Thursday, August 11, 2022 Aug 11, 2022
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Chiles, scampi, curry and crab
By D Magazine |

Prego Pasta House. If you arrive at Campisi’s on a weekend night only to find a crowd outside the door winding down Mockingbird Lane, don’t be discouraged. Get back in your car, drive east on Mockingbird, then north on Greenville. Within minutes, you’ll stumble upon a Campisi clone: Prego Pasta House. This Italian newcomer is the product of the Barraco family. As can be determined after a glance at the menu, Joe Barraco is not only the owner of Prego, he’s also the manager of Campisi’s. In many cases, we found the food at Prego to be similar to Campisi’s, but the atmosphere and service is generally better. Linen tablecloths and traditional Italian decor replace Campisi’s Formica-diner motif. Young, energetic waiters and waitresses replace the sometimes brusque Campisi help. For appetizers, the artichoke hearts and scampi were passable but a bit blah – not much garlic or imagination. The fried provolone was excellent, though. Our only complaint is that the cheese was a bit overbreaded. As is true at Campisi’s, don’t try to make a salad into dinner-even the chefs salad is nothing great: a lot of iceburg lettuce and not much else. As a general rule of thumb, steer clear of all the offerings that aren’t authentic Italian specialties. The Prego special “Italian” steak sandwich is served with grilled onions and cheese on garlic bread, which sounds tasty, but it’s a somewhat dry, unimaginative run-of-the-mill sandwich. If you order it, you’ll no doubt drool over all the true Italian offerings that are being consumed by your companions. And rightfully so; they’re all top-notch. The veal cutlet parmigiana is excellent, as is the lasagna. Pizza is the same as Campisi’s: thin tasty crust with oodles of rich, thick Italian topping. (4930 Greenville. 363-9204. Mon-Thur 11-11, Fri& Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-11. MC, V, AE. $$)

Tanjore. On one of those cold winter nights when the thought of Tex-Mex or chili bores you, consider dining at this 5-month-old Indian restaurant in far North Dallas. Don’t let appearances discourage you (Tanjore was once a dietary-foods store). Once you’re settled at a table, Tanjore doesn’t seem like a shopping center snack bar -the Middle Eastern mood comes through loud and clear with the piped-in Hindi music and the tastes and smells of curry, cumin, cinnamon and coriander. We began our meal with the Tanjore Tray, a combination of all the appetizers: crisp, deep-fried turnovers seasoned with potatoes and peas; spiced, deep-fried chicken and vegetable fritters; potato patties; and sun-dried lentil wafers. Not a low-cal treat, by any means, but very good and nongreasy. Tanjore offers a large selection of vegetarian dishes, poultry, seafood and lamb and beef specialties. We settled on an order of lamb mugali (chunks of tender lamb served in a creamy sauce with nuts) and an order of chicken shahi korma (boneless chicken cooked in curry with butter, cream and almonds). The sauce was spiced mildly -but not meekly-in both dishes. We couldn’t seem to get enough of the shahjehani biryani (spiced saffron rice with chicken, almonds and white raisins). The only disappointment of the evening was reshmi parath (layered wheat bread). We suggest ordering butter separately for this bread; ours was served dripping with buttery grease. For something unusual, try a Tanjorita. The first sip might not be appealing, but by the time you finish this whipped yogurt drink, we bet you will have enjoyed it. Another soothing Indian drink is the mango lassi (a Tanjorita with Indian mango pulp). The spiced Indian tea, on the other hand, was just too strong for our urban American tastes. (5409 Belt Line in Prestonwood Creek Shopping Center. 960-0070. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30, Sat 11:30-3; dinner: Mon-Sat 6-10. All credit cards. $$)

Hampton’s Seafood Market. Imagine savoring the fresh taste of Dungeness crab from the West Coast or delicious Dover sole flown in from England or succulent Tiger shrimp from distant Bangladesh. Judging from the incredible variety of fresh and frozen seafood available at Hampton’s, Dallasites may never again have to settle for plain ol’ meat and potatoes. This small, quaint seafood oasis adjacent to the Farmers Market downtown offers approximately 50 different kinds of seafood on any given day for eating in or carrying out. The luncheon menu is limited-as is the seating (only two tables) -but the offerings are excellent. We ordered the salmon with cucumber sandwich and the swordfish with green pepper (both served on flaky croissants), expecting thin, layered slices of fish. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised when our croissants arrived filled with salmon and swordfish salad. Chunky, slightly tart coleslaw was a complementary side dish. For a taste of Cajun country cooking, try Hampton’s gumbo, which is chock-full of oysters, crab meat and shrimp swimming in a mild tomatoey broth. There’s a bottle of Tabasco nearby if you feel the need to spice it up a bit. The Hampton salad is a delightful combination of shrimp (with a wonderful special sauce), coleslaw, tomatoes, cucumber, pickle, green pepper and two kinds of fish salads. For something a bit heartier, try the quiche of the day. Hampton’s also makes carryout oyster or crab cocktails, in case you’re buying the week’s produce at the Farmers Market and want to grab a bite to eat. As far as the list of available fresh and frozen seafood, this place is almost too good to be true. Frozen fish includes abalone, squid, pompano, smelts and soft-shell crab. If it’s fresh fish you want, choose from live Maine lobster, huge sea scallops, bluepoint oysters, speckled trout and whole flounder. The fresh seafood is displayed on ice, artistically arranged with jalapenos, lettuce and lemon slices. Such extras as lobster butter and salmon pate can be found here, too. Hampton’s sells its own marinade for fish, beef or chicken; shrimp boil; and homemade red sauce and tartar sauce, in addition to various kitchen utensils. (801 S. Pearl. 742-4668. Tue-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat & Sun 7 a.m.-6 p.m. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. $$)

On the Border. If we were surprised at the recent disappearance of Mariano’s Cabrito Café on the increasingly congested corner of Knox and Travis, we were really surprised to see the facility converted into a similar Tex-Mex bar/restaurant. Why trade one for another? Maybe the answer lies in On the Border’s explanatory menu note describing the fare. It reads “Mexico-Texas”-a fancy way of saying Tex-Mex. Perhaps it’s the Highland Park address that gave someone the incentive to gussy up the place. Where Mariano’s atmosphere was Mexican-kitsch, On the Border has done away with the piped-in mariachi music and sombreros on the wall, opting instead for soft colors and clean lines. The look is indigenous of neither Mexico nor Texas. The menu here is unlimited. Of course, standbys such as nachos, tacos and enchiladas are still standing by. We tried the Highland Park nachos (whose name alone hinted at excess), which were thick with two cheeses, onions, carrots – the works – including generous strips of broiled beef. The tacos al carbon, which are filled with mesquite-broiled steak strips, had a good flavor, but were a bit tough; and our chimichangas were dry. On the Border features several tasty if not extraordinary burgers, and for the herbivores in every group, a wide selection of salads is available. Our taco salad was delicious and enormous. Our biggest disappointment was an appetizer called queso flameado, a flaming mixture of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses mixed with Mexican sausages and chiles served in flour tortillas. It must have been the 190-proof grain alcohol with which they’re lit that gave them an inedible plastic flavor. The vegetarian sandwich with avocado and sprouts is great for lunch. On the Border also serves a meaty, cheesy, very hearty bowl of chili -a wonderful find on either side of the border. (3300 Knox. 528-5900. Daily 11 a.m.-2 a.m. All credit cards. $$)


These restaurants represent the best in Dallas and Fort Worth dining.

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

The pricing symbols used are categorical, not precise. They indicate only 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 $20 for a complete meal excluding wine and cocktails.

$$$$ Very expensive.

Credit card notations: MC/MasterCard, V/Visa, AE/American Express, DC/Diners Club, CB/Carte Blanche. “All credit cards” indicates that all five are accepted.


