EATING AROUND MADAME CHANG’S BLENDO EXOTICO

Madame Chang

★★★★ Mixed culinary marriages look to be what’s cooking for the late Eighties. This merging of cuisines of different national origins, which is a big thing in Los Angeles, produces something that L.A. food writer Merrill Shindler calls Blendo Exotico, and Madame Chang is its first representative in Dallas.

The pioneers of Blendo Exotico believe that gastronomic cross-pollination-in this case, of French and Chinese cuisine-results in a hybrid that is more exciting than either of its paren-tal units. Madame Chang’s menu says that cuisine chinoise, as it’s called, “combines the crisp vegetables and piquant seasonings made famous by the Chinese with the sublime sauce creations and artistry in presentation of the French.”

Madame Chang serves lunch and is open continuously through the afternoon-an admirable practice. Still. I had better luck with the dinner menu. I also preferred the nighttime feel-ine of the restaurant, which has such a formal character that it ! puts too much weight of occasion on a casual lunch.

The high point of dinner was the silver-thread bread, which, appropriately for the restaurant’s French-Chinese orientation, is of Chinese origin, but tastes like an Edenic version of French brioche. Appetizers were a mixed, innovative lot: savory sautéed duck ravioli and perfectly fried shrimp in sweet rice baiter served with mustard sauce were keepers; on the other hand, tuna sashimi roll en croute with green horseradish sauce, pin-wheels of smoked salmon with horseradish sauce, and snow peas stuffed with sesame ginger chicken and garlic shrimp (a sign of the influence of the dread Martha Stewart, originator of stuffed-snow pea silliness) were far more elaborately designed than necessary.

Salads-including a mixed garden salad, a warm duck salad, and an endive and watercress salad-were uniformly terrific, and the dressings-an allusive black bean vinaigrette and a nutty sesame dressing-were so interesting as to make a choice difficult.

One dinnertime entrée is not to be missed: the sautéed breast of chicken with pine nuts, red peppers, snow peas, and ginger. The rest-including the not particularly Chinese grilled lamb chops with creamy mint sauce and salmon steak and prawns with tomato-shrimp cream sauce-were merely excellent.

Desserts-most particularly a tofu-based cream custard that tasted just like tofu-are not a strong point here. However, the well-chosen wine list is a very strong point.

The Crescent, 2200 Cedar Springs. 871-3838 Sun-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11; bar open daily 11 am-1 am. All credit cards. Expensive.

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS



AMERICA



BEAU NASH ★★★★ When Beau Nash opened in January, many restaurant-goers who were hoping tor a new, improved version of the Mansion on Turtle Creek were initially disappointed. But as the months have gone by, Beau Nash has come into its own identity, and its virtues seem more and more apparent For one thing, it keeps late hours-at least by Dallas standards- and does so every night. For another, it’s a lively, entertaining hangout. And last but not least, the menu has been astutely adjusted, although not completely overhauled. Happily, the smoked salmon pizza-the perfect partner to champagne-and the Sonoma baby lamb with pesto sauce survived. The addition of inventive main-course salads at lunchtime-like a Thai-inspired shrimp and calamari combo-was welcome Oddly enough, although these dishes are of manageable size, the appetizer salads are still immense things that defy the efforts of mere mortals to finish them. Crescent Court Hotel, 400 Crescent Court, Maple at McKinney. 871-3240. Breakfast daily 6:30-10:30; Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; dinner daily 6-11:30; Sun brunch 11 -2:30. All credit cards, expensive.



BLOM’S ★★★★★ This time around at Blom’s. the service was as flawless as ever, and the food -always quite good in the past-was of five-star quality. The five-course, fixed-price ($38) “Taste of Blom’s” menu of the day was especially impressive: hill country venison with Cornice pear and Wisconsin blue cheese; cream of cauliflower soup; Gulf rock shrimp stir-tried with snow peas, ginger, and truffles; an assortment of sorbets; fillet of lamb in pastry with tomato salsa and goat cheese; and a summer pudding with a strawberry sauce. This is not to slight the a la carte offerings: duck and chicken liver “parfait” served with hot brioche, a green salad with blood orange and hazelnuts, and breast of pheasant with sweet and sour sauce and cranberries were all perfectly prepared. Westin Hotel, Galleria, 13340 Dallas Pkwy. 851-2882. Mon-Thur 6:30-10 pm, Fri & Sat 6-11. Closed Sun. Jackets and ties required. All credit cards. Expensive.



D REVISITS

CITY CAFE ★★★★★ City Cafe’s innovative yet reassuringly homey menu (which changes every Wednesday) continues to be one of the best in town in terms of quality-to-price ratio. A recent dinner was nearly flawless: the mixed garden salad; jambalaya with ham, oysters, shrimp, and andouille sausage; chocolate quiche with shortbread crust; and crème brulée with a coconut cookie crust were all they should have been. Only the chile-rubbed black angus strip was a letdown: the chile flavor wasn’t in evidence, and the beef was disappointingly dry-tasting. 5757 W Lovers Lane (just west of Dallas N Tollway). 351-2233. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30: dinner Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. MC, V, AE. Moderate.



