CuriousDish: Which Dallas Restaurant Would You Revive?

Let’s take a break from the restaurants still here and think about those that we miss. Imagine you had the power–a genie in a bottle of Chateau Latour Pomerol to grant you one wish. If you could rub her it and be granted the gift to bring one dead restaurant back to life, which one would you revive and why?  Riviera? Routh Street? Nero’s?

UPDATE: After roughly 24 hours, over 100 Dishers had asked their genies to revive their favorite restaurants!! Let’s dig through and see.  After 146 genie rubs, Lola gets the most requests, at 8.  Lots of love for Il Sorrento with 6 rubs and Cuidad at 5.  The Wine Press and Uncle Tai’s had 4 mentions.  Surprises for me included Routh Street and The Riviera only getting one comment each.  Lots of love spread out for Stephan Pyles’ concepts including Baby Routh (3), Star Canyon (3), and Aquaknox (2).


  • gunnertec

    Without question: Cafe Marrakesh in Richardson. Best Moroccan food in the city.

  • Amy S


  • BorntoRhone

    Alo – that wonderful place owned by the La Duni folks. The food was unique and the restaurant beautiful – burned a year ago and despite initial promises it would be brought back, we have seen nothing materialize.

  • Hannibal Lecter


  • Tightwads….


  • Tr

    A long time ago there was a Caribbean restaurant on lower greenville.

  • Randy

    Lola. For the wine list & atmosphere as much as the food.

  • JR

    Uncle Tai’s

  • Kyle Kepner

    The name escapes me but the italian restaurant that was on Hillcrest and Northwest Highway with the indoor Canal and Gaudy Italian Street Scene

  • Grumpy Gus

    Il Sorrento

  • CapGuy

    Il Sorrento was the Italian restaurant on NW Hwy & Hillcrest.
    I would love to eat at Cayuse again. I thought it was Monica’s best…..alas I must have been in the great minority!!!!!

  • m

    Both of mine were already mentioned but for sure – Alo and 2900.

  • Martin Scorsese

    La Tosca where Shinsei now is…authentic, true Italian…

    Il Sorrento, just because it was great times

  • acrow

    Soley on Henderson.

  • NoHa!

    Little Gus’s!

  • Masaharu

    Holy Smokes and Big D’s Dog, RIP.

  • dallasboiler

    On the higher end, I would be happy to see the return of Toscana at McKinney and Monticello.

    On the lower end, I miss Chip’s at Knox & Armstrong. The ambiance (and accessibility) at the Lover’s Lane location is just not the same.

  • Wes Mantooth

    Kobawoo. Small Korean BBQ joint on Inwood in a bombed-out strip mall, run by a mom and pop who hardly spoke any English and fronted by their son who did. It was a great little hole in the wall, the first one that my wife and I shared really fondly. I’ve always thought that the strip mall was probably burned by its owner for the insurance money because Kobawoo was the only thing in it except for a really nasty c-store. I think there’s a Taco Bell there now.

  • Amy S

    What was the asian fusion restaurant on McKinney where La Duni is now? It had all those origami cranes hanging from the ceiling and the best pot stickers.

  • Margaret

    Toscana and Ill Sorrento.

    One for food and one for mood. And the palm reading!!

  • @Amy S … Anzu’s, where I pulled up, and as we got out, my date told me in no uncertain terms: “I don’t each sushi”. Nevertheless, I married her two years later.

  • alyb

    Ditto Little Gus, and also Ruby’s that followed it.
    Savino, on Henderson
    Juniper (before Lola was Lola)

  • Bobby Lentz

    Ricardo’s Tex-Mex in Allen was very good. Were opening at a new location but never did.

  • Scott

    The original Kirby’s Steakhouse and Railhead Steakhouse. For our high school prom dinner, a group of us went to Ports O’ Call.

  • ldascha

    Only one !? Here’s my list; in order.
    1. Enclave supper club, on Walnut Hill
    2. Lola
    3. Ciudad

  • tom

    El Taxco, Moctezuma’s, Victoria Station

  • Chuck

    Citizen or Knox Street Pub

  • Scott

    Baby Doe’s Matchless Mine for the view and unique building and location if nothing else.
    Kip’s Big Boy had the best french toast ever.