Agnew’s. Of the scores of new restaurants in the northern oasis beyond LBJ, the most welcome addition must be Agnew’s in Adelstein Plaza (north of Belt Line Road). Although not extensive, the dinner menu offers a tantalizing array of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Of the five entrees we sampled, three were outstanding, one was excellent and the last was very good. One noteworthy entree is the sliced breast of duck and drumstick served with pink peppercorn sauce The lamb is also impeccable. For dessert, the elaborate pastry cart offers several outstanding selections. (15501 Dallas N Pkwy in Adelstein Plaza, Suite 300. 458-0702. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner: Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. Reservations recommended. All credit cards. $$$$)

Bagatelle. Dallas abounds with beautiful restaurants and good food, but rarely is excellence the rule of thumb. Bagatelle seems comfortable with quality. The menu offers some out-of-the-ordinary entrees such as stuffed quail and Long Island duckling. We enjoyed several large, meaty shrimp in garlic butter in the crevettes Bagatelle. The beef is tender and especially good when served with artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms or flambéed with cognac and pepper sauce. The chocolate mousse “flavored” with amaretto was quite the final act. (4925 Greenville. 692-8225 Lunch: 11:30-2; dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 6-11; Sunday brunch: 10:30-2. All credit cards. Reservations. $$$)

Belvedere. The red quilted booths are plush; the antique furnishings, lush; and the dinner music, classical. The Belvedere serves basically the same kind of delicious Swiss-Austrian food as its older sister, The Chimney. The veal (the restaurant’s specialty) approaches L’Ambiance’s in excellence, and the beef is tender; but the light, spirited sauces make the meal. (4242 Lomo Alto. 528-6510. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2; dinner: Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. All credit cards. $$$)

Brasserie Calluaud. Serving only breakfast and’ lunch, Brasserie Calluaud offers much of the exquisite French fare found at its mother restaurant on McKinney. Calluaud’s lunch menu is extensive, featuring a large array of seafood. There are standard quiches and omelets and pizza. The salade Brasserie makes for a satisfying entrée, mixing hearts of palm, crab meat, shrimp and tomatoes on a bed of lettuce and rice with a special dressing. The onion soup is hearty and cheesy, and the vichy-ssoise is creamy but not too rich. For a lighter lunch, there are sandwiches and a cold bullet ottering fish, cold cuts and pate. (1530 Main, in the SPG building. 747-8028. Breakfast: Mon-Fri 7-10 am; lunch: 11 am-3 pm. V, MC, AE. $$$)

Café de Paris. Here you’ll find continental cuisine served in a comfortable, country French atmosphere. Offerings include tender beef bour-guignonne, salmon béarnaise covered with a tasty sauce, duck with melon and a French onion soup that is easily one of the best in the area Also, the brie soup is not to be missed. Dessert highlights are the fruit tart, served warm with fresh whipped cream, and the praline pie. (The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. 653-1027. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-11, Fri & Sat 5:30-11:30. Closed Sun. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)

Caté Royal. The surroundings here are as exquisite as the Mozart played by the pianist during dinner Good bets are scallops in pepper sauce-a tine appetizer-and such nouvelle cuisine entrees as flavorful duckling supreme and piquant veal steak with lime butter Service can be slow. (Plaza of the Americas, 650 N Pearl. 747-7222. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner: Mon-Thur 6:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 6:30-11. Jackets and ties required for men All credit cards. $$$$)

Calluaud. Some of the dishes on Calluaud’s menu qualify as “best in the city” or in some cases, “only such dish in the city. ” Prime examples include veal In a creamy hazelnut sauce, deliciously seasoned turbot with champagne and truffles, a notable quail and duck steak with lime. The scallops, filet en croute and the salmon en croute are superb. The delicate lobster souffle and garlicky escargots de bourgogne are excellent openers. Lovely terra-cotta and cream-colored surroundings are quietly elegant, as is the service. (2619 McKinney. 823-5380. Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat seatings at 7 and 9:30. Closed Sun. Jackets and ties required lor men. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$$)

Chloe. Once you gel past the gorgeous glass front doors and are almost out of earshot of the stereo system, you can enjoy a four-course dinner here that is prix fixe at $30. The lobster mousse (a mousse of lobster and crab meat wrapped in spinach and tomato sauce) and the oysters and escargots with spinach are both delicious openers. Next try a baby bibb with leeks salad and a steaming bowl of “soup of the seas,” a light cream base (made with butter, cream, garlic and white wine) and huge chunks of shrimp, scallops and mushrooms. For the main course, the filet of sea bass with beluga caviar is sinfully indulgent, and the duck with black currants is moist and tender with just the right touch of sweet currants. For dessert, the white-chocolate mousse is rich but light, and the amaretto soufflé is heavenly. (8854 N. Central Expwy in NorthPark East. 361-9996. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner: daily 6-11. All credit cards. $$$$)

Enjolie. Enjolie joins the growing list of Dallas’ finer restaurants, serving innovative and ambitious cuisine in an elegant but comfortable setting. The menu offers superior variations on culinary standards- chicken with crayfish, pepper steak, veal with mushrooms, medallions of lamb with tarragon sauce-as well as more unusual fare for the more audacious- roast pigeon, sweetbreads, pheasant mousse Complimentary cheeses are served after the seafood entrees, so if you want dessert, be judicious. For those who prefer decaffeinated coffee. Enjolie serves a Colombian blend that is brewed to perfection. (Man-dalay Four Seasons Hotel. 221 S Colinas Blvd. Irving. 556-0800. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner: Mon-Sat 6-10:30 Reservations. AE, MC, V, DC. $$$$)

Ewald’s. Less pretentious and flashy than most continental restaurants in Dallas, Ewald’s ranks in the highest echelon when it comes to the quality of its food. Among the standouts are the tournedos St. Monte, veal steak au moulin and veal Pagallo Superb desserts include the strawberries Romanoff and the crème caramel. (5415 W Lovers Lane. 357-1622. Mon-Fri 6-10:30, Sat 6-71. Closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)

The French Room. Even if The French Room didn’t serve the best food in Dallas, dining here would be a worthwhile experience. The opulent decor is reminiscent of a Louis XIV dining room. Every dish is superb-from the bisque of langoustine and crayfish to the foie gras in aspic, the roast lobster with thyme and caviar sauce, and the Grand Marnier mousse. Service is excellent and intimate (the restaurant has set a limit of 90 diners per evening). Allow one to two weeks waiting time if you want a weeknight reservation or a month if you want a weekend reservation. (Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce. 742-8200, ext 191. Reservations required. Jackets and ties required for men. Mon-Sat 6-10. Closed Sun. All credit cards. $$$$)

Gallé. Watch out. French Room. Move over. Calluaud. Gallé has arrived, and our impression is most favorable. Everything from the atmosphere to the after-dinner coffee in this Lincoln Raddison Hotel restaurant is prepared and presented to near perfection. For appetizers, the shining star is the cold hors d’oeuvres tray. Though quite expensive for an appetizer ($14), it is a true treat. The watercress salad with walnut oil was very simple, but was perhaps the most elegant salad offering. More than 15 entrees are offered at Gallé, including seafood, fowl, rabbit and beef. The sweetbreads with morels were fabulous-tender, flavorful and served in a smooth brown sauce. (Lincoln Raddison Hotel, Lincoln Center, 5400 LBJ Frwy. 934-8400. MonSat 5:30-10:30. All credit cards. $$$$)

The Grape. Everyone loves The Grape, but the people who seem to love it most are lovers. The food is excellent. Quiche Lorraine is a staple, as are the homemade mushroom soup and Boston lettuce dinner salads. The pates are consistently noteworthy. Service is provided by bright, young people who probably live lives more fascinating than any of their clientele. (2808 Greenville at Goodwin. 8230133. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner: Sun-Thur 6-11, Fri & Sat 6-12:30. All credit cards. $$)

The Inn of Country Sonshine. The inn is an in-timate, graceful little spot at Preston Trails and FM Road 544 on the southwest side of Piano. Its menu is an ambitious one-duckling a I’orange to veal specialties. Most of the time, the chef’s skills are up to his visions, but occasionally he misses. We had a veal and crab-meat dish that, while good, just didn’t have the zing needed to make it really first-class. The duckling, on the other hand, was perfect-the orange sauce providing just the right touch of sweetness. It was hit-and-miss with the vegetables, too- the salsify was delicious; the broccoli in Chinese bread crumbs, too salty. (1933 Preston. 596-0903. Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner: Tue-Sat 6-10. AE, V, MC. $$$)

Jean Claude. In 1977, Jean Claude began serving haute cuisine on a basis the city hadn’t seen before. No menus, no advertising, reservations-only seating. Now Jean Claude is something of a haute cuisine shrine for most astute Dallasites. For $29.50 per person, diners can have a complete meal with entrees such as lobster in a light cream sauce, salmon menuiner or duck roasted in ginger sauce, not to mention excellent choices of veal. And the dessert soufflés-ahh. (2404 Cedar Springs. 653-1823. Tue-Sat seatings at 6 and 9. Reservations only. MC, V, AE, DC. $$$$)

Jennivine. Although the atmosphere is British, Jen-nivine offers a lovely selection of patés, French wines and cheeses from various countries. The dinner menu, which is written on a blackboard, varies according to the fresh seafood that is available. Tender sea scallops and filet of sole are excellent. Service is friendly and sometimes English-accented. (3605 McKinney. 528-6010. Lunch: Tue-Sat 11:30-2:30: dinner: Mon-Tnur 6-10. Fri & Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. Reservations. All credit cards. $$)

L’Ambianca. This is definitely the best continental food you’ll ever eat in a converted gas station. Salads are impeccable; soups are fresh and flavorful. Recommended entrees are the medallions of veal with mushroom puree and the pepper-sauced filet mignon. When lobster bisque is available, be sure to try it. The pastry selection is varied and gorgeous. (2408 Cedar Springs. 748-1291. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner: Mon-Thur 6:30-10, Fri & Sat 6:30-10:30. Closed Sun. All credit cards. $$$)

