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Food and Spirits DINING OUT

By D Magazine |

Entree

Future Stock: The Beef That’s Soon To Be



With some misgiving, I set out in search of beefalo. Quite frankly, I’m just not one of those people who thrills to the idea of eating weird animals. I will gladly live out my life without sampling such delicacies as boiled octupus. On a camping trip I was offered a dinner of roast possum and graciously declined, saying I’d rather eat the charcoal. A few weeks ago I was talked into nibbling on a fried rattlesnake rib. While it really didn’t taste much different from fried chicken, my insides would not stop screaming at me. “You’re eating a snake! You’re eating a snake!”

But beefalo, that revolutionary hybrid of buffalo and beef cattle, is being trumpeted as the “food of the future.” When you take note of some of the statistics this beast has compiled, you have to believe there might be some truth in that claim. Beefalo, they tell us, has almost twice the protein of regular beef. Beefalo has about half the fat of regular beef. Beefalo has almost one-third less cholesterol than regular beef. Miracle meat. Not to be so lightly discarded as possum.

We sat down at a quiet table in the Pepper Mill restaurant (7709 Inwood near Lovers), the only Dallas restaurant at present to serve beefalo steaks. There was as much anxiety as there was curiosity about this, our first venture into the land of the beefalo. It was with some relief that we read through the beefalo menu and found such familiar terminology as rib eye, strip, and filet. No hoof shank, no neck rind, no filet of underbelly. When the waitress arrived, we sought guidance. Or rather, reassurance. “How do you like the beefalo?” we asked her. She smiled. “Oh . . .”{a disturbing moment of hesitation) “… I think it’s really good. Especially the filet.” “I’ll take the filet,” I blurted boldly. My partner on this little safari bravely ordered the strip. Both were priced at $8.45. Then we waited. Not even the belly dancer who wandered into the room could ease our anxiety. On the contrary, we suspected it a ploy, that she would return again to take our minds off the mystery meat we would soon be trying to entertain in our own bellies.

The beefalo arrived. It looked like . . . like steak. We silently sliced into our respective cuts. Into the mouth went the filet of beefalo. And it tasted like . . . like steak. Like a very tender, very tasty, very steak from our good friend the cow.

Emboldened by this discovery, I decided to be more scientific in this pursuit. A long drive out to North Dallas ended at Beefalo Bill’s at 13507 Montfort PI. just south of Alpha Road. Beefalo Bill’s is a meat market; their only product is beefalo. On the counter was a beefalo brochure. Ah. if only I’d seen this before. On the brochure was a picture of a beef-alo. And it looked like . . . like a cow. Beefalo. the brochure informs, is a breed containing anywhere from 1/8 to 3/8 bison, meaning of course, that it is more cow than buffalo. The meat I was looking at here, the butcher said, was from a herd in Paris, Texas. I selected a couple of strips at $3.79 a Ib. and a club steak at $2.69 a Ib. On the way home, I stopped in at Tom Thumb and bought a strip cut of regular beef at $2.79 a Ib. Beefalo is presently more expensive than beef because there is not a lot of it. However, its bison heritage makes beefalo easier and cheaper to raise: beefalo has stronger resistance to disease, parasites, and climate extremes: more important, it thrives on native grasses, thus not requiring expensive grain feeds. Eventually, then, according to the Bison Hybrid International Association, beefalo will be cheaper than regular beef. What an animal.

I took home the steaks, fired up the charcoal grill, and cooked them, careful to heed the butcher’s warning that beef-alo, with less fat content, cooks 30 percent faster than regular beef. The point of all this was a quick blind tasting to see if we could tell the difference. Three of us, all lovers of great steaks, hitched up our napkins, closed our eyes and tasted. Strip against strip, we couldn’t tell beefalo from beef. The beefalo club steak was noticeably different in flavor and texture, but only that of a cheaper cut of meat. The beefalo brochure, quoting Time magazine, says that beefalo tastes “richer” than conventional beef. We couldn’t go that far. But the fact that it tasted the same seemed achievement enough.

One last test. Beefalo could not be the food of the future if it couldn’t be made into a good hamburger. The Barbecue Inn, a crazy looking little drive-in on Fitzhugh just east of Central Expresway, is the lone Dallas home of beefalo burgers. Ninety-five cents later, in the distinguished presence of Charlie’s Angels, who gazed down at us from posters tacked to the dining room wall of the BBQ Inn, beefalo passed the ultimate test. It made a good hamburger. The proprietor, named Harper, informed me that his beefalo burgers, though costing a dime more, outsold his regular burgers by three to one – a statistic far more telling than protein or cholesterol content. Beefalo is on its way.

On the way out, I noticed another item on Harper’s menu. “Tripa Tacos.” I asked Harper about that and, my worst fears confirmed, learned that they were indeed, tacos made with tripe, or as Harper accurately described it, “tacos filled with cow intestines.” You can rest assured that next month’s column will not be a survey of Tripa Tacos.



– David Bauer

A la Carte



Phone call on line five. “I just recently moved to Dallas from New York,” the caller began, “and I was just wondering if you could tell me where I can get a good New York style pizza.’’ The call was not the first of its kind. The term “New York style pizza” has popped up before. Is there really such a thing? Well, yes. Sort of.

It’s hard to describe because it has no rigid set of characteristics, but you know it when you see it. And there are now two places in town where you can get a look at it. Vinny Madorma recently opened Galliano’s Pizzeria in the Northwood Hills Shopping Center on Spring Valley Road near Coit. Vinny, a Brooklyn native, calls his pizza “Neapolitan style” because “so many places claim to make New York style pizza and don’t – I didn’t want to fall into the confusion.” Neapolitan is actually a New York term used to distinguish this style from the thicker crusted Sicilian style (which Vinny also makes). What’s the trick, Vinny? “Hey, I can’t give you my secrets.” He did offer a few tips: he uses a “high glutant flour” in his dough, which he forms, spins and tosses by hand under the fascinated gaze of his customers (“Texans are really flipping out over this stuff,” Vinny chuckles); he uses whole milk mozzarella, no skim, which creates the stringy effect; and he bakes “directly on the brick of the oven, no screen, no pan.” The result is a fantastic, cheesy, chewy-crusted pizza. Yeah, Vinny, but what makes it New York style? “Hey, New York style pizza is know-how.”

Al Bastone was born in Italy but hails from the Bronx. Al’s Pizzeria in Walnut Hill Village (Northwest Highway at Marsh) serves one size of pizza – huge. But Al also serves by the slice. Ask any good New Yorker how he thinks of pizza and he’ll likely tell of a single slice, cheese only, on a sheet of waxed paper. Al’s pizza is very much like Vinny’s. What’s the secret, Al? “It’s just that people here are so used to franchise pizza that they’re just now discovering what real pizza is. I’ll make a prediction. Franchise pizza is on the way out. In five years it won’t be around anymore.” OK, Al, but what makes yours so good? “All the best ingredients, all made right here. And I’ve brought in qualified pizza men from New York, men who have pizza in their blood.” Yeah, Al, but what makes New York style pizza? “It’s just a word. It’s because New York has so much good pizza. New York style pizza is just good pizza. I get no complaints.”