DAKOTA’S ★★★★ Dakota’s new lunch and dinner menus, modified by new chef Lisa Smith, include more salads and light dishes than did their predecessors. However, the emphasis is still on things Southwestern and mesquite-gnlled. To judge from two exemplary items from the dinner menu-grilled lamb chops stuffed with herbed Texas goat cheese with Zinfandel sauce and grilled beef tenderloin fillet with mushroom caps-this is all to 1he good. Also unchanged, of course, is the slick, heavy-on-the-marble decor. Trivia note: Dakota’s takes its name from the eight million pounds of Dakota Mahogany granite used throughout the restaurant and in Lincoln Plaza. 600 N Akard. 740-4001. Lunch Mon-Fri 11 -3, dinner Sun-Thur 5-11, Fri & Sat 5-11:30; Sun brunch 11 -2:30. All credit cards. Lunch moderate, dinner expensive.



TIE MANSION ON TURTLE CREEK ★★★★★ The Mansion has no competition in its melding of Dallas’s historic past and gastronomic future. In the golden glow of the restored, circa 1925 Shepard King mansion, Dean Fearing turns out cutting-edge New American Cuisine with a Southwestern accent Current standouts: country-fried Texas quail with peanut pasta and creamy garlic sauce; Louisiana crab cakes with asauce of smoked chilies, lobster, and blood orange; and grilled swordfish with Thai noodles and mango, cucumber, melon, and lime sauce Although it is difficult to resist the signature crème bailee with raspberry sauce, the pastry chef’s artistry makes more adventurous choices well worth ordering. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd. 526-2121. Main dining room -jackets and ties required. 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 pm-midnight. Fri & Sat 11 pm-midnight. Promenade Room-breakfast daily 7-10:30; Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2, Sat & Sun noon-2; tea Mon-Fri 3-5:30. Ail credit cards. Expensive.



D REVISITS

MOLINE BAR & GRILL ★★★★ When I want simple, sophisticated food and a handsome, low-key setting, this restaurant/bar is one of my favorite retreats Getting a table never seems to be a problem-though this blessing causes me to worry about the place’s survival. Happily, however, there were at least a few other people in the restaurant on my recent visit. With the exception of a boring cream of broccoli soup, everything from Caesar salad to grilled trout with herbs to banana and cinnamon ice cream was as satisfying as ever. 302 N Market (entrance on Pacific). 747-6430. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2: dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10. Fri & Sat 5-11. All credit cards. Expensive



901: An American RestAURANt ★★★★ when 901

opened, l checked it out and was singularly unimpressed. Months passed, a friend dragged me back, and I was impressed by the improved fare. Service was still overly intrusive and familiar for my taste, but the food was nearly flawless. Crab cakes were on the soupy side, but an appetizer of pan-fried medallion of rabbit with a spicy tomato sauce was the best treatment of bunny I’ve ever tasted. Prime rib was very nice indeed, but it was surpassed by the pasta of the day-linguine with shrimp and veal in a tomato sauce. And for dessert, although there are technically other choices, the only choice, at least as far as I’m concerned, is the Key lime pie. You might as well forget all the sleazy, green-hued imitators of your past This is the real thing. InterFirst Plaza, 901 Main. 747-9010. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 5-10:30. Ail credit cards; personal checks accepted. Moderate.



PARIGI ★ ★ ★ ★ Saturday brunch at Parigi is one of the most civilized ways imaginable to begin the weekend (Sunday brunch, unfortunately, is not an option because Parigj isn’t open then.) In slick, post-modern surroundings, one can gather one’s forces for the usual winding-up-the-week round of shopping, errand-running, and socializing. Fresh-squeezed juice, espresso, mega-muffins, and peerless variations of scrambled eggs (with bacon and cream cheese, for instance) are the culinary attraction. Lunch and dinner, like brunch, feature a changing menu, but the cold sliced beef tenderloin is a lunchtime constant that is always a good idea. 3311 Oak Lawn. 521-0295 Lunch Tue-Fri 11:30-2:30: dinner Tue-Thur 6:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 6:30-11. Sat brunch 10:30-3. Closed Sun & Mon. AH credit cards Expensive.



PLAZA CAFE ★ ★ ★ ★Mansion alumni Wayne Broadwell (up front) and Avner Samuel (in the kitchen) have opened what promises to be an oasis for the design community in an area previously bereft of top-qualrty food. (Ironically, however, the place is not aesthetically breathtaking.) For lunch, the goat cheese pizza, grilled breast of chicken with basil vinaigrette, and crème brulée are all winners. 1444 Oak Lawn. 742-4433. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner Mon-Fri 6-10, Sat 6-11; Happy hour Mon-Fri 5 pm-7 pm MC, V, AE. Moderate to expensive.



ROUTN STREET CAFE ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Routh Street Cafe’s formula lor national gastronomic fame: Stephan Pyles’s New Southwestern Cuisine; a sleek, Tonny Foy-designed setting, and snappy, congenial service. The live-course, fixed-price menu ($42, with surcharges for certain items) is printed daily, but certain items- such as cornmeal catfish with smoked pepper/mint marigold sauce, lobster enchilada with red pepper crème fraiche, lamb with pecan and garlic sauce, berry buckle with cinnamon ice cream, and apple-walnut spice cake-have become near-fixtures When food-obsessed travelers come to town, this is the reservation they want. This means prime-time reservations should be made well in advance. 3005 Routh at Cedar Springs. 371-7161. Tue-Sat 6-10:30 pm. Closed Sun 8. Mon. Reservations Ail credit cards. Expensive.