Laurent. A strong contender for the best of the new far North Dallas entries, Laurent is crisp, smooth and elegant. The regular entrees include the classic French fish, fowl and beef and a plethora of daily specialties. The elegant portioning of the dishes is especially pleasing. Each serving is prepared for light consumption, course by delicate course. For dessert, a beautiful display tray of pastries is brought to the table. (502 Sakowitz Village on the Parkway. 960-2988. Lunch: Tue-Sat 11:30-2:30; dinner: Tue-Thur 6:30-10, Fri & Sat 6:30-10:30. Sun & Mon available for private parties. Reservations. Jackets required for dinner. MC, V, AE. $$$)

Le Boul ’Mich. Certainly, Le Boul ’Mich has had its ups and downs, but it’s on the upswing now, serving one of the best omelets in town and a very respectable French steak pomme frite. The asparagus would be better if it were fresh, but the sourdough bread is delicious, the espresso is serious, and so is the decaffeinated coffee. The prices are reasonable and the old house with the porch on three sides is charming. (2704 Worthington. 826-0660. Mon-Thur 11 am-10:30pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-11:30 pm. Closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)

Le Louvre. If plush formality, solicitous service and leisurely pacing appeal to you, Le Louvre will not disappoint. Especially good starters are the salmon mousse with cucumbers and dill sauce (near perfection) and the unusual and spicy hot terrine of wild game with green pepper sauce. We also enjoyed the oysters pie with avocado sauce and the lobster sausage wrapped in a delicate pastry. Add a serving of the cream of spinach soup with crab meat and a “salad fantastic” and you could stop there. But don’t. The soufflé du soir (we had raspberry) is out of this world. (9840 N Central Expwy. 691-1177. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2: dinner: Mon-Sat 6-11. Reservations recommended. All credit cards. $$$)

L’Entrecote. The dining experience here is exalted to the utmost Each table is attended by a captain, a waiter, as many as three assistants and a wine steward. The captain is adept at snapping your napkin and placing it in your lap; and alter dinner, each female diner is presented with a single lovely rosebud. The cuisine is on a par with the rich, subtle surroundings. As appetizers, the delicately seasoned escargots topped with light pastry were some of the best we’ve ever tasted. The terrine of pheasant with pistachios complemented by mandarin oranges was smooth and slightly tart. The waiter displayed deft skill in preparing the wilted spinach salad with walnuts: it was a perfect blend of sweet and sour. For the finishing touch, the white and dark chocolate mousse was sinfully rich. (Loews Anatole Hotel, 2201 Stemmons Frwy. 748-1200. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm; dinner: daily 6-10:30 pm. All credit cards. $$$$)

Le Rendez-Vous. Service is consistently good, and comfort marks an unpretentious formality here. A great late-breakfast omelet is offered beginning at 11. Also, look for the lunch specials with homemade soups, fresh fish and veal. Dinner standouts include extensive seafood entrees, veal in lemon butter and pepper steak. (3237 McKinney at Hall. 745-1985. Tue-Sun 11 am-2 am. Closed Mon. Reservations. All credit cards, $$$)

Les Saisons. Here you’ll get what restaurant critics call a “dining experience.” The food is French, the waiters are French (or are at least good impersonators) and the decor is set approximately in turn-of-the-century suburban Paris. Meals at Les Saisons are traditional, expensive and predictably excellent. There are some interesting twists such as roast Cornish hen with tarragon sauce, braised sweetbreads and sirloin saute with Roquefort cheese and green peppercorns. (165 Turtle Creek Village, Oak Lawn at Blackburn. 528-1102. Sun-Thur 11:30-11, Fri & Sat 11:30-midnight. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)

The Mansion. The place to see and be seen in Dallas, the Mansion offers an elegant decor often supplemented by dining celebrities. Menu stars include the tortilla soup, the béarnaise sauce that tops the red snapper and the pale that garnishes the duck with brown sauce. A chef from The Jockey Club in Washington has added soft-shell crab to the house specialties. (2821 Turtle Creek Blvd. 526-2121. Breakfast: daily 7-10:30; lunch: Mon-Fri noon-2:30: brunch: Sat noon-2:30 & Sun 11-2:30; dinner: Sun-Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat 6-11; supper: Mon-Thur 10:30-midnight, Fri & Sat 11-midnight. Reservations. Jackets and ties required. MC, V, AE, DC. $$$$)

Maple Street East. This handsome Victorian house has been a favorite dining spot since it opened, even though the food was a little uneven at first. Now, all that’s straightened out. and Maple Street East is consistently pleasing. The salads are delicious, and the fettuccine verde is especially good at lunch, as is the crab, bacon and avocado sandwich. At dinner, try the tournedos, with English trifle tor dessert. (2508 Maple 6980345. Lunch: 11:30-2:30; dinner: Sun-Thur 6-10:30. Fir & Sat 6-11:30 MC, V, AE. $$$)

Patry’s. This can be an excellent place to have a quiet and elegant continental dinner, provided you arrive when the place is not too crowded. Pepper steak, duck a l’orange, lamb chops and veal in lemon butter are consistently tasty entrées. The cream of broccoli soup is among the best in the city. One of Patry’s stronger points is its extensive wine list, which complements the menu. (2504 McKinney. 748-3754. Sun. Tue-Thur 6-10:30; Fri & Sat 6-11. Closed Mon. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$$)

Pyramid Room. Courteous and thorough service is the rule here, from matchbooks embossed with the customers name to the presence of the charming Italian wine steward Lunch includes Irish smoked salmon and oysters Kirkpatrick. Topping the dinner lineup are the house paté of fish and lobster with two sauces, and the steak au poivre. (Fairmont Hotel, Ross and Akard. 748-5454. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner: daily 6-11. Reservations. All credit cards.$$$$)

Three Vikings. Weekend diners are still lining up to try the city’s only samplings of Swedish cuisine Entrees include roast duck with almond sauce and lamb chops with wild mushroom sauce The veal Oscar and grilled salmon steak are both excellent. And there’s no nicer way to begin a meal than with the ofterings on Three Vikings’ relish tray. (2831 Greenville at Goodwin. 827-6770. Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 6-11. Closed Sun. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Beauregaard’s. This tiny gourmet carryout/European-style grocery carries a varied selection of fresh vegetables literally from around the world, homemade lams and jellies and an assortment of fresh-baked breads. In addition, owner Beauregard Detterman prepares meat pies to heat at home, ready-to-go pasta salads, patés and desserts. On one visit, we sampled a chicken pie with bell pepper, onion, tomato and zucchini -topped with mozzarella cheese. When heated, the pie was a juicy blend of flavors that made a filling meal. As a goodcomplement. me ducK liver paie was smooth, creamy and rich. The cheese pastry with ham was definitely a highlight To finish the meal, we chose Beauregard’s dessert specialty: a chocolate cake made with French and Austrian chocolate that marinates for lour days. Note: This cake is for choca-holics only. (4603 W Lovers Lane. 351-0378. Mon-Sat 10-6:30. Sun 11-6:30. No credit cards. $$$)

Mirabelle. The menu varies daily here and is an incredibly inventive one. An excellent pate is the pistachio-spiced country terrine. Salads are offered in a wide range of combinations A good standby is the tarragon chicken salad. There’s always a pasta salad or two, some with seafood or meat. We tried a mixture of baby shells, peas and ham seasoned with fresh basil, which was very good-but you had to really like basil. The coq au vin is a good entree choice Mirabelle’s crowning achievements are its desserts. The fresh plum and apple tarts are excellent, as is the sour cream cheesecake offered with a peach melba sauce. The cookies and bran muffins are at the top of their genre and well worth their price. (74 Highland Parh village.528-7589. Tue-Sun 10:30-7:30. All credit cards. $$$)

The Winery. Amid the vast wine stock at this shop adjacent to Jean-Claude is a display case full of edible goodies to eat in or carry out. The emphasis is on freshly prepared salads and desserts, home-baked breads and cheeses-including hard-to-find varieties such as mozzarella rolled with prosciutto Caterer Nancy Beckham will make sandwich or cheese trays, antipasto plates, dips and hors d’oeuvres for parties-or you can sample her hearty soups and sandwiches with a glass of wine on the spot. (2404 Cedar Springs. Mon-Sat 10 am-7 pm. Sun 3-8:30 pm. Complimentary wine tasting every Sun 6-8 MC, V, AE. $$$)