Newcomers



Dixie House. You’ve gotta hand it to Gene Street, restaurant entrepreneur extraordinaire – he’s always got a fresh idea up his sleeve and he always somehow manages to make it work. Dixie House is his latest. And his best. The idea is simple enough (“Why didn’t I think of that?”), a capitalization on the currently popular quest for the somewhat lost art of “country cookin’.” You know, home-cooked, down-South, like-Grandma-used-to-make food. The pillar of the o-peration here is fried chicken; oddly, the chicken is one of the least successful items on the menu. It’s a pan-fried version, it’s distinctive, but it’s not great. The crust has been a little different with each sampling, but generally underdone – more mealy than crispy. The catfish (deep-fried) comes off better. But some of the less-heralded items work best, including a nice pot roast and delicious grilled pork chops that really do have a down-home smack to them. On the side you’ve got vegetables ranging from fried okra to baked squash; only the mashed potatoes (mashed with the skins) are something special. They’re very proud of their watermelon sherbet here, but unless you’re fanatical in your love for watermelon, go with the peach cobbler or the banana pudding – both terrific. And wash it down with a Nehi soda (a typically inspired Street touch). It is the place itself that’s most impressive, a big, beautifully restored, old, high-ceilinged warehouse. The feeling is part corner drugstore, part roadside cafe, and, well, part Gene Street. (2822 McKinney/823-0071lMon-Thur 11-11, Fri & Sat till midnight, Sun noon-11/No reservations/ MC.BA.AE/$)



Le France Co. This is a deja-vu of sorts. This Quadrangle location was once inhabited by Calluaud Traiteur, a small-scale, deli-style, French restaurant that blossomed into what is now the wonderful Calluaud’s on Fairmount. Like its predecessor, Le France Co. is a husband-wife operation (in fact, two couples) with a modest, order-over-the-counter style. The menu, too, is very much the same, featuring omelettes, individual quiches, sandwiches, cold seafood plates, salads. All of which makes it impossible not to compare it to the original Traiteur – unfortunate because it really doesn’t measure up. While our samplings have been reasonably good, they have been somewhat bland, and pale further in comparison with our remembrances of the original. As a simple example, the little fruit tarts, a Calluaud favorite, don’t have the same delicacy in the pastry or subtlety in the fillings. They’re certainly not bad, but having tasted the others, you know they could be better. There are some nice touches though: the bread is from the La Fran-caise bakery and so is predictably delicious; the soups are of the traditional French “potage” variety, a thick puree style (the vegetable potage we tasted was a bit dull, but the tomato was excellent). The cheerful staff and their French chatter behind the counter give a nice feeling to the place; perhaps they can grow towards the standards set by their forerunner and they’ll really have something to be cheerful about. (192 The Quadrangle, 2800 Routhl742-2276lMon-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 6-11 p.m./No re-servations/MC,BA/$)



Szechuan. If you eat much Chinese food in Dallas, you’re likely to get the distinct impression that you’ve been here before. In a way, you have. This menu is beginning to seem like it’s been through the Xerox machine and distributed a-round town – this makes the fourth restaurant to use it (including Hunan, Chinese Pavilion, and Central China, none of the same ownership), each with only minor variations. Fortunately, they’re spread geographically all over town. More fortunate, they’re all good restaurants. And this is yet another success. Right from the top you’ll recognize the “Spicy Crispy Whole Fish,” and on down the line you’ll spot such other favorites as River Shang Pork, Hunan Lamb, and Champagne Chicken. There are a few new items on this version of the menu, including “Green Jade Chicken” (a milder dish than most of the others with lots of crisp broccoli) and “Gold Prawn Szechuan Style” (sliced prawn in fine delicate batter). This Lemmon Avenue location was previously another Chinese restaurant and is typical in its decor; the lights were far too bright, but they promised to turn them down from now on. Only the fortune cookies seem to distinguish these places and here our fortunes were silly: at Hunan we last discovered “You will be rich and famous;” here we were told “You have nothing to fear but fear it-self.” (4117 Lemmon Avenue/521-69811 Daily 11:30-11:30 except Fri & Sat till midnight/ Reservations/MC,BA,AE/$$)

Recipe

The Rise (and Falls) of Souffle

If Souffle au Grand Marnier sounds imposing to you, relax. In French cuisine, it’s just another everyday ordinary luscious delight. ’”Ah. everybody makes it.” says Executive Chef Diter Paul of the Fairmont’s Pyramid Room. “But everybody makes it differently.” This particular recipe is the creation of Fairmont pastry chef Gert Lunkowski. There’s nothing mysteriously difficult about it – except for the precarious process of the baking itself. A souffle is so delicate that minimal traffic past the oven can cause it to fall instantly. Chef Paul explains the mechanics: “The egg yolk gives it the consistency, and the egg white makes it rise. But once it’s risen and then fallen, you can never bring it up again – except maybe with a bicycle pump.” So be ambitious, but be careful.

2 tbs. soft butter

3 tbs. sugar

3 egg yolks

1/6 cup sugar

1 /8 cup Grand Marnier (I two ounce bottle)

1/2 tbs. freshly grated orange peel

4 egg whites

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 qt. souffle dish with .2 tablespoons of soft butter. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of sugar, tipping and shaking the dish to spread the sugar evenly, then turn the dish over and knock out the excess sugar. Set aside.

In the top of a double boiler, beat the egg yolks with a whisk, rotary or electric beater until they are well blended. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the yolks become very thick and pale yellow. Set the pan over barely simmering (not boiling) water and heat the egg yolks, stirring gently and constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens and becomes almost too hot to touch. Stir in the Grand Marnier and grated orange peel and transfer to a large bowl. Set the bowl into a pan filled with crushed ice or ice cubes and cold water, and stir the mixture until it is quite cold. Remove it from the ice.

In a large mixing bowl, preferably of unlined copper, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar with a clean whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff, unwavering peaks. Using a rubber spatula, stir a large spoonful of beaten egg white into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture. Spoon the souffle into the buttered, sugared dish, filling it to within 2 inches of the top. Smooth the top of the souffle with the spatula. For a decorative effect, make a cap on the souffle by cutting a trench about 1 inch deep, 1 inch from the edge all around the top.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 degrees. Continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the souffle has risen about 2 inches above the top of the mold and the top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve it at once. For additional effect, serve with apricot sauce. Serves four.