WEST END OASIS ★ ★ ★ ★ The new menu at West End Oasis is good news. It retains such pick hits from its predecessor as the fish soup with fresh jalapeno, sweet potatoes, and coconut milk, and the red snapper rolled in cracked peppercorns and roasted in corn husks, and it adds startlingly original choices like pasta Oasis {homemade Iinguine tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and New Mexico chides) and gult shrimp stir-fried m sesame oil with mounds of diced green and red onions. This is still the best-looking restaurant in town, with its granite waterfall, contemporary Southwestern art, and handsome woodsy setting in the restored Texas Moline Building. 302 N Market (entrance on Pacific). 698-9775 Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 6-11. All credit cards. Very expensive.



BAKERIES

LA MADELEINE ★ ★ ★ These are trying times, and from time to lime one needs a judicious combination of caf-feine and carbohydrates to make it through the afternoon. La Madeleine’s strong coffee and raspberry beignets (or, alternatively, almond croissants) do the job for me. There are also more wholesome alternatives along the tines of soups, salads, and sandwiches-as well as the top-quality breads that are the true raison d’etre of the place. The rustic setting at both locations is pleasant, and the service seems noticeably less surly and disorganized than in years past 3072 Mockingbird, 696-6960; 3906 Lemmon. 521-0182 Daily 7 am-9 pm No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.



MASSIMO DA MILANO ★★★★ If there’s a bad item available at this attractive Italian bakery/cafe. I’ve yet to discover it despite exhaustive research Although the changing pizza, pasta, and salad offerings are always alluring, more often than not I find myself opting tor the focaccia sandwich, round flat bread filled with ham, cheese, leaf lettuce, and tomato slices. For dessert, there are any number of pastries to choose from, but nothing suits a cup of espresso better than the little amaretti, moist, almond-flavored cookies. These days, service for the cafeteria-style service line ranges from disorganized to efficient. which is an improvement over days past, when disjointed to chaotic were the ap-plicable adjectives. 5519 W Lovers Lane. 351-1426. Sun-Thur 9 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 9 am-11 pm. MC, V. Inexpensive.

BARBECUE



ANDERSON’S ★★ Decorated in the finest Western/schlock tradition, Anderson’s is what food in Texas used to be all about: plenty of choices of smoked meat, with a few token vegetables provided to ward off scurvy. The ’cue-especially the ribs-is as it should be, and the butter beans and baked potatoes are a credit to their genre 5410 Harry Hines Blvd. 630-0735. Mon-Fri 11 am- 7:45 pm. Sat 11 am-3 pm. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.



D REVISITS

SONNY BRYAN’S★★★★ Accompanied by the last two Sonny Bryan’s virgins in town, I headed for Sonny’s on a cool day-pointing out that the woodsmoke and patrons eating from the hoods of their vehicles are essential elements of the experience. Reviewing ethics compelled us to order different things, but the wisdom of sticking to the awe-inspiring sliced beef sandwich was reconfirmed by the scorched ribs, rubbery sliced ham, and ho-hum beans and French fries. However, that sandwich alone is sufficient to earn Sonny’s its stars. 2202 lnwood 357-7120. Mon-Fri 10 am- 5 pm. Sat 10 am-3 pm,Sun 11 am-2 pm. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.



BURGERS



SNUFFER’S ★ ★ ★Since the advent of the VCR. you no longer hear much about what used to be the classic Lower Greenville date: a movie at the Granada -followed by a burger at Snuffer’s. The Granada is history, but Snuffer’s doesn’t seem to be suffering: it’s nearly always packed with patrons who either go to SMU or look as if they ought to. The menu is small and well-prepared, with emphasis on salads, nachos, burgers, and the like The immense basket of fries is a trademark I wouldn’t have believed it was possible to finish an order of the plain fries, much less those with cheese, but I have witnessed this feat. 3526 Greenville. 826-6850. Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am. Sun 11:30 am-2 am. All credit cards, Inexpensive.



CAJUN



ARCADIA BAR ★★★★ First things first: the Arcadia Bar has nothing to do with the Arcadia Theater, which is across the street. The Arcadia Bar is a no-frills hangout. (The music is mostly recorded, though there is sometimes a pianist) The menu is small, mostly Cajun, and all deftly executed. From a perky green salad to perfect fried oysters to New Orleans-quality dirty rice, the food is first-rate. 2114 Greenville Ave. 821-1300. Daily 5 pm-2 am. MC. V. AE Inexpensive.



CAFE MARCAUX ★★★★★ The blackened-everything brigade-those trend-surfing restaurateurs who don’t know their elbows from their étouffé]es-have made many local diners deeply suspicious of all Cajun food served outside a fifty-mile radius of New Orleans Happily, Cafe Margaux is another matter altogether. A recent lunch here measured up to Louisiana’s finest: house-made rolls, green salad, crawfish étouffée, oysters Bienville, trout with crab-meat stuffing, and bread pudding were all flawless. Good news for regulars accustomed to waiting in line for the twelve tables: expansion has brought the number of tables to twenty, and a well-considered selection of American wine is now available. 4424 Lovers Lane. 739-0886. Sun-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 6-11. MC, V.AE. Moderate.