India House. Dinner service is extremely attentive in this establishment where the selections are not exactly part of the American culinary mainstream. Fresh-from-the-oven breads and appetizers such as the chicken chat are superb. Both the tandoori chicken and beef, marinated delights served with shovel-sized portions of fluffy rice, are tasty and extremely filling. The cheese balls in sweet milk are perfect for dessert. (5422 E Mockingbird. 823-1000. Lunch: daily 11:30-2:30; dinner: Sun- Thur 5-10. Fri & Sat 5-11. Reservations. All credit cards. $$)Kebab-N-Curry. If you’re looking for something new and you’ve never tried Indian food, this is the perfect atmosphere in which to learn. The place is small, the waiters are friendly and very knowledgeable about Indian food and its history, and the food is authentic The chicken chat is a tasty appetizer, as are the samosas (turnover-type pastries stuffed with either vegetables or meat). A wide assortment of Indian breads, pita-like and quite unusual, is offered. (401 N Central Expwy, Suite 300. 231-5556. Lunch: daily 11:30-2:30; dinner: daily 5:30-10:30. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $)

Sahib. On visual terms alone, Sahib is commendable Gauze canopies float over a lovely teal and peach color scheme. As for food, the Maharaja Pati-ala Sahib’s Dinner, an assortment of Sahib’s specialties that includes wonderful preparations of chicken, lamb and shrimp, is the star of the menu. Also offered is a $5.95 lunch buffet (somewhat mis-leadingly referred to as a “brunch”-for $6.95-on weekends). (9100 N Central Expwy, Caruth Plaza. 987-2301. Lunch: daily 11:30-2:30: dinner: daily 5:30-11. MC, V, AE. $$)


Bugatti. This place has consistently superior homemade pasta, the quintessential element for any good Italian restaurant. But Bugatti goes far beyond that The chef handles veal as well as any of his Dallas contemporaries, and the homemade soups are among the best in the city. Other standouts include the tortellini alia crema (homemade pasta shells stuffed with veal and engulfed in a rich white cream sauce), the crab cannelloni and the fettuccine della casa. (2574 Walnut Hill. 350-2470. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30. Fri & Sat 5:30-11. Closed Sun All credit cards. $$)

Campisi’S. In a dark room lined with celebrity photos is served the food that has made Campisi’s an institution Veal marsala with rich mushroom sauce, fettuccine, garlic toast, pizza and desserts- solid Italian cooking at bargain prices. (5610 E Mockingbird. 8270355. 827-7711. Mon-Fri 11 am-mid-night, Sat 11 am-1 am. Sun noon-midnight. Reservations for six or more No credit cards: personal checks accepted. $$)

Cremona Ristorante Italiano and Deli. Park your car on the dead-end street, wind your way around the little junque stores, find a table near a window and prepare yourself for a no-nonsense Italian meal. The ladder-back chairs, wooden blinds and starched white tablecloths lend country-inn romance The pasta is homemade, and the sauces are innovative, delicate and subtle. You’ll be able to relish the fresh butter and cream flaxors (2600 Woodrow. between Cedar Springs and Routh. 742-4330. Mon-Fri 11:30-2 and 5:30-10:30 pm. Sat 5:30-10:30 Closed Sun. All credit cards. $$)

Cunze’s. Although it may look suspiciously like another faceless pizza shack. Cunze’s is tar from it. What you’ll find here is serious Italian food-veal scallopine, linguine with clams, fresh calaman (squid) Entrees come with the traditional green salad and a steaming side of pasta in either a garlic or a tomato sauce. The veal and shrimp combination is especially tasty-it’s thin slices of tender veal sauteed with scampi in butter, lemon and garlic. As lor atmosphere. Cunzes interior is about as classy as Mama’s kitchen, but somehow the result is almost romantic (6101 Greenville. 369-5747. Mon-Sat 5-11. Sun 5-10. MC. V. AE $$$)

DiPalma. It’s hard to resist this festive restaurant/ food store and its wide array of pastas, despite spot ty service and inflated prices. DiPalma features several flavortul dishes not found at other Italian establishments, such as chicken lasagna and lemon garlic chicken, as well as more traditional Italian fare Try the pasta “salad sampler ’ tor an adventurous and rewarding lunch The assortment of Italian pastries are as good as they look. (1520 Greenville 824-4500 Mon-Thur 11 am 10 pm. Fri & Sal 11-10:30 Closed Sun MC. V. $$)

Fabio’s. Orchestrating an Italian restaurant is no easy trick and should be applauded when done successfully Fabio’s has pulled together a class act and oilers a varied menu, classical music and friendly service The eager-to-please chef doesn’t mind splitting orders of pasta or serving appetizer portions of most entrees, so if you know what you want, you can arrange just that The fettuccine al’ amatriciana sported more sauce than we prefer, but a fine sauce it was. The vitello al portafolgio (veal stuffed with prosciutto. cheese and mushrooms) was far too rich, but we scraped away a lew of the trimmings and enjoyed the tender veal. The gamberi alia Fabio-shrimp with scallops and mushrooms- was served in a creamy white sauce (9820 N Central Expwy, Suite 504, The Corner Shopping Center 987 3226 Mon-Thur 6-10:30. Fri & Sat 6-11 Reservations. MC. V. AE $$$)

La Tosca. Elegant, understated surroundings and food equally as tasteful greet diners at La Tosca, Octopus salad and pepata di vongole or cozze (a clam dish) stand out on a menu that includes excellent pasta (hay and straw, and canelloni are delicious), scaloppine al marsala and involtini nicola. two veal dishes. Another unusual treat worth sampling is cold, thinly sliced veal with tuna sauce Noteworthy desserts are profitterol al cioccolato (a cream-filled pastry) and ice cream with Strega, an Italian liqueur (77/3 Inwood 352-8373 Tue-Thur & Sun 5 30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5 30-11 Closed Mon. All credit cards. $$$)

La Trattoria Lombardi. This place may never be as good as the old Lombardi’s on McKinney. but at its best, the pasta is inspirational Also offered are superior soups (clam chowder and minestrone excel), fine veal dishes (especially veal with lemon butter, veal marsala and saltimbocca Romana) and first-rate tarts and other desserts, all with Lombardi’s traditionally good service. (2916 Hall. 823-6040 Lunch: 11-2;dinner Mon-Thur5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. Closed Sun. All credit cards. $$$)

Lurtino’s. The atmosphere at Lurtino’s is fairly posh, but the waiters aren’t stuffy We began our meal with a wonderful house specialty called sau-sage and peppers neopolitan Another good bet is the scungilll Genovese (snails sauteed in a cream sauce). The house salad is the typical lettuce and tomatoes, but the entrees are grand A fine selection of pastas is available, the best of which is the tag-alirini with white clam sauce Lurtinos also offers a number of veal dishes Desserts get mixed reviews. (13601 Preston Road. C22 661-9766 Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10. Fri & Sal 6-11. Closed Sundays Reservations. No leans. Alt credit cards. $$$)

P. J.’s Ristorante. This is another of those wonderful little retreats with an unlikely exterior P J s isn’t to be judged by its shopping center neighbors or its disco-like front wall. Inside, soft lights, cordial service and sumptuous homemade pasta beckon The pasta Giovanni, named after the son of P. J.’s owner Papa Jack, is a pasta-lover’s fantasy. The heaping plate offers spaghetti, ravioli, mamcotti, meatballs, lasagna and sausage It is almost impossible to finish but great fun to try. (5410 £ Mockingbird. 824-1490 Daily: 5- 10pm or. on weekends, as late as necessary AE. V. $$)

Ristorante Lombard!. With this latest addition in Adelstein Plaza. Lombardi’s continues its tradition of offering great Italian cuisine. Try the specialty of the house appetizer (delizia tricolore), a sampling of some of Lombardi’s pasta, or steamed clams served with a garlic, white wine and lemon sauce As entrees, the sea bass with mixed seafood is flavorful and rich, the veal scaloppine. lender and buttery. The juicy lamb chops are prepared in a lightly seasoned breading and sauteed with red peppers, onions and black olives And don’t pass up dessert. Lombardi’s smooth, subtle chocolate rum cake is a treat. (15501 Dallas Parkway at Arapaho Road 458-8822 Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Mon Sat 5:30-11. All credit cards $$$)

Sergio and Luciano. The setting here is not altogether satisfying, half upstairs, half downstairs, most of the action is on the upper floor There’s a feeling of loneliness if you have to be seated Dolow, even though the bar is there and soft, pleasing piano music keeps you company. The food is superb Cala-man. fried at lunch, and served in a hot spicy broth as an appetizer at dinner, is excellent. So is the tortellini alla panna, offered as a first course in small portions that leave room for more. Scampi in cream and mushroom sauce is nice to follow. If you want pasta, you can’t improve on the fettuccini with white clam sauce. The vegetables are carefully prepared, and S and L serves real Italian hard rolls. (4900 Belt Line, Suite 250. 387-4441. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-6; dinner: nightly 6-11 All credit cards. $$$)