Junk Food



Having A Mite To Eat



While contemplating my next strategic move through the wonderful realms of junk food, I recalled an old, never-satisfied curiosity of mine: chocolate covered insects. Flippantly, I proposed to make them my subject of the month. When my little joke was met with laudatory approval, I cringed in horror, cursing myself for forgetting completely my Aunt Toots’ sternest teaching, “Keep your mouth shut, fool.” Still, I reasoned that these creepy little products (probably forced on the manufacturer by his brother-in-law) were a fad of the past, that their unavailability would get me off the hook. Surely nobody still sold this kind of warpo stuff.

Wrong. Simon David Grocery on Inwood has herds of the sticky critters. As I entered the store, I was eyed up and down by an army of uniformed cooks for the well-to-do, who no doubt took scornful notice of my Don Ho Hawaiian shirt and red suede sneakers. Not wanting to draw further attention, I slithered down the nearest aisle, shuddering past products I wouldn’t have in my hands, much less my mouth: Pickled Pheasant Lips and Pigeon Parts, something terrible called Eel’s Brood picturing a puddle of baby eels on the label, and Diamondback Rattlesnake With Supreme Sauce. Gads. What could Supreme Sauce consist of? Puree of Slug, perhaps?

I figured I must be moving in the right direction because it became darker and nobody seemed to be in that part of the store except shadows and a frantic little woman crying, “My God! Where is the fish roe?” But I still could not find the elusive Choco-Bugs, so I began to meander through the healthy portion of the store where they have foods for folks like you and me. Wonderful breads and cheeses and gourmet goodies like nut meats and truffles, those exotic underground fungi that sport a $6-per-ounce price tag which should include a back rub. It was in the locked Truffles case that I happened, unhappily, upon my quarry: Bonavita Chocolate Covered Ants and Chocolate Covered Caterpillars. Duty called. I bought them. I took them home. And I ate them. I ate them!

Chocolate caterpillars are roasted first, then covered with what I presume to be melted Easter Rabbits. The “Cat” tastes much like a lump of sawdust. More disconcerting, they seem to have somehow escaped from being covered completely and wink at you from their little chocolate homes. The ants are much better, reaching a 3 on the 10 scale. You can’t actually taste the ant. Doubting its presence entirely, I allowed the candy to dissolve on my tongue. A mistake. At first I thought it was a giant ant as I felt weird things tickling my mouth from both sides of the candy. I soon discovered instead that it was a patch of about 20 of the little devils.

Despite their regal traditions and expensive mystique,Choco-Bugs, l can only conclude, have no redeeming value except as a practical joke on squeamish friends or a perverse revenge on ants for messing up your picnic.



– George Toomer

Recommended Restaurants

These restaurants represent the best in Dallas dining. It is implicit then, that we recommend all of them highly.

These listings are revised and supplemented period ically. Visits by our critics are made anonymously to avoid preferential treatment. Inclusion in this directory has nothing whatever to do with paid advertising.

The pricing symbols used are categorical, not precise. They are intended only to indicate a general price range.

$ – Generally inexpensive. Usually indicates a good value.

$$ – Middle ground and very general. Usually indicates a menu with a wide price range.

$$$ – Expensive. You can expect to spend more than $10 for a complete meal excluding wine and cocktails.

$$$$ – Very expensive.

Unless otherwise noted, all restaurants have full bar facilities.

Credit card notations: MC – Master charge/BA – Bank Americard/AE – American Express/DC – Diner’s Club/CB – Carte Blanche/ “AII Credit Cards” indicates that all the above are accepted.



Continental

Arthur’s. Once a rustic steakhouse, now a shimmering beef palace Steak remains the pillar of the operation, but other options abound lamb chops, veal chops, and calf’s liver to name a few favorites American wines only – an intriguing and imaginative touch Warm and classy with one of Dallas’ best bars. Live entertainment (1000 Campbell Centrel361-8833ILunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Daily 6-11, Sal till midnight/ Reservations/All credit cardsl$$$)

Bagatelle. The charm of this lovely but low-key restaurant stems directly from its gracious owner/host. Veal has always been the specialty of the house – try the veal escalopes “Vieux Chalet” The shrimp du chef (in a garlic sauce) is a delight for starters A cozy bar with good jazz, Nice Sunday brunch The Plaza Cafe is a more casual offshoot of the same kitchen, featuring a fountainside patio for outdoor dining from a varied light-continental menu. (One Energy Square, Greenville at University/692-3224IBagatelle: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Sun brunch 10:30-2:30, Dinner Sun- Thur 6-/0, Fri & Sat till 11: bar till 2 Plaza: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Dinner Mon-Sat 6-midnight/ReservationslMC,BA,AE.DCI$$-$$$)



D REVISITS



The Chimney. There are. it seems, two Chimneys. At lunch, the place is strictly tearoom, with little dabs of food prettily served up for ladies’ luncheon. It’s tasty fare from a limited menu that changes daily – on recent visits we encountered a pleasant quiche Lorraine, a really good sweet-and-sour chicken At dinner, the Chimney becomes a full-scale, but unpretentious Swiss-Austrian restaurant, specializing in excellent veal, prepared in a variety of ways The lemon veal is simple and delicately flavored, and for once it tastes lemony, not just sour If you’re looking for something unusual, try their venison tournedos. There are some problems with the trimmings: the onion soup has a cap of cheese that comes up in strings you could knit a sweater from, and the “Chimney Appetizer.’ a seafood crepe, arrived somewhat scorched and dry And in the evening there’s an ill-tempered clavier playing in the background – fortunately the dining room is large’ enough that you can get a comfortable distance from the pianist. The place has a certain charm, and much of it comes from the owner-host, Heinz Prast When Heinz is there taking charge, service snaps to attention and your comments and criticisms are taken to heart For dessert, try the homemade cheesecake – one of the best in town, though it sometimes suffers from a limp crust (just eat around it). (Willowcreek. 9739 N Cen Expwy al Walnut Hill/369-6466/Lunch: Tue-Sat 11.30-2, Dinner Tue-Sun 6-W:30ISun brunch 11-2/Reservations/MC,AE.DCI$$$)



Le Bistro. Such a lovely, lovely restaurant But such a time they have trying to get things right in the kitchen. There is not a more charming place in Dallas to enjoy French foods than this gracious old two-story house But while waiting for your dinner, cross your fingers – Le Bistro is never bad, but often just isn’t as good as you expect it to be, its problem from the beginning. But opt for the simpler dishes, enpy the surroundings, finish with a cold almond souffle, and you’ll leave with a smile (3716 Bowser, just off Oak Lawn/528-4181/Tue-Sun 6-10 p.m.. except Fri & Sat till 11 pm.. closed Mon/Reservations/MC.BA,AE/$$$)