  • Definitely Cuidad!!! We’ve been searching hi and low for a brunch like that it’s just not to be found. Dinner was also fantastic. Great atmosphere, great people. Hint, hint, Monica!

  • Did I just say “hi” and low? Forgive me.

  • Betty Wilson

    Lemmon Avenue Bar and Grill

  • Lori

    Baby Doe’s.

  • Onyx

    There’s a “chateau latour a pomerol” but I think you are referring to “chateau latour pauillac”

    $10 says martin scorsese up there is AC. [Ed note: a portion of this comment has been removed. Keep it civil, please.]

  • Emily

    La Dolce Vita
    Liberty Noodles
    Dan’s in Lakewood– I know it was gross. I mostly want to see it again (preferably in a time machine set to winter of 1998) not eat there.

  • Stacy L.

    Il Grano up in Plano. I still can’t believe they turned it into an On the Border Express.

  • KahunaSteve

    Southern Kitchen, if only for those delicious cinnamon rolls.

  • TLS

    Enigma. Because it was.

  • Enigma was indeed a funny place. We were seated at a table placed inside a king sized bed frame. The waiter tripped (but recovered gracefully) as he stepped over with our food.

  • Kris

    The Wine Press, 8.0 in the Quadrangle, Queen of Sheba on McKinney (by the Loon); Baby Routh. Kinda miss Star Canyon, too.

  • Me

    Aquaknox (before it started to suck)

  • The old Sonny Bryan’s location on Jefferson in Oak Cliff, so I could taste good BBQ at a Sonny Bryan’s location.

  • Bobby Ewing

    One? Well, probably Citizen only because the food was so good and my departed Daddy said “I’ll take the #27” to which the server replied “Um, sir, that’s the price.”) I also had a series of amazing first dates during my 20’s at Flip’s (first taste of port among other things).

  • Glenn Campbell

    Il sorrento.

  • Sander


  • Lisa

    Definitely Uncle Tai’s.

  • Chips . Chips. Chips. the one on Cole.

  • Steven Doyle

    I thought I was the only one who remembered Enigmna. It was quirky restaurant, but I think I dined there no less than 20 times. The tables and plate settings were amazing, the service doting. Thanks, TLS.

  • Jon

    Hola’s! Best Tapas restaurant in Dallas last 10 years

  • Gipson

    I’m going to go against common sense and, perhaps, common decency and suggest the return of a steakhouse. Smith & Wollensky’s on the Tollway was the only steakhouse in Dallas to give Pappas a run for its money (well, figuratively). Steak for steak, side for side, dessert for dessert, I preferred Smith & Wollensky’s every step of the way.

    Of course, if I wanted it bad enough, I could always drive down to Houston, but I’d much rather have it here in town.

  • bill holston

    ditto little gus’s
    La Cave, particularly the west end location
    Wine Press on Oak Lawn
    Pantelli’s (my favorite of all time)

  • Lola’s. The food, the wine list, the location.

    I still miss it.

  • JI

    Los Vaqueros!

  • Angeldogjo

    Ratcliffe’s (best poached salmon), Gershwins’s (mainly for the bar), Il Sorrento (for the hokiness), the Italian deli-type place on Lower Greenville (can’t remember the name), Mad Hatters (best cheeseburgers!), and Holy Cow (hot fudge pie) and, of course, Terrillis!

  • whoknew

    Il Sorrento – loved how cheesy it was, the piano player and the tarot card reader (she was scary accurate!)
    La Cave- Henderson location. I find myself wanting to go there now- decent, well priced wine , with french bistro atmosphere and great staff. Also, so fun for Bastille day!

  • luniz


  • CB

    Cheslea (?) pizza place on McKinney
    Chapman Chile Kitchen
    New Mexican place where Sevy’s is now

  • Victor Rojas

    La Valentina in Addison. Best Mole’ in a restaurant!

  • FortWorthPrig

    Cuquitas on Henderson. Great for a nacho fix at 2:30 in the morning.

  • Twinwillow

    Oh, man. Let me just say, ALL THE ABOVE!

  • the queen

    sams cafe and canyon cafe. come on, people!

  • osborne cox

    Baby Ruth. The Wine Press. Lombardi Mare

  • Enclave
    Chateau Briand
    La Sayson
    Cafe Passfic
    They were all Five Star,i am sorry for
    spelling their name

  • Timmy

    The Railhead was it back in the day!