Sergio’s. This is an elegant, formal dining establishment with reasonable prices. The menu includes seven reliable veal dishes, sole saffron, chicken Florentine and homemade pasta. And Sergio’s makes one of the better omelets available in Dallas, as well as one of the belter appetizers Sergio’s version of marinated crab claws. (The Quadrangle, Suite 235. 2800 Routh. 742-3872 Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10:30pm, Fri&Sat 11:30-11. Closed Sun. Reservations All credit cards. $$)

Sofio’s. When you step into Sofio’s. you know you’re not in |ust a strip shopping center restaurant. You’re in Rocky Sofio’s Italian restaurant/pizza joint. The fried mozzarella cheese must have been Mama’s specialty It’s served with a rich, chunky red sauce for dipping. The antipasto for two is chock-full of Italian goodies such as salami, olives and a rich assortment of marinated vegetables For entrées, the baked lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo were winners, but the linguini with clam sauce wasn’t garlicky enough. The portions at Sofio’s are enormous (one appetizer can easily be shared), so don’t eat every bite: dessert is a must. (4021 Belt Line. 934-8121. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-midnight. Fir 11:30 am-1 am. Sat & Sun 4 pm-1 am. Reservations MC, V, AE. $$)


Adsllna’s. This tiny hole-in-the-wall in Preston Center dishes up wonderful huevos rancheros for breakfast plus other Mexican morning specialties such as migas (eggs scrambled with tortilla bits, cheese and tomatoes) and huevos con chorizo. The accompanying potatoes are honest and hearty For lunch try the tamales, which are outstanding, or the fajilas (grilled strips of beef in a flour tortilla with lettuce and tomato). Adelma’s also caters any night except Thursday, with a limit of 50 guests (6027 Berkshire Lane. 363-8680 Mon-Sat 8 am-3 pm, Thur 6 am-9 pm. No credit cards. $).

Alexandra’s. Some unusual, yet somehow pleasing combinations caught our attention at this North Dallas furniture store turned restaurant. The music was moderately loud rock; the decor, rather standard, continental-restaurant classy. The menu was an interesting compilation of Italian and Mexican fare, and one appetizer, queso flamiado, effectively combined the two. In it, steamy flour tortillas were served with an Italian-like (though the menu insisted it was Spanish) sauce; the dish could be the beginning of a tasty new genre: Italo-Mex. The combination nachos. served with all the trimmings and chives, should be in the running for our next royal nacho award, but we found some of the entrees (chicken enchiladas and carne al carbon) a little ordinary. The breast of chicken al carbon was tender, though, and the beer batter shrimp were the biggest, juiciest hunks of delicately coated crustaceans we’ve seen, (12801 Midway Rd. 243-6841. Mon-Thur 11 am-midnight. Fri & Sat 11 arn-2 am. AE, M. V. $$$)

Cafe Cancun. Cafe Cancun serves the finest Mexico City-style Mexican food in town. The standout menu items are too numerous to sample during one visit, but there are a few items you shouldn’t miss. Try the corn soup, which is thick with cheese and corn meal, and the enchiladas verdes (chicken or cheese enchiladas with spicy green tomatillo sauce). Then sample the tacos al carbon, the quesadillas Cancun and the nachos Cancun (black beans, guacamole, cheese and sour cream). (473/ Lomo Alto. 559-4011. Mon-Thur 11-11, Fri 11-mid-night. Sat 5-midnight. Sun noon-10. No reservations. AE. MC. V. $$)

Chiqulta. With its pastel tablecloths and candles and the colof-coordinated costumes ot tne waiters, Chiquita is no ordinary Tex-Mex restaurant. Therefore, it’s appropriate that Chiquita excels with its out-of-the-ordinary specialties. Skillful preparations include carne asada tampico style and filete de la casa (filet mignon dishes) and the tortilla soup. The diced chicken with sour cream is also a treat. (3810 Congress off Oak Lawn. 521-0721. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30-11. Closed Sun. All credit cards.$$

Escondido. This place looks like a Hell’s Angels habitat on the outside; and inside, the decor is late-New York subway, with spray-can graffiti all over the ceiling. The dishes are standard no-frill, reasonable-bill Mexican food. The chicken nachos are among the best in town, and the combination platter’s tacos and salsas are top-notch. (2210 Butler. 631-9912. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2: dinner: Mon-Sat 5-9. Closed Sun. No credit cards. $)

Gonzalez. Rule: Avoid dining in at restaurants that do a heavy takeout trade. You’ll be slighted on the amenities, especially service. Exception to rule: Gonzalez on Maple. Most of the basics are reliable: The beans and rice are heaven-sent, and anything served on a corn tortilla is a winner. The hot sauce, both spicy and steaming, marries well with the abundant chips and almost makes up for the wimpish, bland guacamole. Puff tacos and chile relleno are among the standout entrees-all of which cost less than $6. And if you’re looking for a breakfast treat, get going with the chilaquillas (tortilla strips fried with eggs and peppers) No frills here, and the voices of the drive-through patrons are a nuisance, but the food makes it all worthwhile. (4333 Maple at Wycliff. 528-2960. Daily 7 am-9 pm. All credit cards. $)

Guadalajara. This Ross Avenue hole-in-the-wall has made itself respectable: a new door, new plate-glass windows and a brightly striped awning. We were put-off at first, nostalgic about the days when roach and man ate side by side, but Guadalajara is still a far cry from elegant. Service was quicker than in the past, and all our Tex-Mex was prepared just the way we like it. Sombreros off to Guadalajara for realizing that the charm of sleaze lasts only so long. (3308 floss. 823-9340. Tue-Thur 11 am-3:30 am, Fri & Sat 11 am-4 am. Closed Mon. Cash only. $)

Herrera. Despite the fact that this dumpy little restaurant on Maple Avenue has more customers than it can possibly serve, the food and the service have remained consistently good. Suggestions include the Jimmy’s special or the Pepe’s special, both of which are virtual Tex-Mex smorgasbords The only bad news is that Herrera’s has no liquor license, so bring enough beer to carry you through the wait and the meal. (3902 Maple. 526-9427 Mon. Wed & Thur 9 am-8 pm, Fri-Sun till 10. Closed Tue. No reservations. No credit cards. $)

Joe T. Garcia’s. By definition, there can be but one best Mexican restaurant in North America. There have been times when we were wont to bequeath that title to Joe T.’s in Fort Worth, but now that isn’t the issue. We are here to talk about an upstart: Garcia does Dallas. After several months’ consideration, noting that the owners feel confident enough to sell greeting cards and T-shirts Six Flags-style, we’ll just say we enjoyed the new Joe T ’s The margaritas are delightfully, dangerously stiff; and the food, still one-shot standard Mexican fare, is pleasingly dependable. The atmosphere (with some token leaning walls) is not plagiaristic enough of the mother Joe T.’s to be offensive. (4440 Belt Line. 458-7373 Mon-Sat 11-3 and 5-11. Closed Sun. MC. V $$)

La Calle Doce. Gracefully housed in a converted residence on 12th Street, La Calle Doce features a menu 01 seafood and steak specialties prepared Mexico City-style, as well as Tex-Mex basics. The atmosphere is relaxed and homey; the service, friendly and fast; the food, carefully prepared and well-presented (415 W 12th. 941-4304. MonThur 11-9. Fri 11-10 & Sat noon-10, Sun noon-6 MC. V. AE. $$)

Mario & Alberto. Dining here is a completely pastel experience, like a meal inside a great peach petit four. Strong margaritas. good chips and hot sauce, chicken nachos and llautas con crema set a fine mood for main courses chosen from a vast menu (which includes everything from standard bean and taco plates to zucchini stuffed with ground sirloin). (425 Preston Valley Shopping Center, LBJ at Pres ton. 980-7296. Mon-Thur 11:30-10:30. Fri S Sat 11:30-11. Closed Sun. Drinks with $5 membership charge All credit cards. $$)

Pepe’s Café. Pepe’s is a marriage of good basic Tex-Mex and unpretentious but gracious surroundings and service. The owner and employees manage authentic fare of everyday Mexicana without the usual dirty-Formica atmosphere of such establishments The nachos, flautas and pork dishes are all delicious. (3011 Routh. 698-9445. Mon-Fri 10:30-2:30 & 5:30-10. Sat 10:30-10. Closed Sun. No credit cards. $)

Raphael’s. We’ve grown suspicious of civilized Mexican restaurants, guessing that their best is only fresh from the freezer. But Raphaels throws a kink in this philosophy. The food is better than average, the surroundings are pleasant and the prices are not much higher than at many of our favorite dives Strong points are the appetizers (including quesa-dillas) and the desserts (try the sopapillas con fresas). (3701 McKinney. 521-9640. Mon-Fri 11:30-10:30, Sat noon-10:30. Raphael’s Greenville, 6728 Greenville. 692-8131. Mon-Fri 11.30-10:30; Sat noon-11. Closed Sun. Reservations MonThur only. All credit cards. $$)