CHINESE



D REVISITS

BEST A RUND ★ ★ ★Here at D, our fun-loving staff members frequently find themselves hard at work-and hungry – at odd hours. Lately, we’ve been ordering in from Best A Round, which has the virtues of low prices, quick delivery, and food that may be short on finesse but is reliably tasty. Best A Round has a couple of counters – and a television that tends to be tuned to MTV – for customers who want to eat in, but most either pick up or have their fodder delivered. 3607-A Greenville. 827-3631 Mon-Thur 2:30-2:30, Fri 2:30 pm-4 am, Sat noon-4 am. Sun noon-2:30 am. No credit cards. Inexpensive.



CATHY’S WOK ★ ★ While what emerges from Cathy’s Wok won’t knock your socks off and is not worth the haul to the North land if you live in Dallas, it is a worthwhile alternative if you are a resident of Piano. From the informative menu (dishes are described in detail, complete with calorie count), we tried decent wonton soup, an egg roll that was heavy on the cabbage, peppery chicken (with plenty of green pepper in a savory brown sauce), and shredded pork with garlic sauce (with lots of julienned carrots in an overly sweet sauce). Even when the food here isn’t perfect, the ingredients are fresh (and mercifully MSG-free), and the prices are right ($3.95 for lunch, $4.95 for dinner). You can eat on the premises, which, with its trellis motif and white bent-wood chairs, resembles a yogurt shop more than a Chinese restaurant, or drive through and pick up your order 4010 W 15th, Piano 964-0406. Mon-Sat 11 am-9 30 pm Closed Sun No credit cards: personal checks accepted. Inexpensive



CHINA PALACE ★ ★ ★ Here is a restaurant to remember the next time they’re turning on the house lights at
Starck Club and it dawns upon members of your party that you haven’t eaten in days. Do not. under any circumstances, miss the fried dumplings, which are as good as fried dumplings get on this or any other continent. After the dumplings, however, things get a little dicier: on my last visit, the shredded pork with bean curd was worthwhile, the Hunan prawns were rendered unappealing by a sweet, characterless sauce, and the spring rolls were merely edible. The setting is pleasingly odd (the red and green color scheme lends a year-round Christmas atmosphere), and service is accommodating, as demonstrated by the proprietor’s willingness to change the radio station from an egregious purveyor of “beautiful music” to something more soulful. 400 N Greenville. Richardson 669-1636. Sun-Thur 11 am-3 am, Fri & Sat 11 am-5 am. MC V, DC. Moderate.



CRYSTAL PAGODA ★ ★ ★ ★ One of the oddest facts of dining in Dallas is that although there are more Chinese restaurants around than any other kind, we don’t have a single one that approaches the greatness of. say. New York’s Siu Lam Kung. Crystal Pagoda doesn’t match that standard, but it’s as good as Chinese food gets in Dallas- which is quite good. The shredded beef Szechwan-style and the moo shu pork are two especially good choices here. The service and setting are both extremely pleasant. 4516 McKmney. 526-3355. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri 11:30 am-11 pm, Sat noon-11 pm. Sun noon-10:30 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate.



DYNASTY ★★★★ This relatively formal Chinese restaurant, despite its unlikely location adjacent to a motel, is among the best in the area-admittedly, a backhanded compliment given Dallas’s dearth of truly great Chinese food. On a recent visit, decent shrimp rolls and spring rolls were followed by indecently good rainbow chicken (julienned chicken, snow peas, red pepper, and Mung bean sprouts) and the equally praiseworthy, if oddly named, silver gourd savoury (shrimp, green peppers, straw mushrooms, and water chestnuts). Orange beef was too fatty, as it lends to be in Chinese restaurants all over town Garden Inn, 4101 Belt Line, Add/son. 385-7888. Sun-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm. Fri & Sat 11:30 am-11:30 pm, All credit cards. Moderate.



FORBIDDEN CITY ★ ★ Late Saturday night in Addison, and after two false starts-one restaurant with an hour-long wait for a table at 10 p.m. and another with a wedding in progress-my unwilling companion (who is skeptical of any venture north of Mockingbird anyway) and were in the zone of dangerous hunger and getting testier by the moment. It was, therefore, with a sense of relief and thankfulness that we found Forbidden City open (until 3 am on weekends) and uncrowded. Egg rolls were nothing special, and an order of orange beef was unacceptably tough, but the uninformatively named chefs chicken was remarkably good- innocent-looking shredded chicken stir-fned in an incendiary sesame sauce and served on a bed of bean sprouts. 5290 Belt Line. 960-2999. Mon-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-3 am. Sun noon-10:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate.



HAN-CHU ★ ★ ★ Han-Chu is a great restaurant for an Illicit affair, the place is dark as a cave even at high noon. By Chinese-restaurant standards, it’s even sophisticated-looking: the color scheme is eggplant and . burgundy, the waiters are in black tie, and there are roses on the tables On my most recent visit, I found the shredded pork with ginger sauce to be memorable, thanks to a zippy flavor and an appealing texture im-parted by the presence of black mushrooms and bamboo shoots. The princess chicken, on the other hand, was an altogether forgettable aggregation of cubed chicken, celery, and water chestnuts .Caruth Plaza, 9100 N Centra! Expwy at Park Lane, Suite 191. 691-0900 Sun-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-11:30 pm. All credit cards Moderate.