  • A. B.

    ALO–briefly in the shopping center on the southwest corner of Central @ Knox before it burned. It was so fabulous (is that what you are talking about BorntoRhone?)

  • Beda

    Gennie’s Bishop Grill.

  • Katherine

    Marty’s on Oak Lawn. It was the perfect neighborhood place, nice without being stuffy or pretentious. And wonderful food as well.

  • Me!

    Tarantino’s in Fair Park. First date with my wife.
    Flying Burro on lower Greenville.
    Nuevo Leon.

  • Lindsay

    Lombardi Mare.

  • Mom

    Zider Zee (Inwood and Denton Road area)
    Youngblood’s (Preston and Forest)
    The Torch (Oak Cliff)
    the original Ojeda’s (old house on Maple)
    Ok, so I’m old.

  • Scagnetti

    Jean Claude’s
    The Rib
    Southern Kitchen
    Routh Street

  • lawbobn

    Uncle Tai’s
    Rooster’s on Lemmon where Manny’s is
    Liberty Noodle
    Holy Smokes

  • iroguy

    Jamie’s Hamburgers Lemon Ave
    Youngblood’s Fry Chicken various locations.
    Little bit of Sweden Inwood plaza

    Now for a out there “The Shed” if you are old enough to remember! All you can eat steak.

  • Dan

    Steak & Ale (God I miss that place!)

  • JuJuBee

    Mmm representing Cowtown on this one… Angeluna.

  • Oh my, I just got caught up. I am in tears over some of these places. Oz! I have a call in to chef Jean LaFont. Hopefully we can do a little salute to Oz. Oh, it was yar.

  • Beth

    Kitchen 1924 in Lakewood… I miss that pork chop

  • justafoodie

    So many – can’t name just one!

    The White Swan
    La Tosca
    Nuevo Leon
    The “original” On the Border (Knox)
    Il Sole
    Bishop Arts Cafe

  • joeat

    Lots of places and lots of good memories but loved Baby Routh and Jamie’s Hamburgers. But Alo? One of the worst, stupidests disaters in Dallas dining. The only thing that made them was the blessed fire.

  • air

    Litos, La Palapa Veracruzana.

  • Cecil McDermit

    Blue’s Lake Front – Cheese broccoli soup and the onion rings
    Guadalaja’s – A pitcher of frozen margarita’s please
    La Suprema’s on Military Parkway – The best chips and salsa
    The Brisket – Big schooner of Schlitz to go with that BBQ

  • slade


  • dallasboiler

    I also miss the original Sambuca in Deep Ellum. It made me feel like I was at an intimate jazz club in NYC which happened to have solid Mediterranean food. The new one on Pearl just does not compare (for ambiance or food).

  • tinkerbell

    Anyone know how to get ahold of the tarot reader at Il Sorrento? She was awesome and I would like to hire her for an event!

  • Jane Pasqua


    Carmela just turned 90, the card reader @ Il Sorrento. She lives @ Preston Towers condos.

    She’s often hanging around the lobby waiting for a driver to take her shopping.

    not sure if she still reads cards, but there you have it.

  • Paul R

    There are two that I still miss:
    1. Fog City Diner, and
    2. The Rusty Pelican (Sunday Brunch).

    One runner up would be Ciao II at the Centrum. Good times were had at all of them 🙂

  • mark

    Charco’s hamburgers on Mockingbird
    The Beggers Club
    Casa Domingez, Ate my first Nacho there
    Kips wedge salad
    Shakey’s Pizza
    Zuider Zee , Our family looked forward to lobster week all year
    Jay’s seafood
    Jamil’s steakhouse
    Dean’s seafood
    Trader Vic’s OOOPPS!! we already tried that
    Anything at European Crossroads

  • DTF

    For Dependable Continental: Mr. Pepe’s
    For Fun: Caruso’s (budding opera stars, booths with doors, bottomless wine glass, Italian comfort food)
    For a Quick Trip to France: La Cave
    For An Incredible Experience Every Time: Lola

  • Carol

    to this day, I’ve never had a better steak than at the Railhead.

  • Riviera was the best.

  • PG


  • tejasmom

    Lucas B&B anyone? It was so long ago I don’t remember if the food was good, it just was a great place.