Asuka. Dining at Asuka is a soothing experience that will transport you a thousand miles away from the traffic and congestion 50 yards outside the door Try any one of the Kaiseki dinners, such as the Ishi-yaki Kaiseki-beef and vegetables served over sizzling stone pebbles: it is delightful At lunch, the food is just as palate-pleasing and pretty. (7136 Greenville. 363 3537. Lunch: Tue-Sun 11-2; dinner: Tue-Sun 6-10:30. Closed Mon. Reservations AE, V. MC. DC $$$)August Moon. It just may be that we owe these people an apology. judging from the amount of mail we received after our last review Feeling a little insecure with this wrath, we revisited the establishment and. sure enough, had a delightful meal The menu is vast, go early and read it carelully We began with a pu pu tray with the lightest fried shrimp and wonton we’ve ever tasted August Moon Seafood Splendor and August Moon Sizzling Plate were tremendous in size and seasoned just barely, and then only to highlight natural flavors The individual tastes of the meats and vegetables were easily distinguished and not greasy-a difficult feat when so many ingredients are presented en masse The service is polite, though busy (15030 Preston at Belt Line. 385-7227 Mon-Thur 11-10:30. Fri 11-11. Sat noon-11. Reservations for eight or more Bar by membership. AE, MC, V, DC. $$)

Forbidden City. This Chinese spot, next-door to Wilson’s and in the same shopping center as three other restaurants, should be welcomed by North Dallasites The atmosphere is quietly elegant, and the food matches the decor. Everything on the pu pu tray-shrimp toast to wontons to ribs-is well-prepared and flavorful The tofu is tender and pleasantly spongy as opposed to the standard recapped rubber-tire versions. Also try the chicken and walnuts The chicken is tender, the walnuts, crunchy- providing a perfect example of the complementary textures so important to Chinese cuisine Beef with snow peas is a pleasant variation on the same theme-the tender beef isn’t overcooked, and the snow-pea pods are crisp. The service is efficient and friendly, and the feeling is one of relaxation. (5290 Bell Line 960-2999 Mon-Thur 11 am-10:30pm, Fri& Sat 11 am-3 am. Sun 11 am-10:30 pm. All credit cards. $$)

Hunan Imperial. The difference between this Chinese restaurant and every other new Chinese restaurant begins with its extensive menu. There are offerings that are just not readily available at other Dallas Chinese restaurants String beans with pork, for example The beans are crisp and flavorful, with lust a smidgen of pork flavor Another dish we found both palate-pleasing and pretty is the shrimp with pine nuts The vegetables and the pine nuts are crisp and crunchy; the shrimp, well-cooked but not tough or mushy; the barbecue ribs, tops. The atmosphere, although not quite imperial, is at least subdued and conducive to fine dining. (The Corner Shopping Cen ter. Walnut Hill and N Central Expwy 363-3858 Sun-Thur 11:30-11. Fri & Sat 11:30 am-midnight AE, V, MC. DC $$)

Kobawoo. Our meals at this small Korean restau rant in Oak Lawn have been dining adventures. Lighted posters of Koreans line the walls, and a color TV is usually blaring an Oriental station Our waitress wasn’t quite fluent enough to explain exactly what we were eating, but we enjoyed the slices of Mongolian barbecued beef The menu also offers several good chicken dishes Some of Kobawoo’s vegetables were seasoned beyond recognition, and the sweet and sour pork was neither Still this place has charm and friendly service-it’s a good, quick inexpensive place to grab a late-night Oriental bite (3109 Inwood Road 351-6922 Daily: 11 am-mid-night AE. MC. V. $)

Peking Szechuan. We found ourselves in agreement with the praise other reviewers have heaped upon this place Nothing-save a lard-loaded egg roll-was disappointing, and the service was pleasantly well-paced. The lamb with green onion and the scallops with hot garlic sauce were extremely nice -both contained fresh, neatly chopped ingredients that maintained their own distinctiveness and crunch. Although one entree contained canned mushrooms, we found the entrees as a whole a welcome change from the gummy, gooey dishes served at some establishments (2560 W Northwest Hwy. 353-0129 Mon-Thur 11:3010. Fri & Sat 11:30-11, Sunday 11:30-10 All credit cards. $$)

Plum Blossom. This review differs from many others listed under “Oriental” because words such as “elegance” and “charm” apply. Subtle scroll paintings, glittering tableware and well-mannered service set the mood for the somewhat flamboyantly presented meal, chosen from one of the three standard banquets. (The least expensive of which has five courses.) Almost every item of our Emperors Ban-quet for two was exotic-our appetizer, a 10 – flavor chrysanthemum fire pot with seafood, chicken, beef, vegetables and noodles, at least bordered on the unusual-and we savored every delicate bite. We heard whispered complaints of high prices and limited quantity but were ourselves content with the number of different foods served in modest portions. After the fire pot came duck, then crab claws and shrimp in black-bean sauce, Chinese vegetables, sweet and sour pork, and fried custard for dessert. (Loews Anatole, 2201 Stemmons. 748-1200. Mon-Sat 6 pm-10:30 pm. Reservations. All credit cards $$$)

Royal China. If anything could improve the experience of dining here, it’s the unfailing courtesy of the staff and the personal care lavished on every diner. Not that the food needs a boost. Buck Kao’s royal prawn entrees are legendary, but lesser-known dishes such as curry chicken-moist slivers of fowl with carrot, celery, water chestnuts and onion-are always excellent And don’t worry about being hungry an hour after eating here: If you start with three delicacies soup (laden with shrimp, scallops and chicken), take on a Chinese appetizer plate (the barbecued spareribs are great) and finish up with a dish such as beef with tomato or sliced chicken with mushroom and bamboo shoots, you won’t want to consider dessert. (201 Preston Royal Shopping Center. 361-1771. Daily 11:30 am-2:30pm &S30 pm-10 pm. All credit cards. $$)

Sakura. In many ways this Japanese restaurant is typical of all Japanese restaurants. Waitresses wear traditional costumes, dinner is prepared at the table, the decor is soothingly Oriental Our waitress made suggestions about our orders and cooked our dinner before our eyes, never expecting us to drop all conversation and “ooo “and “ah” until she finished. We enjoyed a quiet, well-prepared meal selected from a vast menu including everything from shredded beet to sea urchin Standards like sushi and tempura are also very good. (7402 Greenville 361-9282. Dinner: Sun-Thur 5:30-11:30. Fri & Sat 5:30-midnight. All credit cards. Reservations. $$)

Sawatdee. If your culinary tastes are inclined toward the adventurous and experimental, this is truly an excellent restaurant in which to inouige them Among the specialties of the house worth noting are the red chicken curry. South Seas scallops and the dinner portion of moo satay Be sure to clearly indicate to your waiter how spicy you like your food; otherwise you may be surprised or disappointed by the degree of seasoning. (4503 Greenville at Yale. 373-6138. Daily: 11:302:30 & 5:30-10:30. AE, MC. V. $$)

Slam. Siam opened up new worlds for us when it brought Thai food to Dallas For the uninitiated. Thai cuisine is often fiery hot, using peppers and curry sauces, and blends in several elements that separate if from spicy hot Chinese cooking such as Szechuan or Hunan An excellent beginner is the moo-sar tey (pork strips on bamboo skewers served with a peanut sauce) and slices of cucumber and hot pepper. For an entrée, try the gand ped-a rice dish with curry, bamboo shoots, coconut milk, mint leaves and your choice of pork, beef or chicken. Another standout is the pard Thai, a rice noodle dish with shrimp, pork, eggs, hot chili peppers, bean sprouts and green onions. (1730 W Mockingbird near Harry Hines. 631-5482. Mon Thur 11-10, Fn & Sat 11-11. Closed Sun. All credit cards. $)

Szechuan Pavilion. There’s nothing particularly compelling about the atmosphere at Szechuan Pavilion in Preston Center, but then, we’ve often found a positive correlation between good Chinese food and shabby surroundings. The keys here seem to be authentic. fresh ingredients, few gummy additives and spicy dishes that are zesty and flavorful but not fiery hot. Two items on the menu shouldn’t be missed: the fried fantail shrimp appetizer-perfectly crisp and light and served piping hot-and the sub-gum deluxe lo mein-a fabulous blend of lo mein noodles, plump nuggets of seafood and stir-fried vegetables. Beyond that, we tend to rely on the chef’s suggestions-some of which, like the emperor’s chicken and the hot and sour whole fish, are downright exotic. (8409 Preston Road. 368-4303. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Sat & Sun noon-3 pm; dinner: Mon-Fri 4:30-10. Sat & Sun noon-10:30. All credit cards. $$)

Taiwan. This restaurant is dressier and a bit more expensive than a lot of Chinese places in town, but it stands head and shoulders above most of them when it comes to food. The choices, particularly in terms of appetizers and soups, are extremely varied: the Kuo-Teh meat dumplings, the flaming pu pu platter and the sizzling rice soup for two are outstanding. The kitchen is at its best with the hot and spicy Szechuan dishes. Service can range from nerve-rackingly overattentive to somewhat absent-minded. (6111 Greenville. 369-8902. Mon-Sat 11 am-3am, Sun 10 am-11 pm. Reservations. All credit cards.