JASMINE ★★★ Jasmine’s setting sets it apart from standard-issue Chinese restaurants. It’s plush to the point of featuring a white baby grand piano For reasons unknown, the menu featured some fractured French, but its offerings don’t suffer as a result. Shrimp rolls arrived encased in black seaweed wrappers- not bad, mind you, but still, the stuff did take some getting used to Happily, however, there were no untoward surprises involved in the top-notch treatments of moo shu pork and beef Mimosa (sautéed in an orange-flavored red pepper sauce). 4002 Belt Line. 991-6367. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5-10, Fri 5-11:30. Sat 11:30-11:30, Sun 11:30-10. All credit cards. Moderate



SZECHWAN PAVILION ★ ★ ★ With its sophisticated peach and gray color scheme. Szechwan Pavilion is an aesthetic knockout. At its best the food very nearly lives up to the setting. The spring rolls-cnsp wonton wrappers punctuated by shrimp, sprouts, and carrot shreds-are musts to order, After that, kung pao shrimp with red pepper and peanuts might be in order. Two dishes to avoid: dry. nearly tasteless hot spicy lobster sautéed with ginger in chili sauce, and chicken chow mein with canned, as opposed to fresh, mushrooms. Prices are a bit higher here than at most local Chinese restaurants, but one can see. in such touches as the exotic lilies on the tables, where the surcharge is going. 8411 Preston at Northwest Highway. 368-4303 Mon-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri 11-11, Sat noon-11 pm, Sun noon-10:30 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate to expensive.



TONG’S HOUSE ★ ★ ★ We all have our quirky quests in life, and that of my best friend is to find dan-dan noodles that are worth a damn in Dallas Provoked by reports that Tong’s House serves first-rate dan-dan, we scoured Promenade Center for Tong’s easily missed entrance The news on the dan-dan front was disappointing: white this version of thin noodles with sesame-peanut sauce was better than most, it still didn’t live up to Chinatown’s finest. Still, an exceptionally tender, flavorful version of orange beef Szechwan style was worth the search Tongs definitely belongs on the must-try list for ethnic-food fiends who delight in discovering restaurants that are authentic enough to frighten their more timid friends, While Tong’s doesn’t look quite seedy enough for their purposes, it does have a certain down-at-the-heels charm, and the presence on the menu of such appetizers as pig’s stomach with bean soup, cold cattle stomach, jellyfish, and beef tendons in hot sauce should make this a required North Dallas stop on the adventurous-eating trail 1910 Promenade Center. Richardson 231-8858 Mon-Sat 11 am-9:30 pm, Sun 11 am-9 pm. All credit cards. Moderate



Uncle TAL’S HUNAN YUAN ★ ★ ★ ★uncle Tai’s is thehighest of high-end Chinese options in town For prices consistently higher than any other Chinese restaurant in town, the customer gets such off-the-beaten-path dishes as sautéed sliced pheasant, frog’s legs with gingko nuts, and sliced duck with young ginger roots. The quality of ingredients is very high, although the level of saltiness continues to be problematic. Galleria, 13350 Dallas Pkwy, Suite 3370. 934-9998. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm. Fri & Sat 11 am-10:30 pm, Sun noon-10 pm. Jackets required for dinner. All credit cards. Expensive.



DELI



BAGELSTEIN’S ★★ Just as some albums are one-tune wonders, so are some eating establishments one-item wonders. It is. of course, possible that some customers come to Bagelstein’s for something other than the bagels and accompaniments, but then I suppose it’s also possible that some people listen to cuts on Art Gar-funkel’s Watermark other than ’(What a) Wonderful World.” In any case, although Bagelstein’s has a lengthy menu of breakfast and deli options, the chewy, fresh bagels are the point of the place, and they are as good as you can get west of Chicago. The only decision, therefore, is what kind of bagel-plain, egg, pumpernickel, garlic, onion, salt, raisin, poppy seed, or sesame seed-and which variety of cream cheese-plain, vegetable, strawberry, chive, herb and spice, iox, or cinnamon raisin. Northwood Hills Shopping Center, 8104 Spring Valley. 234-3787. Mon 6 am-3 pm, Tue-Sun 6 am-9 pm All credit cards. Inexpensive.



KUBY’S ★★ After recovering from the shock of seeing the elegant spareness of Ceret (the restaurant that previously occupied the space) turned into a Bavarian bad dream, I rallied to enjoy Wiener schnitzel and potato salad at Kuby’s new location downtown in the Brewery. There are innumerable sandwich and sausage options, but whatever else you order, potato pancakes and apple strudel are in order as accompaniments. To judge from the lunchtime crowds, the new Kuby’s promises to join the old one (which has been around since 1961) as a local institution. 703 McKinney in the Brewery. 954-0004. Mon-Sat 11-11. Closed Sun. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.



FRENCH/CONTINENTAL



GAFE ROYAL. ★★★★ Romance may be invaluable, but a romantic dinner shouldn’t cost more than a used car Cafe Royal’s $34.50 fixed-price dinner, which changes daily, is reasonably priced and, thanks to the lovely setting and skillful service, unreasonably romantic. The run-down on one night’s uniformly well-prepared options: an appetizer of a salad with quail breast or an artichoke bottom with lobster ragout and caviar butter sauce; a green salad or red-wine sorbet; an entree of sliced loin of lamb with wild mushrooms and a shallot and sage sauce or fillet of John Dory with angel-hair pasta and lemon thyme sauce; and a choice of dessert. Plaza of the Americas. 650N Pearl. 747-7222. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2, dinner Mon-Thur 6:30-10:30. Fri & Sat 6:30-11. Closed Sun. Jackets and ties required. All credit cards. Expensive.