Brasserie. The most elegant coffee shop in town In the wee hours of the morning (they’re open 24 hours), stop by to treat yourself to Dallas’ best Eggs Benedict – sprinkled with truffles (at 3 am they bother?), or a sandwich of sirloin on crisp, buttery French bread During the other hours, especially lunch, the fare is mostly overpriced and undistinguished (Fairmont Hotel. Ross & Akard 748-5454/24 hours, seven days a week/ No reservations/MC.BA.AE, DC/$$)

Calluaud. One of Dallas’ most civilized restaurants Set in a small frame house,with a casual yet intimateatmosphere complemented by consistently fine French foods Superb soups and excellent omelettes, and desserts not to be missed simple and wonderful fruit tarts (try the apple) and exquisite profiteroles. The imaginative dinner menu changes frequently but has provided such items as a perfectly prepared fresh salmon steak and roast pork in a prune sauce Prices are a bargain for the quality It’s easy to get hooked on this place Note Closing July 17 -Aug 18 tor remodeling (2917 Fairmountoti Cedar Springs/ 742-8525/Lunch Mon-Fn 11.30 a m -2 30 p m.. Dinner: Mon-Fri 6 30-10 30. Sal till 11, closed Sun/Reservations/ MC.BA,AE/$$$)

Chablis. An odd little French restaurant, difficult to put your finger on – the style is neither elegant nor quaint But the food, while in some instances overpriced, is decidedly good At dinner, a tasty complimentary rillettes, a fine pepper steak, and a subtly glazed roast duckling are highlights Lunch leans to lighter regional specialties and sandwiches Light flakey bread (with a very “French” flavor) and the sweetest, richest chocolate mousse in town (120 Quadrangle. 2800 Routh/522-O9W/ Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 30-2:30, Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-11. Fri & Sal till midnight: closed Sun/Reservations on weekends/MC. BA.AE.DC/$$$)

Chateaubriand. A long-time Dallas fixture whose popularity survives in spite of a loud clash of styles including a glossy, almost garish. French provincial dining room with marble statues and chandeliers The international menu sweeps from Greek Veal” to “Pepper Steak – Hawaiian Style ” Many steaks and shellfish Bargain daily hot lunch specials. (2515 McKinney/741-1223l Mon-Sat 11 30 a.m -midnight/Reservations/AII credit cards/ $$$)



D REVISITS

Patry’s. If your goal is a fine French meal with no silly frills and no unfortunate surprises, Patry’s is probably the safest bet in this city. The Patry family themselves see to that, with their own hands in everything from the oven to the cash register (it’s a great place to practice your French) When all the family’s at work, you simply can’t go wrong The hors d’oeuvres especially are in a class all their own their poireaux farcis (stuffed leeks) is almost fabled (and a must if you’ve never tried it before), but they also manage to make something special out of such oft-dreary standards as from which you create your own elegant cheese board combinations A daily menu of light entrees, plus lovely omelettes and great soups – the fresh mushroom has a reputation of its own A diverse and interesting wine selection An old and unassuming little place. (2808 Greenville Ave/823-0133/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Tue-Sun, 6-10:30, open later on Fri & Sat for wine and cheese only/No reservations/No credit cards?$$)

Marcel’s. Marcel is a charming host in the classic French tradition, it’s that French feeling that has made this a long-popular restaurant. That and a complete table d’ hote dinner for only $6 50 – not the finest French cuisine in the city but certainly the best priced Beef Wellington is the house specially, but the real star may be the coq au vin Relaxed, quiet dining (5721 W Lovers Lnl358-2103 /Sun- Thur 6-10:30. Fri & Sat till midnight. Closed Monl Reservations/MC.BA.AE.DC/$$)

Mr. Peppe. Some say it’s the best French restaurant in the city Others cite inconsistencies and argue. Regardless, there is a friendly intimacy and refreshing informality at work here – a warm, dark, and cozy setting Wonderful rack of lamb, superb pepper steak. And the pastries – owner/chef Albert’s specialties – are almost too good to be true (5617 W Lovers Lnl352-5976IMon-Sat 6- 10/Reserva-tionslMC,BA,AE.DC/$$$)

Old Warsaw. The “new Old Warsaw” – after some tasteful remodeling of the interior and some successful revamping of the menu – is on the upswing. The place is less gilded, more engaging The new menu is less erratic, more interesting New treats: a pate of duck. Creme de Cresson (puree of watercress), and a splendid Cote de Veau Also a nightly selection of “Nouvelle Cuisine.” the reduced-calorie style popularized by Paul Bocuse The prices were not remodeled – still very expensive – but now the paying is less painful. (2510 Maple/528-0032/Daily 6-11, Sat till midnight/ReservationslMC.BA,AE.DCI$$$$)

Pyramid Room. The classiest dining room in Dallas – ar, aura of affluence and impeccable taste. A paragon of service – absolutely professional but without pomposity, including a theatrical sommelier A dizzying dinner menu of French specialties of the highest order (lunch is less glamorous). The Grand Marnier dessert souffle is a triumph In sum, Dallas’ finest restaurant But even at that, capable of disappointment because it is so expensive. Too expensive. But always a pleasure if you can pay the price. (Fairmont Hotel, Ross & Akard/748-5454/Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner Daily 6-midnight/Reservations/AII credit cardsl$SS$)



Italian



Campisi’s. The sign says “Egyptian Restaurant,” but the place is strictly Italian, carried on in the proud family tradition of papa Carlo Campisi, whose portrait still watches over the proceedings Dallas’ original pizza specialists – and still the best Or try the platefull of sausage and peppers. Warm (in fact steamy) and wonderful – and always a waiting line to prove it. (5670 E Mockingbird/ 827-0355/Mon-Fri 11 am -midnight. Sat till 1 a.m.. Sun noon-midnight/No credit cards. Checks accepted/Reservations for 6 or more/$)



D REVISITS

Lombardi’s. Third time’s the charm After two false starts by other en- trepeneurs who tried to turn this splendid old McKmney Avenue house into a restaurant, someone has succeeded And what’s better, they’ve succeeded with the kind of place Dallas needs more of – a gimmick-free, atmospheric, reasonably-priced Italian restaurant. Lombardi’s has all the basics down right – starting with a superb tomato sauce When they opened, we criticized the sauce for heaviness, they’ve remedied that – it’s not too sweet, not too tart. The pasta is carefully prepared, and when the two are blended, as in their excellent lasagna, the effect is most satisfying. Other standouts: delicate manicotti of crepe-like pasta and rich, green-noodle fettuccine.They can be faulted tor their soups, which have been a mite greasy, and especially for the minestrone, which is too thick – an appetite killer But most of the entrees we’ve sampled have been excellent and the saltimbocca is the best in town. Good desserts – try the coffee-flavored zabaglione. Excellent, friendly, helpful service. (2815 McKinney Ave/823-6040/Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2:30, Dinner: Mon- Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat till 11 /Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/$$$)

lanni’s. An undistinguished shopping center facade, an entry lobby tacked with Dallas sports photos and celebrity glossies, and a dining room that’s a vineyard of plastic grapes doesn’t bode well But lanni’s can surprise you It’s relaxed and unpretentious – a throwback to simpler dining The waitresses are pros and the kitchen is sound if not stunning And the homemade Italian sausage is as good as any in town (2230 Greenvillel826-6161IDaily 5:30-11 p m /Reservations/MCAE/$$)