  • Cellarmaster

    Salve. I’m sad and will never forget those dinners. I still love Sharon and consider her one of the gems of Dallas.

    Lola, Van’s impeccable service and insane wine list were hard to beat anywhere…

  • Steven F

    Uncle Tais (would love to know of another Chinese place as good)
    Strictly tabu. Great jazz and pizza
    Cactus Jacks
    Gilberts Deli

  • Steven Doyle

    Ha. I drink beer on occasion with the last owner of Strictly Tabu. Dutch is a great guy and sings a mean karaoke. He also has the best seats for Mav’s. Bring it back? He should.

  • Jo Bennett

    The PUB in Nordstrom’s! Hands down had the best upscale bar food around….

  • macpad

    The italian restaurant at the old Barneys.. What was the name?? Fantastic.


    The original Chili’s on Greenville and Meadow (long before it became Brinkerized

  • Tightwads….

    Matt’s No Place in Lakewood, and The Wine Press. Cafe Society…… It was waaaay ahead of its time. Andrew’s on McKinney.

  • iroguy

    Oops forgot to mention the original Kirby’s. A great place to impress the girls in High School.

  • TK

    Filling Station on Greenville – loved that place, but probably better for me to not eat there….

    Royal Tokyo on Greenville had all the charm of an authentic Japanese restaurant, not like Benihana.

    I wish HP Cafeteria was the same….but that Casa Linda remake doesn’t cut it.

  • Max

    Lola- When Jamie Samford was there(where is he now?)
    Green Room- When Marc Cassel was there
    Matt’s No Place
    A and W Root Beer on Spring Valley and the Tollway.

  • Charm Offensive

    Prince of Hamburgers on Lemmon

  • Hannah

    Matt’s No Place and Ciudad are great suggestions. I go with Star Canyon (with Stephen Pyles) – best chicken I’ve had in my life and the first upscale Dallas restaurant I visited.

  • Kris

    Strictly Taboo. Oh yeah!!

  • FortWorthGuy

    Nancy…is this a record for the number of replies?

  • Chef Jon

    Max, Jamie Samford is now the executive chef at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

  • eatouttomuch

    Dallas needs another Strictly Taboo!!!!!

  • Record number of replies is 235 for Casey Thompson. I think.

  • JG

    you have to have been around for awhile, but there was a great place on Bachman Lake in the mid to late 70’s called The Clam Digger – wonderful seafood and especially the shrimp.

    Let’s not forget the theme restaurant that always had a great night crowd – Randy Tarr on upper Greenville

  • Monica

    Don’t we have to admit that Sfuzzi proves that you can never really go home again?
    Of course, I’m holding out hope for dinner at the revived Green Room tonight…

  • DGirl


    Just kidding.

  • Brandon

    Kitchen 1924

  • Angeldogjo

    Beau Nash!!!! I miss it dearly. San Simeon (the old triangle of Sam’s Cafe, Sfuzzi and San Simeon), and a second nod to Blue’s Lake Front across from Bachman Lake.

  • CDD

    1. Holy Smokes BBQ
    2. Hola!

  • Bob Crowder

    Routh Street and Savino’s

  • Charles

    Baby Routh

  • Stacy

    Anzu!! Miss it!

  • Tim

    Watel’s – the original location way down on McKinney
    Going Gourment(bad name good food)- where Suze is
    Wow forgot about Savino on Henderson
    The original On the Border on Knox
    Knox Street Pub (bar)
    The original PoPolos
    Dalts on Lovers where Cafe Express is
    The mussels from Routh Street Brewery
    The Green Room- wine me dine me

  • ldascha

    Pierre’s on the Lake
    Vincent’s on Midway
    Cappuccino on Midway-LBJ, good food, drinks, music, and dancing.

    All were great “go to” spots for many “first dates”.

    And almost forgot, Prince of Hamburgers, on Lemmon, the perfect hamburger and root beer.

  • Eddie

    Liberty Noodles
    Il Sole
    FIrehouse on greenville ave
    Big D’s Dogs
    Lone Star Oyster bar on Greenville
    Hurricane Grill for Sunday Funday

  • Ross

    I loved the lunch buffet at Der Schnapps and Schnacks on Northwest Highway by Bachman Lake circa 1980-1983, also Mother Tucker’s on Composite near Walnut Hill and Harry Hines in the same period.