D REVISITS

CAFE ST. TROPEZ ★ ★ The best thing about a recent visit to this new French restaurant on Lower Greenville (where Le Marmiton used to be) was stopping at nearby Shakespeare Books before dinner. This is not to say the food was bad: with the exception of broiled salmon far past its prime, it wasn’t. Still, the rest of dinner-paté du maison, salad St. Tropez, and trout amandine-averaged out to be only unexceptionally acceptable.1920 Greenville. 821-6250. Tue-Thur 6 pm-11 pm, Fri & Sat 6 pm-1 am; Sun brunch noon-3 pm. Closed Mori. All credit cards. Moderate.



BCHEZ GERARD ★ ★ ★ Now that Calluaud has laid down its life to become a parking lot for the Hard Rock Cafe, it’s a sate bet that former Calluaud regulars will be joining the already healthy crowds at Chez Gerard {which is also a Guy and Martine Calluaud operation) The highlights of my most recent dinner checkup visit were topflight treatments of sautéed lamb chop with parsley and garlic and floating island (poached meringue floating atop vanilla custard). Shrimp rémoulade, cassoulet (a stew of white beans and sausage that Francophiles adore and the less reverent refer to as the Gallic version of beans and weenies), and crème caramel were less distinguished, but still well within Chez Gerard’s range of dependable quality The simple, casual decor, while nothing extraordinary, comes closer to achieving the atmosphere of a bistro than any other French restaurant in Dallas. 4444 McKinney. 522-6865. Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30-2:30: dinner Mon-Sat 6-11 Closed Sun. Ail credit cards. Moderate to expensive.



THE FRENCH ROOM ★★★★ With its cherubs, vaulted ceiling, and trompe I’oeil garden, the rosy-hued French Room is far and away the most baroque-looking restaurant in Dallas. In the five years since its opening, it has had its culinary ups and downs, happily, however, a re-cent visit suggested that it is in an up cycle. From salads (green bean and green salad with goat cheese croutons} to entrees (salmon and rack of lamb) to dessert (apple tart), the food was all that one could ask lor. What’s more, the sommelier is both congenial and well-informed; he is as happy to advise customers on a single glass of wine as a rare bottle. Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce. 742-8200. Mon-Sat 6-10. Jackets and ties required. All credit cards. Expensive.



THE GRAPE ★★★★★ The Grape’s setting-dark as a candle-lit dungeon, with red-checked tablecloths and touches of vinous kitsch – makes it an ideal hangout for Lower Greenville’s resident Bohemian yuppies. The Grape paraphernalia displayed near the door- including T-shirts and a cookbook – suggests that what we have here is not so much a restaurant as a way of life. Although the Grape still serves the cheese and pate offerings that were its specialty when it opened in 1972. pasta and fish specials are the ticket these days. The no-reservation policy drives Type A’s mad, but is a backhanded blessing for those lackadaisical individuals who don’t know on Wednesday where they will want to eat on Saturday You may have to wart, but at least you’ve got the same shot at a table as everyone else. 2808 Greenville at Goodwin. 823-0133. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 6-11, Fri & Sat 6 pm-midnight. All credit cards. Moderate.



L’AMBIANCE ★★★ Although the renovated gas station setting is unimpressive, the food was fine on a recent dinner visit. A suave potato-leek soup and watercress salad with bacon, mushrooms, and goat cheese made for excellent appetizers. Fish has never been a good main-course bet here, so we opted for lamb chops and duck with the fruit sauce of the day Both were memorably well-prepared the red bell-pepper garnished lamb chops crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside, with a subtly garlic- and basil-spiked natural-juice sauce; the duck with crispy skin and moist meat, lifted to the realm of transcendence by the vibrant taste of the raspberry sauce. Even the vegetables-scalloped potatoes, carrot coins, spinach, and green beans – were out of the ordinary. For dessert, floating island with pecan praline and chocolate souffle cake enlivened by coconut and macadamia nuts served with vanilla sauce were both enchanting variations on what can be boring themes. 2408 Cedar Springs. 748-1291. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2. dinner Mon-Sat 6-10. Closed Sun. Jackets required for dinner. All credit cards. Expensive.



L’ANCESTRAL ★ ★ ★ L’Ancestral has moved from its funky former Lower Greenville location to the considerably slicker Travis Walk, but the food and the feeling are essentially unchanged, and the Vuilleret family is still very much in evidence. Now as before, fish is not the wisest choice here; much better to go with the steak au poivre or the lamb chops with herb butter and peerless pommes frites. L’Ancestral’s trademark clafouti dessert-a dense, tender custard with black cher-nes-isas good as ever. 4514 Travis. 528-1081 Mon-Thur 11 am-10pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Moderate to expensive.

LA TOURAINE ★★★ This handsome, casual bistro changed hands some time back. As a rule, such changes bode ill. but this is obviously not the case at La Touraine in its current incarnation. A recent lunch visit resulted in a richly sauced crab meat crêpe and a perky pasta salad – two dishes subject to abuse in the wrong hands, and done very nicely here. One thing that could change: the service, which cannot be described as attentive. 1701 N Market. 749-0080. Lunch Tue-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri-Sun 6-11 All credit cards. Moderate.