II Sorrento. The best Italian food in Dallas in a marvelously hokey setting – like a Hollywood designer’s dream of Venice, complete with strolling musicians and bread vendors The fettucine Alfredo and the tagliatelle – both prepared at your table – are standouts among the pasta dishes, the veal dishes are crowned by the Marsala and piccata Be warned that even with a reservation you may be forced to bide time waiting in the bar (86/6 Turtle Creek/352-8759/Daily5:30-11. Sat till midnight/Reserva-lions except on Fri & Sat l All credit cards/$$$)

Italian Pavilion. This overdone (fancy-tacky) dining room atop the LeBaron Hotel seems an unlikely setting for fine Italian dining But fine it can be Try any of the veal dishes – the saltimbocca in a superb marsala sauce is particularly good Excellent appetizers and desserts and an interesting Italian wine list combine to make this a place worth a visit. (LeBaron Hotel, 1055 Regal Row at Carpenter Fwy/ 634-8550/ Mon-Sat 6-11 p.m./Reserva-tions/All credit cardsl$$$)

Mario’s. One of few Dallas restaurants to take the sophisticated approach and do so with dignity, with natural elegance A longstanding family success, so there is an air of confidence and pride Delicious roquefort-based cheese spread (complimentary), dense and delicious French bread loaves, marvelous fried zucchini Try the “Frittura Delizie Romana,” a batter fried spinach appetizer Entrees (northern Italian specialties) are stylish but not exceptional Splendid wine list. (135 Turtle Creek Villagel521-1135IDaily 6-11 Sat till midnight/Reservations/All credit cardsl$$$)

Pietro’s. Home-style Sicilian cooking with flocks of regular customers The standouts are the pasta dishes – manicotti, cannelloni, fetucine alia Romana, lasagna with meat sauce. and spaghetti marinara- and old standbys like pizza (order the special Sicilian style in advance) and garlic bread (baked on the premises) (5722 Richmond oft Greemille/ 824-9403/Tue-Tbur 5.30- 10 p.m..Fri &Sat till 11 pm/No reservations/No credit cards/$$)



Oriental



China Inn. A dependable restaurant with a Cantonese emphasis Standouts are the sweet-and-sour dishes, the ginger beef, and war sue har (batter-fried shrimp with a “country-style” sauce) Huge eggrolls and excellent home-made almond cookies Low-keyed and comfortable (6521 E Norttmest Hwy/ 369-7733/Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10:30 p.m : Sat till midnight; Sun 11 a m -10:30 p.m./Reserva-tionslMC,BA,AEI$$)

Chinese Pavilion. The menu here is identical to that of Hunan, the restaurant that spawned this one. Be adventurous and put yourself in the waiters hands For $8 per person you’ll be treated to a multicourse dinner featuring the chef’s Hunan and Szechuan-style specialties. And the crabmeat and corn soup is a must. (European Cross-roads, 2829 W Northwest Hwyl357-5777ISun- Thur 11:30 am -11 pm., Fri & Sat till midnight/Reservations/MC, BA.AE/$$)

Hunan. Currently Dallas’ best Chinese restaurant. The Hunan cuisine that is its specialty is milder than you’ll find in New York, but still potent Have the “pu pu tray” of appetizers, and then you’re on your own – its all good (though we recommend Hunan Lamb. Champagne Chicken, and Shrimp with Garlic Sauce) Small and comfortable (5214 Greenville Ave at Lovers Ln/369-4578/Mon-Thur 11:30 am -11 p.m., Fri, Sat & Sun 11 -midnight/Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/$$)

Peking Palace. Once Dallas’Oriental best, but it hasn’t quite kept up with the booming competition Too many items taste warmed-over, but the Szechuan-style selections are. tor the most part, excellent (try the shredded pork with garlic sauce) And the Won Ton soup is the best in town And still the most pleasant dining room of any Dallas Oriental restaurant (4119 Lomo Altol522-1830l Lunch Mon-Fri 11 30-2:30; Dinner Mon- Thur 5-11. Fri & Sat till midnight. Sun noon- 10 p.m. /Reservations on week-endslMC,BA,AE/$$)

Ports O’Call. The menu now docks in many new ports {wiener schnitzel from Germany, steak au poivre from France etc.). though the featured fare is still mostly Polynesian And nothing special at that – but then that’s never been the appeal here anyway The attractions are the lavish (almost ludicrous) dining rooms, the 37th floor view with the “big-city” feeling, and the exotic rum concoctions in the tiki-god-and-blowfish bar – try the Test Pilot, limit 2 per customer. (Southland Center. 2117 Live Oak/742-2334ILunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; Dinner. Daily 5:30-10:301 Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)

Royal Tokyo. As far as service and consistency of cuisine is concerned. Royal Tokyo seems to have risen from its period of decline. But it’s not quite the star it once was. Perhaps the competition has forced it to Americanize its menu, because the sauces and seasonings are anything but delicate A pity, because real Japanese cuisine is among the most subtle in the world Still a pleasantly-appointed place. Try the shabu-shabu, a variation on sukiyaki (7525 Greenville Avel368-3304ILunch: Daily 11 30-2, except Sat; Dinner: Mon-Thur5,30-11.Fri Sat till 11:30. Sun 5-10IReservations/MC.BA,AE,DC/$$$)

South China. Quiet and consistent. South China continues to distinguish itself from the ever-increasing hordes of competitors The combination appetizer plate is perhaps the best in Dallas and the Mandarin specialties that follow usually keep up the pace: fine sizzling rice soup, moo shi pork, beef with green onion and ginger, and tantalizing sweet and sour shrimp. Black bean sauce is a favorite here – try it over the braised chicken and you’ll see why Their new spinoff restaurant, Chu’s in Addison, shows promise of being even better (5424 E Mocking-bird/826-S420ILunch: Daily 11:30-2 30 Sat & Sun noon-230; Dinner Mon-Thu 5-11. Fri & Sat 5-12. Sun 5-10.1 Reservations/MC,BA.AE/$$)

Trader Vic’s. One of the best of a variable chain of Oriental-Polynesian restaurants, this one has excellent hors d’oeuvres, (try the “Cosmo Tidbit” platter), a fine limestone lettuce salad, and well-prepared entrees We suggest the curries, the almond duck, lobster Cantonese, or the Indonesian lamb roast Exotic and powerful rum concoctions (Hilton Inn, 5600 N Cen Expwy /827-36201 Daily 5-11:30 p.m., weekends till midnight/Reservations/Alt credit rards/$$$)



