing’s, Stephen Pyles, Bob’s, Adelmo’s…

  • shelbyg75

    Creth… just so you know they are called Hoosiers 🙂

    I will say I recommend Mattito’s, Cubra Libre, Fireside Pies, Taverna… I know that all my Indy relatives like those places when they visit 🙂

    Darren- Those were some good Indy places you mentioned! I look forward to hitting some old stomping grounds when I’m up there next week!!

  • my bad, I’ve only seen the movie once…

    and just because I like making people from Indiana squirm-

    what’s a Hoosier?

  • shelbyg75

    LOL… that’s a good question Creth, cause no one actually knows:

  • SAC

    Um, skip Stephen Pyles cause as lil girl Greggo might say ‘It ain’t that great Brutha!’

  • Some of my favorites:
    Al Biernat’s
    Charlies Palmers
    Javier’s ( you can’t come to TX and not have Mexican food)
    Fireside Pies
    560 at Reunion Tower might also be nice for the view.

  • shelbyg75

    If the weekend stays nice, you should take them to the Dallas Arboretum and have lunch at the DeGoyler Garden Cafe…

  • Not Jim Nabors

    As a native-born Hoosier who spent all of his formative years in Indy then got out when I had the chance, Bazbeaux is way way way overrated, as is most of Broad Ripple. Except for Union Jack’s, which has great pizza. Unlike Bazbeaux, which has bazfaux “hip” pizza. It’s about as clever as anything from California Pizza Kitchen.

    “Sophisticated” and “Indianapolis” really only go together in a sentence in contradiction to one another, honestly. With the exception of the Snobby Northside, the rest of that town is just hoons in wifebeaters (and yes, this includes you, Pike Township. You may think you’re up and coming but many of us still remember you by the oil refinery). It is anything but a culinary mecca.

    In fact, the only culinary delight of value to originate in Indiana is the fried pork tenderloin sandwich. It is the singular staple food that I crave from back home that I can’t find anywhere else. Sure, the wienerschnitzel is similar, but nothing beats a fried pork tenderloin sandwich from a greasy spoon or bar kitchen. Personally, I prefer them just with mustard.

    That said, when my folks are in town, they always love Mi Cocina. Anything fancier than that will knock the polyester pants off these sophisticated in-laws.

    Don’t knock my Hoosier creds, Bubba, or I will treat you to the worst rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana” this side of the banks of the Wabash.

  • jane

    York Street- DUH!
    Hook Line and Sinker(not ‘Sophisticated’, but hughly effective)