L’ENTRECOTE ★★★★ After a long sliding spell, LEntre-cote has. as the French say, pulled up its socks. Thanks to the efforts of chef Michel Plat?, the Loews Anatole’s French restaurant is once again one of the best in the city Watercress and endive salad with pink grapefruit was an exceptionally refreshing appetizer. Gratin of crawfish tails with ginger was light and satisfying, and loin of lamb with rosemary and shallot coulis was a must for lamb fans. Finally, dessert- banana beignets with coconut mousse-was a kilier. Loews Anatole Hotel. 2201 Stemmons Frwy. 748-1200 Daily 6-10:30 pm. All credit cards Expensive to very expensive.



THE RIVIERA ★★★★★ I have attended Grateful Dead concerts that were quieter than the Riviera on a Saturday night, but minor hearing loss is a small price to pay for first-rate food in a charming setting. Spicy clams and lobster ravioli – two appetizers that were daily specials (listed, commendably. on a printed menu)-were relatively disappointing on my last visit, but it was all uphill from there A green salad was nicely set off by sherry vinaigrette, and came with a delectable goat cheese crouton. Sun-dried tomato and smoked bell pepper soup was satisfying, if heavy on the bacon. Norwegian salmon and sea scallops steamed with white wine and served with a light rosemary sauce was one of the best treatments of salmon I’ve ever tasted. And duck breast with intensely flavored lavender and honey sauce was worthwhile, too. For dessert the creditable, very buttery-tasting Grand Marnier crème brulée was outshone by the ethereally light apple tart with almond cream and caramel sauce This is one for the Dessert Hall of Fame. 7709 lnwood 351-0094. Mon-Thur 6:30 pm-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 6:30 pm-11 pm. Sun 5:30 pm- 10 pm. All credit cards Expensive to very expensive.



ST. MARTIN’S ★★ This is a great place to bring your squeeze or your squeeze-to-be, as long as neither of you demands consistently first-rate food. With its pretty blue walls and flickering candlelight, St. Marlins is a pleasant place to drink wine and think romantic thoughts. It does, however, seem odd that an establishment that bills itself as a wine bar offers unidentified varieties of wine by the glass. (Pinot Noir, for instance is listed as just that, with no clue as to the producer) As for the food, it was a mixed bag on my last visit: flabby bread, salads that resembled taco filling, passable roast duck with peach sauce, praiseworthy swordfish with capers and mushrooms, sensually dense chocolate satin pie, and unpleasantly eggy crème caramel.3020 Greenville 826-0940. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 5-11, Fri & Sat 5-12:30, Sun brunch 11-3. All credit cards. Moderate to expensive.



GERMAN/EASTERN EUROPE



BELVEDERE ★★ Perfectly tender Wiener schnitzel is what keeps me coming back to Belvedere, a Swiss/Austrian restaurant that adjoins the CrestPark Hotel, a residential hotel. Unfortunately, this time around the rehsteak Hubertus, a Montana venison preparation that I had fond memories of from past dinners, was dry and uninteresting I had to console myself with an extra order of spaetzle(fat, freshly made dumplings) Salads, appetizers, and desserts, while not egregious, have never been advisable here unless you’re extremely hungry. The setting, with its warm brick and cream color scheme, is pleasant and unimposing, as is the service. CrestPark Hotel. 4242 Lomo Alto. 528-6510. Lunch Tue-Sat 11:30-2; dinner Tue-Sat 6-10:30, Sun 6-9; Sun brunch 11-2:30. Closed Mon. All credit cards. Expensive.



BOHEMIA ★ ★★ ★ Have you heard the one about Czech food? A week later and you’re hungry again. At Bohemia, the attraction is sturdy Eastern European food-like Wiener schnitzel, pork roast, and bread dumplings-served in delicately charming surroundings (lace curtains, tulip lamps, Viennese waltzes). Two bonuses: the by-the-glass wines are well chosen, and service is efficient and unobtrusive. With one notable exception (being under a quilt with your sweetie), there is no better place than Bohemia to be on a nippy day. 2810 N Henderson- 826-6209. Sun & Tue-Thur 5:30-9:30 pm, Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30 pm Closed Mon. All credit cards. Moderate.



CAFE KASHTAN ★ ★ ★ My first trip to Café Kashtan was tor lunch, and it was one for the record books: cheap, quick, and terrific Ukrainian food. A recent dinner visit was relatively disappointing, but that was mostly because my party was collectively starving and service was excruciatingly slow. However, it also didn’t help that kulebiaka, that utterly satisfying melange of chicken. rice, and mushrooms baked in a pastry shell-wasn’t on the dinner menu. Still, the salanka, an intensely flavored broth with bits of beef sausage, and vegetables accompanied by pirozki, a meat-filled roll, the chicken Kiev, the veal Soblianka with mushroom sauce, and the almond cake with raspberry sauce were appeasingly excellent. 5365Spring Valley Rd at Mont-fort. 991-9550. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2. dinner Tue-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 5-11 Closed Sun. All credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate.