Mexican

Adeiante. An odd little spot in an almost secretive behind-the-shopping-center location. But once you find it, you’ll surely find your way back. Fantastic and unique Mexican food graced with flair and freshness Thin, grease-tinged tostados made on the spot, nachos buried in fresh relishes, flautas with fabulous guacamole, delicate green chile quiche, and an egg and tortilla dish called “Chilaquiles” – both subtle and exotic And don’t pass up the unbelievable praline cheesecake Bar ’by mem-, bership.” (5934 Royal Lane/691-8301/Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-9p.m., Fri& Sat till 10 p m., closed Sun/No reservations /MC.BA.AE/$)

El Taxco. Maybe the best dining value in Dallas Dependable Tex-Mex right down to the retried beans |ust the way they ought to be – and at very low prices A subtle style with less hot seasonings make it an especially good spot for newcomers to Mexican food A casual, friendly cafe. (2126 N St. Paull742-0747/Wed-Mon 10:30 am -9 pm closed Tue/No reservations/MC/$)

Herrera Cafe. Home-cooked Tex-Mex from two odd locations The ludicrous-looking newer version on Lemmon Avenue serves the same great food as the original adobe hole-in-the-wall on Maple. But at the Lemmon location, quality is not a certainty Visit Maple for good old fat flour tortillas hot off the grill, wonderful burritos, great guacamole And the menudo is a community tradition. (3902 Maple/ 526-9427/Weekdays 9 a.m.-8 p.m, closed Mon/No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Raphael’s. The ever-present waiting line tells you how good it is. But popularity does have its problems – the hustle-bustle can be nerve-wracking and weekends are hopeless But if you can hit a lull in the action, the warm ranch-house atmosphere is lovely And the food will likely beat its best Bypass the Tex-Mex and dive into the specialties chicken mole, shrimp enchiladas, and chiles rellenos -a dependable favorite. And maybe best of all, the carne Tampiquena or the polio Tampiqueno – they can make the waiting worth it. (3701 McKinney/521-9640(Mon-Fri11:30a.m.-10:30pm., Sat noon-1030, closed Sun/Reservations Mon-Thur only/MC,BA,AE/$$)



Greek

Greek Key. A lively and longstanding favorite marked by belly dancing, customer participation, and other revelry But the kitchen is serious, doing a creditable job of filling the Dallas Greek food void. Dolmas. pastitso. spanakopita. moussaka (or try the combination plate) Forgo the Grecian shrimp,” but don’t pass up the baklava delicately seasoned with walnuts and honey, finished off by a demi-tasse of heavy Greek coffee. (2903 W Northwest Hwy/358-5177/ Mon-Sat 11 am -2 p.m., closed Sun/All credit cards/Re-servationsl$$)

Goldfinger. More successful as a lively, raucous nightclub than as a restaurant, but Goldfinger does provide some of the city’s best Greek food – a woefully limited aspect of Dallas’ cuisine. So, while you’re clapping and singing with the Greek musicians, try the flaming saganaki. the avgclemeno soup, the shrimp and meat kostas, and the veal venetikia. And the dolmas are a must (2905 Cridelle at W Northwest Hwy/350-6983/Mon-Fri 11 am.-2 am , Sat-Sun 6 pm -2 am./Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)



Indian

India House. An authentic representation ot Indian cuisine The uninitiated may find it all a bit exotic – but a culture shock made pleasant by the help ful guidance of the staff (or try the Shahi House Dinner lor a broad sampling). Aficionados ot the Indian tradition may find the preparation lacking perfection, but with so much to choose from, danger of disappointment is slight Something is sure to please – or at least to surprise (5422 E Mockingbird/ 823-1000/Lunch. Daily 11 30-2 30. Dinner Sun-Thur 5-10. Fri & Sat till 11 /Reservations/All credit cardsl$$)



Southern Specialties



Celebration. Some of the homestyle pride seems occasionally to be missing from the homestyle cooking since the expan-sion of this triendly place But still a good spot for a wholesome meal at a reasonable price. Pot roast is the best of the five entrees Plus big bowls of good family-style-help-yourself vegetables Beer and wine are available now. but try the apple juice at least once – it’s great. (4503 W Lovers Lnl351-5681/Mon-Sat 5:30-11, Sun till 10 30/No reservations/MC.BA/$)

Red Moon Cafe. Cozy, charming, almost romantic – a purely pleasant little place The menu has Creole overtones gumbo (the real thing), crawfish, chicken Jambalaya.’ pork chops Creole’ But perhaps their most winning dish has nothing to do with New Orleans -fettuccine that ranks with the best in town Nice fresh seafood specials – they’ve done some wonderful things with trout Open tor breakfast, but nothing special, unless coffee is your passion Their chicory version has no peer. (4537 Cole! 526-5391 /Mon-Sat 7-2 30, 6-10/No reservations/No cre-dit cards/$)

Sonny Bryan’s. Best barbecue in town? You’ll never get a consensus, but this one gets a lot of votes Juicy, juicy stuff in a funky, funky little smokehouse No tables – you eat on individual school desk tops Beer, no bar. (2202 lnwoodl357-7120/Man-Sat6a.m,-6:30p.m., Sun 11i resenvations/No credit cards/$)



Natural Foods



Health Nut. Dallas’ original full-scale natural foods restaurant – and still a unique institution – is comfortably settled now in its airy and attractive Lovers Lane location, crowned by a lovely sun-terrace room upstairs Good sandwiches, light and imaginative soups, and wonderful salads – a fresh vegetable salad with tahini dressing or. even better, a fresh fruit salad in a delicious lemon-honey dressing A special steamed meal daily (Tuesday is Mexican and Wednesday is Oriental) And. of course, smoothies. (4356 W Lovers Lane/692-1411/Mon-Sat 11 am -9 pm./Nore-servations/MCI$)



Seafood



Oporto Oyster Bar. A somewhat unpredictable place (the service is sometimes periect. sometimes miserable), but if you go with the simpler broiled dishes, especially the Boston scrod and the baby flounder, you’ll surely be pleased Often crowded to the point of a wait in Iine One reason is that the oysters on the half shell are, predictably, wonderful (2929 N Hendersonl826-2553IDaily 5-11 p.m , Fri & Sat till midnight/No reservations/BA,AE/$$)

S&D Oyster Company. A handsomely restored 19th century livery/grocery building with brick walls and bentwood chairs lending themselves to a mild New Orleans atmosphere Oysters are the specialty-delicious whether on the half-shell or fried. Also boiled or fried shrimp, a pleasant gumbo, and broiled flounder or snapper Beer and wine only A welcome addition to the limited sea fare in town. (2701 McKinney near Routhl823-6350/Mon-Thur 11 a.m. -10 p.m.. Fri & Sat till 11, closed Sun/No reservations/MC/ $$)