Yunnan Dynasty. Probably the best Chinese restaurant in Dallas, Yunnan Dynasty is especially adept at hot and spicy dishes like Yunnan spicy shrimp, shredded beef with hot pepper and black bean sauce and diced chicken with hot pepper sauce The chef’s special beef is also a crunchy delight One of our all-time favorites is steamed fish, served whole, with black-bean sauce For dessert, sesame bananas can’t be improved upon. (Caruth Plaza. 9100 N Central Expwy. Suite 191. 739-1110. Sun-Thur 11:30-10. Fri & Sat noon-11. AE. V. MC. DC $$)


Champagne Johnny’s. The feel here is one of the Florida Keys-potted palms, archways, sunset lighting Champagne is the bartender’s specialty, and he offers a large variety Seafood is the chef’s forte, and there’s a decent selection on that front, loo The poached oysters were an imaginative change from the usual cheese/spinach variations The house salad consists of romaine. bibb and iceberg lettuces, black olives and cheese The scallops in garlic are tender The broiled salmon is excellently preparea, too it is moist ana comes wrin a rata-touille, which is a perfect complement to the subtlety of the salmon and the scallops All the servings are large, and most diners probably aren’t going to want dessert. That’s just as well, as Johnny’s cheesecake and homemade pies |ust don’t measure up to the rest of the fare. (2905 Greenville. 823-5800 Mon-Thur 11:30 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-1 am, Sun 11-11. All credit cards. $$$)

Crazy Crab. Frankly, the outdoor neon sign for this seafood restaurant kept us away a long time With its moving red crab hitting itself on the head with mallets and lolling its tongue in the breeze-it just got on our nerves But finally we ventured inside and found a pleasant surprise Dinner was chosen from a wide variety of broiled and fried seafood dishes and was quietly enjoyed in a comfortable, well-decorated dining room The emphasis is on crab of every description, but the shrimp and filets were good We’ll put Crazy Crab in our relatively inexpensive, dependable category. (3211 Oak Lawn at Hall. 522-5310. Sun-Thur 11-10, Fri & Sat 11-11 AE, DC. MC. $$)

Fausto’s. This establishment deserves commendation for its excellence in all areas of restaurant management, especially for the food King salmon with spinach in a puff pastry and baked swordfish with oysters and wine sauce would make anyone’s palate quiver with delight. The fresh shark gumbo and the artichoke and mushroom salad are equally special. The chocolate mousse is ambrosial; the fresh coffee with beaten cream is nectar. The elegant, dark and unhurried atmosphere makes for a satisfying and romantic evening, (Hyatt Regency Hotel 651-1234. Daily: 6-11; Sun brunch: 10:30-2:30. Reservations lor dinner. Jackets required for men. All credit cards. $$$$)

Jozef’s. Selecting carefully is the way to enjoy the seafood at Jozef’s. Smoked freshwater trout with horseradish sauce, mushrooms stuffed with crab meat imperial and basic entrees such as live Maine lobster or char-broiled fish of the season are all recommended. Tasty blueberry cheesecake is a nice finish Service is attentive but not overbearing. (2719 McKinney. 826-5560. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30: dinner: Sun-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 6-11. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)

Ratcliffe’s. The decor looks like New Orleans, and the fish compares favorably. Especially noteworthy are the clam chowder and sourdough bread. Add a house salad and soothing raspberry mousse, and you have a pleasant lunch For evenings try the pasta with seafood or red snapper, plus vegetables. (1901 McKinney. 748-7480. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30: dinner: Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 5-11. Reservations optional. AE. V, DC, CB. $$$)

Rocco Oyster Bar. If you can forget that we’re landlocked in Central Texas, there’s no less splendid place than Rocco’s to act like a drunken sailor and eal fresh seafood that still smacks of brine. The food here, however, tends to be a bit erratic. On one visit, our entrees were uniformly delightful: fresh sole al-mandine. soft-shell crab and the Big Mix-a bro-chette of shrimp, scallops, green pepper, tomato and oysters smoked until heated through, but still moist We weren’t as impressed on another trip- the sautéed scallops were a bit dry. and the sea bass was delivered raw. Chic industrial lighting overhead and blue neon tubing make Rocco’s an exceptionally attractive place (2520 Cedar Springs. 74 7-6226. Sun Wed 11-11. Thur-Sat 11 am-12:30am. AE. MC. V. $$)

The Rusty Scupper. This restaurant is part of a seafood chain, but it’s a cut above most chains. There are fresh catch-of-the-day specials posted on a blackboard. Stick to those and you can’t go wrong We had a trout stuffed with shrimp and herbs that was as good as any fancy seafood offering we’ve had in landlocked Dallas On the other hand, the accompanying fries and salad were best left alone. But our dessert-a pecan, caramel and ice cream con-conction called turtle pie-was excellent. (4951 Belt Line. 9600884. Mon-Thur 5:30-10. Fri & Sat till 11, Sun brunch 11:30-3. dinner: 5-9 AE, V, DC. $$)

Seascape Inn. This seafood restaurant is one of Dallas’ finest eateries we ve never had a bad en-trée, and Chef Jean LaFonl’s specialties are always just that-special treats. The Dover sole Veronique and the salmon in puff pastry are two wonderful selections. “Gracious” best sums up the service and atmosphere; it is elegant but not pretentious. (6306 Greenville. 692-6920. Lunch: Sun-Fri 11-2:30; dinner: Sun-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. Reservations recommended. All credit cards. $$$)

S&D Oyster Company. S&D could easily survive for years on its substantial assemblage of regulars who would much rather fight the growing crowds than switch. Why do droves flock to this humble establishment? Because S&D has some of the best fresh seafood in Dallas. Period. Broiled whole flounder and fried shrimp are among the freshly simple choices. And don’t forget S&D’s great sides-crisp coleslaw, crunchy hush puppies and french fries. (2701 McKinney. 823-6350. Mon-Thur 11-10, Fri & Sat 11-11. Closed Sun. No reservations. MC, V.$$)

Spinnaker. The menu here is of manageable size- there is variety, but it doesn’t appear that the chef tries to perform beyond his means in order to impress. We began with an on-the-house appetizer, a tasty sample of marinated shrimp Our entree choices included a filet of red snapper with white wine and lemon butter and bouillabaisse Marseillaise, rich with shrimp, scallops, crab legs, halibut, sea bass, lobster, mussels, redfish and clams in a deliciously light, non-fishy broth. The appetizers that we sampled-baked clams with shrimp and crab meat and the bisque of crawfish with cognac were very good. We missed having salads with our meal and feel the need to give the Spinnaker counsel on its desserts The chocolate chip-pecan pie and the strawberry tart just didn’t taste as good as they should have. (Lincoln Raddison Hotel. 5410 LBJ Frwy at the tollway. 934-8400 Lunch; Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner daily 5:30-11. All credit cards. $$$)

Turtle Cove. Decisions are easy to make at Turtle Cove: Order the fresh seafood broiled over a mes-quite wood fire, a whiff of which you’re bound to inhale as you enter. The mesquite provides a low. moist heat that cooks the seafood to perfection Mesquite-broiled vegetables are a better choice than salad, and the best appetizers are Ihe fresh oysters and broiled shrimp Just remember to stick with the fresh seafood. (2731 W Northwest Hwy near European Crossroads. 350-9034. Mon-Sat 11-11, Sun noon-11. MC, V, AE. $$)


Brent Place. Lunch customers drive in from all over the state to dine in this 106-year-old house in Old City Park The menu changes weekly; we enjoyed roast beef, corn on the cob. baked beans, cole slaw, bread pudding, muffins and corn bread, plus iced tea, for $6, Brent Place is a nonprofit project of the Dallas Heritage Society and is staffed almost completely by society volunteers. The lunch menu changes weekly, but on weekends the chefs try out new menus and prepare old favorites (1717 Gano. 421 3058. Lunch seatings: Tue-Fri at 11:15, 12:15 and 1:15: Sal & Sun 11 am-2 pm. Reservations required weekdays. MC, V. $)

Broussard’s. The specialties of this backwoods Louisiana Cajun diner, located in Irving, are all fried-oysters, shrimp, catfish, frog legs, hush puppies and potatoes with the crunchy skins left on. All are very simply prepared with lightly spiced coatings and are properly fried, complemented nicely by the homemade red sauce The food is served cafeteria-style, but the wait is shortened by the great jukebox. (707 N Belt Line in Irving, one mile S of Hwy 183. 255-8024. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 -2; dinner: Mon-Fri 5-10, Sat 11-10. Closed Sun. No reservations. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. $$)