Delicatessens



Black Forest Austrian-style food – sausages, salamis, coffee cakes, breads, a lovely cold cut platter, and excellent sandwiches Try the veal sausages with hash browns and black bread, and any of the pastries Excellent selection of German beers and wines (5819 Blackwell oft Northwest Hwy/368-4490IMon-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sal till 5 p.m / No reservations/BA/$)

Kuby’s. Busy and bustling. Excellent homemade sausages (served with hot potato salad or sauerkraut), thick sandwiches (try the pastrami), great pastries, and a soup of the day which is a lunchtime bargain (70¢) A congenial spot with a German accent. (6601) Sn/derPlaza/363-2231/Mon -Sal 8:30-2:30, sandwiches till 5:30INo reservations/MC – $15 minimum/$)

Walls. A worthwhile stop for displaced New Yorkers and insatiable corned beef fans, though its reputation as the best tor kosher-style food in Dallas is earned mainly by default The kosher standards – gefilte fish, herring in sour cream, cheese blintzes – are very tasty, but the quality of food and service is uneven Except for the disappointing chopped liver, sandwiches are the best bet And try the outstanding cabbage soup (10749 Preston Rd/691-4444/Daily 7 30 a.m.-7:30 p.m./No reservations/ MC.BA/$$)



Steaks, Burgers, Etc.

Chili’s. A handsome burger joint. Good chili, unusual soft tacos of flour tortillas, and, best of all. long, thin, greasy trench fries with the skin still on them Always hopping – you’ll likely wait in line. (7567 Greenville Ave at Meadow Rd/361-4371/Daily 11 a.m -midnight, Fri & Sat till 2 a.m./ No reservations/MC.BA.AE/$)

The Den. A distinctive spot in the venerable old Stoneleigh Hotel with a convivial clientele of various professional types – like a seasoned Upper East Side bar Terrific cheeseburgers, a great prime rib sandwich, chef’s specials. Dallas’ best bartending And free popcorn (2927 Maplel 742-7111/Restaurant: Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-9 p m . Sat & Sun 6 am -1 am; Bar: Mon-Fri 11 a, m -midnight, closed Sat & Sun/MC.DC.AE,CB/$$)



D REVISITS

Filling Station. Filling is certain- ly the word for it. There’s not much in the way of variety here but whatever you order comes in huge doses For example, an order of their beef nachos constitutes a meal in itself – a heaping platefull of these goodies hardly falls in the realm of appetizer With all the spicy meat, they’re not nachos for nacho purists, but of kind, they may be the best in town Another example: the “Ethyl Hamburger” is a 3/4-pound (yes. 3/4) patty – order it with chili and cheese and you’re in for an endurance test. Still hungry7 Try a big basket of french fries, huge grease-tinged slabs of potato – delicious. (The onion rings, on the other hand, are of the donut variety, so thick with onion and heavy with batter that they’re really no fun to eat.) The Filling Station (created out of an old Greenville Avenue gas station, natch) is still Dallas’ motif restaurant champ: old gas pumps disguise beer taps at the bar, fan belts hang from the walls, and a neon Mobil Flying Red Horse revolves over the dining room (no matter what you think of cutesy decor, the horse is a real treasure). And now, another touch – the menus arrive labeled to empty quart oil cans. Surprisingly, they still won’t accept Texaco credit cards. (6862 Greenville Ave near Park Lanel 691-4488/Tue-Sat 11 a.m-1 a.m., Sun & Mon till midnight/No reservations/MC.BA.AE/$)

Houlihans. With a menu ranging from a hot dog to toasted duck and touching on most everything in between, there are no great expectations Which is why Houlihan’s is usually a pleasant surprise lor the good – despite the scope, there are lots of hits and few misses Very good omelettes, burgers, quiche, nice salads, and several more ambitious options (stuffed shrimp, baked trout, etc ) A host of rich and gooey desserts and cappuccino – a good spot tor midnight munchles (4 NorthPark East/ 361-9426/Daily 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m./Noreservations/MC,BA, AE.DCI$$)

Ichabod’s. Slick in the Greenville Avenue tradition, but Ichabods is nevertheless a very pleasant and dependable place The key to their success is a limited menu of steaks and seafood with nothing so elaborate that the kitchen staff can’t handle it There are a few nicely imaginative touches, like a “relish tray” of raw fresh vegetables instead of a tired salad A nice dining area with its own entrance to separate it from the teeming swingles bar (Old Town, 5500 Greenville/691-2646/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 30-2.30, Dinner daily 6-11/No reservations/MC,BA,AE.DC.CBI$$)

Klrby’s. Dallas” original steakhouse and time has only enhanced its appeal No gimmicks, waitresses of the old school, and good food values The special cut” sirloin strip is big and beatiful and the creamy garlic house dressing is alone enough for some fans. (3715 Greenville/ 823- 7296/ Tue-Sun 5:30-10.30, Fri & Sat till midmght/Re-servations/AII credit cards/$$)

Stoneleigh P. An Oak Lawn favorite and eclectic hangout. A restoration of what was long a pharmacy – clever but not cutesy. Provolone cheeseburgers on pumpernickel are the favorite among many goodies. Great magazine rack (browsing encouraged) and fabulous juke box (from Bach to Stones). (2926 Map/e/741-0824IMon-Thur 11:15-mid-mght, Fri & Sat till 1:30 a.m.. Sun 12-12: bar daily till 1 a.m.. Fri & Sat till 2lNo reservations/No credit cards/$)

Strictly Ta-Bu. A terrific old neighborhood bar with a mixed bag clientele. The original 1948 decor has been virtually untouched and charms with its classy-tacky effect Great homemade soups and sometimes great pizza – the kitchen is rather erratic lately. Also burgers, steaks, sandwiches. Live jazz most nights and an occasional free flick. (4111 Lomo Alto/526-9325/Mon-Fri 5 p.m-2 a.rn., Sat 6p.m.-/ a m.INo reservations/MC,BA/$$)

T.G.I. Friday’s. This may be Dallas’ junk food paradise – if junk food means luscious hamburgers (still among the best in town), a munchy concoction called “nacholupas.” the biggest chef’s salad you’ll ever see, and even rhubarb pie Good steak bargains, avoid the omelettes The place is lively as ever, with lots of swingles and a little of everything else (Old Town, 5500 Greenville/363-5353IDaily 11:30 am -2 a m./No reservations/MC.BA.AE/$$)



Mainly For Lunch

Ciro’s. Great Sicilian-style pizza and an attractive array of elaborate sandwiches in an airy, old-time corner store at McKinney and Hall. The “wine bar” serves fine wines by the glass, the beers include some nice imports, and there’s a great hard apple cider with a real kick. (3237 McKinney at Hall / 745-9464/Mon-Wed 11:30 am-3 p.m., Thur & Fri till midnight. Sat till 1 a.m., closed Sun/No reservations/MC/$$)