Highland Park Cafeteria. To dine at this Dallas institution can mean waiting in line for as long as 20 minutes at peak hours. But don’t give up; the line moves quickly and soon you’ll be enticed by the aroma of HPC’s home-style food. HPC offers all kinds of green salads, coleslaw, congealed salads and fresh fruits. Next in line are the entrees-roast beef, fish-baked or fried, casseroles and more. The vegetables here are actually semi-crisp, not steamed into mush. The assortment of breads and desserts is tempting. (4611 Cole. 526-3809. Mon-Sat 11 am-8 pm. Closed Sun. No liquor. MC, V. $)

Ms. Betty’s. The personality of this luncheon “boutique ” is best described by its specialty dessert: Highland Park pie. a delightful concoction of chocolate chips and pecans, from an original recipe by Ms. Betty (Carron). Place your order at a walk-up window and take your seat in an old-style wooden school desk. The ham salad is good, but not as good as the chicken salad, prepared with nuts and enjoyed by at least one reviewer known for not being nuts over chicken salad Pimento cheese sandwiches and a variety of soup du jour are offered, as is chili. But never skip Ms. Betty’s desserts: pumpkin cheesecake, Highland Park pie, peanut butter pie or fudge pie. (7011 Lomo Alto 526-5084, Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2. No credit cards, personal checks accepted $)

Papa Zaby’s Cafe. A cross between Dixie House (up the road) and Little Gus’ (down the street). Papa Zaby’s is a welcome addition to the lower Greenville Avenue area Breakfasts are noteworthy fluffy omelets, biscuits, gravy and hashbrowns At dinnertime, the chicken-fried steak with a bacony country gravy, mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day is entirely satisfying (2114 Greenville 821 4563. Mon-Fn 7:30 am-11 pm. Sat 8 am-11 pm. Sun 10 am-11 pm; brunch: Sat 8 am-2 pm. Sun 10 am-2 pm All credit cards. $)


Beefeater. This restaurant serves up thick and juicy beef, pork and lamb cuts of fairly good quality The extras are limited and unfancy. choices including a standard dinner salad, hearty black beans and a creamy coleslaw with a bite The decor is overdone Old English, replete with carved dark wood, replica period paintings and brass The piped-in music is inappropriate Service is good, which could be attributed to the small crowds, which conversely could be because of the rather expensive fare (3010 N Henderson at N Central Expwy 826-2553 Tue-Sun 6 pm-10:30pm. Closed Mon. MC. V, AE $$$)

Bohemia. The owners of this charm-laden little Bavarian restaurant are Czechoslovakian, but the cuisine is not all that different from your favorite German establishment, and odds are that it’s prepared with more care The menu includes a lot of goulash-style dishes, dumplings, veal and vinegary sauces The vegetables were outstanding, cooked perfectly The sauerkraut, in fact. was the best we’ve ever had The desserts, too. were homemade -a fluffy cheesecake with real whipped cream and an apple strudel of flaky pastry and tart, plump fruit slices (2810 N Henderson. 826-6209. Tue-Sun 5:30-11. Closed Mon MC. V. AE $$)

Crackers. Greek dishes prevail at this casual, comfortable restaurant. Dine on moussaka, spano-kopita. baked chicken Greek-style or souflaki on the balcony amid the trees, or in the pleasant but nondescript dining rooms For something on the lighter side, quiche and sandwiches are available Almost all entrees are preceded by a cup of soup and a crunchy, cheesy tidbit followed by a fresh green salad. (2621 McKinney. 827-1660 Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30, Sat 11-3. Sun 11-5; dinner: Sun-Thur 5-10. Fri & Sat 5-11 MC. V. AE. S)

Dalt’s. This is a formula restaurant (its owned by the same people who own TGI Friday’s), but it doesn’t look or feel like a formula restaurant Dalt’s resembles a Thirties malt shop-lots of black-and-white tile and such The burgers are big and juicy, as are some of the concoctions that come from the bar And Dalt’s has some excellent malt shop offerings shakes, sodas and sundaes (5100 Belt Line, Sakowitz Village on the Parkway. Suite 410. 386-9078 Daily 11 am-2 am. All credit cards. S)

Kobe Steaks. This plush Japanese steakhouse offers combinations of steak, seafood and/or chicken. Beef is the featured attraction, and it is of the highest quality Dinners come with delicious beef broth, a piquant shrimp appetizer and smooth green tea as well as salad and rice However, the group seating arrangements offer little privacy while you dine (15000 Quorum Drive at Beit Line off Dallas Pkwy. Suite 600 934-8150 Sun-Thur 5-11. Fri & Sat 5-midnight. All credit cards $$$)

Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The unassuming no-frills steakhouse appearance of Ruth s makes the prices here a real shock The entrees (sirloin strip, filel, rib eye and porterhouse) begin at $17 With that you get bread only But the steak, pan-broiled in butler, is served sizzling hot and juicy and is very good (6940 Greenville 691-6940. Mon-Fri 11.30-11:30. Sat & Sun 5-11:30. All credit cards. $$$)

TGI Friday’s. The creator of singlemania, Friday’s is still the spot for after-hour intermingling. The pace is frenetic, the noise level, deafening; the drinks, plentiful, and the food, consistently reliable. Try the great potato skins. Mexican pizza or the numerous burger selections. (5500 Greenville. 363-5353. 5100 Bell Line. 386-5824. Mon-Sal 11:30-2, Sun 11-2. No reservations. All credit cards. $$)


Angelo’s. Hallowed has become the name of Angelo’s among devotees of the almighty rib, and for a real taste of Texas, we’ll take the tender, meaty, succulent barbecued ribs served here. For $5.75, you gel a pile of ribs, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, pickle, onion, sauce and bread Ribs are served after 5 p.m. only. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m.. after which the price of beer doubles. (2533 White Settlement Road. (817)332-0357. Mon-Sat 11-10. Closed Sun. No reservations. No credit cards. $)

The Balcony. Here you’ll find continental cuisine, specializing in bee! dishes, fried shrimp and veal cordon bleu. The elegant restaurant overlooks bustling Camp Bowie Boulevard and is a good place for relaxed dining and conversation. (6100 Camp Bowie. (817) 731-3719. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 6-10:30. Reservations. Jackets required for dinner. All credit cards. $$$)

Crystal Cactus. The Crystal Cactus, which gets its name from the etched-glass room dividers, is a pleasant repose and an admirable effort to provide quality dining to downtown Fort Worth. The service is proficient and attentive, and the offerings are attractively presented. The rock lobster salad with tarragon dressing is delicious, and the beef tenderloin is equally well-prepared. Interesting luncheon specialties are featured during the week, including a spicy fisherman’s stew. (Hyatt Regency Hotel, 815 Main. (817) 870-1234. Dinner: daily 5-11; Sunday brunch: 11-2. Reservations. Jackets and ties required lor dinner. All credit cards. $$$)

Joe T. Garcia’s. This Fort Worth temple to Tex-Mex serves up industrial-strength margaritas that are champions, and superior family-style Mexican staples. You’ve got your beans, rice, tacos. enchiladas, tortillas and, if you must, nachos. No questions. No substitutions. That’s it. But it’s the best, and it makes for an inherently good time Time after time. (2201 N Commerce. (817) 626-4356. Mon-Fri 11-2 & 5 10:30, Sat 11-10:30, Sun 4-10. Reservations tor 20 or more. No credit cards. $$)

Le Café Bowie. To our great misfortune, we were late in visiting this excellent French restaurant in an old frame house on Camp Bowie. The recited menu changes daily, but we enjoyed chicken and veal specialties, fresh fruit salads, soup, lots of tiny, hot homemade rolls and fresh vegetables served at very reasonable prices. The service was graceful and attentive; our meal was completely relaxing Le Café Bowie may be the best restaurant in Cowtown. (4930 Camp Bowie. 735-1521. Dinner: Sun-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sal 6-11 Lunch: Tue-Sun 11:30-2, Sat noon-2: Sun champagne brunch: noon-2. MC, AE, V. $$$)

L’Oustau. In this pleasant, open room with lots ofskylights. French-accented waiters bring forth a fineselection of continental food. The best offerings include the lamb chops (served in a delicate sauce)and the coq au vin, which evokes memories of realcountry cooking in Burgundy. Try a strawberry tart,which comes with a layer of custard and a thin crustof chocolate. Or. if you’re into self-denial, limit yourself to one fresh strawberry dipped in chocolate(300 Main Street. (817) 332-8900. Lunch: Mon-Fri11:30-2: dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10. Fri & Sat 6-10:30.Closed Sun. Reservations are recommended. MC.V: personal checks accepted. $$$$)

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