D REVISITS

The Bronx. This little restaurant quietly opened its doors on Cedar Springs when the street was the sin strip with its ballyhooed flesh parade Now the hookers are virtually extinct here, but The Bronx is a thriving enterprise This place is deceptive. It looks like just another funky bar, albeit an especially engaging one, with its warm, rustic design But out of the kitchen door at the back of the bar comes some startlingly good food Nothing fancy, |ust carefully and lovingly prepared You wouldn’t think, for instance, that a lunch of tomato soup and a ham and cheese omelette would be anything but dull Here, it’s an adventure All of the omelettes, in fact, are fantastic, especially next to a side of Italian sausage and a toasted bagel Great sausage sand-w’ches and, a recent discovery, a hot pastrami on toasted rye that ranks with the best And then there’s dessert: terrific homemade pies and cheesecake and, best of all. a unique chocolate mousse that will bring you to your knees. If your sweet tooth can handle it all, try one of their cherry cokes. The only question mark here for a time was service (always friendly but occasionally scatterbrained), but even that has been smoothed out now If food isn’t on your mind, there’s also a great selection of imported beers and, at each table, reading racks of assorted oddities – where else can you sip on an Elephant Malt Liquor and thumb through a book of Charles Addams cartoons? (3835 Cedar Springs near Oak Lawn/521 -5821/Daily 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a m.. bar til 2/No reservations/MC/$$)



Crackers. A refreshingly unpretentious, gimmick-free restaurant Set in a renovated McKmney Avenue house with modest charm, though rather noisy when crowded, which it usually is at lunch With good reasons – among them excellent soups (they change daily, but the cream of broccoli and the corn chowder are particularly fine), a super-creamy quiche made with gourmandise cheese, and good hamburgers Also a few hot entrees – the filet of sole is best The daily luncheon “surprise” is usually unsurprising {meat loaf, roast beef) – stick to their regular fare (2691 McKinney Ave/827-1660/Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; Dinner Mon-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 11; closed Sun/Reservations dinner only/MC,BA/$$)

La Creperie. The courtyard patio under Cinzano umbrellas provides the nicest al fresco dining in Dallas. (There are inside tables for winter or rain.) The crepes are hefty one-per-serving size, in 47 varieties, including several ratatouille and several creamed spinach versions (#13 – spinach, Italian sausage, and mushrooms). For a different dessert, try their “tortiIlions. “(Quadrangle, 2800 Routh/6S 1 -05061 Mon-Sat 11 am.-10 p.m., closed Sun/Reservations re-commended/MC,BA,DC,AE/$$)

Gallery Buffet. An expertly catered buffet table at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, featuring hearty soups, salads, homemade breads, and desserts for only $2,50. Wine extra. (DMFA, Fair Park/421-4187/Tue-Fri 11:30 a m.-1;30 p.m./No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Magic Pan. A very popular place with a delicious selection of crepes, including outstanding dessert crepes. Very crowded during the week, but nice for Sunday brunch or late night after-theater snacks (NorthPark – New Mall/ 692-7574/Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri till 1 am . Sat 10 a.am-1 am. Sun 10 a.m.-midnight/No reservations/ MC,BA.AE.DCI$$)

Zodiac Room. A stunning effect with salads as handsome as they are tasty, and an irresistible array of desserts – including their famous strawberry shortcake. Always crowded. Wine and beer. (Neiman-Marcus, downtown/741 -69111 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; teatime daily 3-5 p.m. except Thur 2:30-3:30: Thur dinner 5-7 p.m IReserva-tionslNeiman-Marcus charge card only, checks accepted/$$)

Fort Worth Restaurants



Angelo’s. A name that’s known across the state as one of Texas premiere barbecue pits And it is Great beef, rich spicy sauce, big sandwiches, cold draught, and a setting that fits – West Texas rustic and sawdust floors And overlooking the proceedings is a monstrous stuftad bear – a landmark himself. (2533 White Settlement Rdl(817) 332-0357/Mon-Sat 11-WINo reservations/No credit cards $)

The Balcony. Its not often that you find food I ike this at prices like this – a bargain in French cuisine A nicely varied menu of entrees; including a delicious trout amandine An odd but tasty touch miniature egg rolls served gratis It’s not without fault – the salads tend to be limp and the soups are suspect. A pleasant country-resort feeling – easy-going but gracious (6100 Camp Bowiel(8l7)713-3719ILunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2. Dinner Mon-Fri & Sat 10:30; closed SunlReservationslMC.BA,AEI$$)

Carriage House. One of the oldest names in Fort Worth dining, the Carriage House is not the wonder it once was. but it still has its moments It’s meal of ups and downs: fine Old-plantation-style service but in a crab setting, excellent appetizers (have their splendid smoked salmon) but miserable soups a fine Chateaubriand (beet dishes are their specialty) but served with canned peas and carrots (5236 Camp Bowie (817)732-2873/Lunch Sun-Fn 11-2. Dinner Daily 6-11/ResenationslMC.BA.AEI$$S)

Cattleman’s. A famous Texas name that still delivers, and still from its original location right in the heart of the stockyards The steaks are the thing here and they re terrific – you can watch them being cooked on the grills at the end of each dining room Lots of other options, ranging from calf fries (“Mountain Oysters”) to lobster and spaghetti (2458 N Mainl(817)624-3945/Mon-Fn 11 am -10 45 pm.. Sat 4-10:45 pm . closed Sun/Resen/a-tionslMC.BA.AE.DC.C8l$$)

Le Bistro. Authentic French cooking in a restaurant low in atmosphere but high in personal care Papa Henri executes with talent his own varied and distinctive menu (dinner selection ranges from Eggs Benedict to frog legs Provencale to medallions of veai; at lunch, try his crepes) and daughter Michelle serves it up with unassuming charm Extensive wine list (No relation to Le Bistro in Dallas ) (3322 Camp Bowiel(8l7)332-5102IBrunch: Tue-Fn 11 30-2. Dinner Tue-Sat 5:30-9 30/Reservalions/MC. BAI$$$)

Old Swiss House. Many claim that this is Fort Worth’s finest Certainly a Fort Worth favorite – the Kaufmann family has been serving fine continental cuisine here for many years. Delightful veal dishes (the St Moritz is rich and satisfying) and a daily fresh seafood special Great little complimentary cheese rolls and a lovely Boston lettuce dinner salad Not a particularly distinctive place, more comfortable then classy And the service can seem hurried. (5412 Camp Bowie/(817)738-8091 IMon- Thur 6- 10. Fri & Sat till 10:30. closed Sunl Resenations/MC.BA.AE, DCI$S$)

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