ROLF’S ★ ★ This time we decided to explore a few of the byways of the menu of this fine establishment, but we were not always rewarded for our daring The herring salad was both too sweet and too sour, and neither the crab meat in our appetizer nor that served with our veal entree tasted fresh. The schnitzel Holstein (a veal cutlet with a fried egg on top and accompanied with anchovies and capers) was crisp and greaseless but undersalted. Both chocolate desserts-the Sachertorte and the mousse cake – were pleasant but lacked that richness that attracts the loyalty of diehard chocolate fans. We’ll continue to go back to Rolfs with plenty of anticipation-but for the dishes like the Sauerbraten and the apple cake that have never disappointed us. Caruth Plaza, 9100 N Central Expwy. Suite 117. 696-1933. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30: dinner Sun-Thur 5 :30-10:30. Fri 5:30-11 Sat 5.30-11. All credit cards. Expensive.

GOURMET CARRYOUT

MARTY’S ★★★What I like about Marty’s: the handsome setting, the well-chosen wine selection, and the con- | sistently rewarding food A named Saturday afternoon was much improved by rabbit and hazelnut paté, pasta salad with pesto, smoked mussels, hearts of palm salad, poached salmon with green mayonnaise, peach tart, and ginger cookies Marty’s takeout menu changes each Wednesday, and is designed to make at-home gastronomic glory possible even for the culinary illiterate: the suggested menu includes serving instructions and suggested wines. A recent develop- ment is the luncheon case, with pre-packaged sandwiches and salads ready to go for lunch. What I don’t like about Marty’s: the hours. Here in Dallas, land of the workaholic, it’s frequently hard to get out of the office by Marty’s 6:30 closing time. 3316 Oak Lawn, 526-4070. Mon-Sat 10 am-6:30 pm Closed Sun. All credit cards. Marty’s charge Expensive.



MIRABELLE ★ ★ ★ For those of us who never confuse the joy of eating with the joy of cooking, haute takeout establishments like Mirabelle are a blessing They allow us to stay home and eat well without resorting to whisk and wooden spoon. Thanks to Mirabelle, I have spent some great evenings enjoying domesticity and “St. Elsewhere,” most recently with mushroom and spinach soup (too few mushrooms, entirely loo much spinach), spinach and feta cheese pie (no complaints), and raspberry-peach cobbler (fit for the gods). So it goes at Mirabelle: appetizers and main courses are of uneven quality and frequently suffer from having lingered too long in the refrigeration case, but desserts-especially the inventive variety of cookies- are a can’t-lose proposition. Like much that one finds in Highland Park, Mirabelle is pretty and overpriced. Highland Park Village, Preston at Mockingbird. Suite 73-74. 528-7589 Tue-Sat 10:30 am-7 pm. Mon 10:30 am-6 pm. MC. V AE, personal checks accepted Expensive.



TOMASSO’S ★★★ Tomasso’s makes it possible for the overtaxed gastronome to enjoy the illusion of cooking at home while in fact eating what is fast food, albeit fast food that doesn’t taste unduly frenetic The micro-wavable rotolo, a pasta roll filled with ricotta, moz-zarella, and spinach, is an especially good choice for evenings when even boiling water is beyond one’s capabilities. The only problem with the rest of Tomasso’s offerings is the overabundance of choice. Do you want egg, spinach, tomato, whole wheat, or parsley and garlic pasta? Do you want it cut as angel hair, tagliolini, spaghetti, linguiette, tagliatelle, or fettuc-cine? And then there is the sauce question-do you want tomato and fresh basil, amatriciaina, meat, cream and mushroom, walnut, or pesto? You can hardly go wrong, unless you opt for the dull lasagna. 3034 Mockingbird at Central. 987-4415; 5365 Spr



INDIAN



AKBAR ★★★★ Old India hands will want to thoroughly explore the byways of the newest Indian restaurant in town. That’s plural-there are two of them, the regular menu and the snack bar menu. Although the regular menu is praiseworthy, it is Akbar’s snack bar that conclusively sets it apart from its peers Snack-bar highlights include aloo tikki. grilled potato cutlets with curried chickpeas; samosa. tender little turnovers stuffed with herbed potatoes and peas; and malai kofta, curry, cheese, and vegetable dumplings in a cream and almond sauce, served with rice. 2115 Promenade Center at Coit & Belt Line roads. 235-0260. Lunch Mon-Fr\ 11 am-2 pm; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30. MC, V. AE. Inexpensive.



INDIA PALACE ★ ★ ★ I’ve given up on keeping track of the shifting, intricate lineage of who owns which local Indian restaurants, but it doesn’t matter, because they’re all quite good at the moment India Palace is no exception to this general rule of excellence. Whether you order a la carte or opt for the weekend buffet brunch, you’ll be happy with the food here. India Palace’s exceptionally thoughtful service is a bonus. 13360 Preston 392-0190. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2, Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30. dinner Sun-Thur 5:30pm- 10 pm, Fri & Sat 5:30 pm-10:30 pm. All credit cards Moderate.



KEBAB ’N’ KURRY ★ ★ ★ Let’s see if we can straighten this out: there used to be one Kebab ’n’ Kurry on Central Expressway in Richardson Then there was a sibling spinoff on Walnut Hill Now there are still two Kebab ’n’ Kurries, but they are no longer related In any case, a visit to the Walnut Hill K ’n’ K to check out the $7.95 | weekend brunch was rewarding. Although a few items (mushy strawberry and banana fruit salad, fishy fish curry} didn’t send me. plenty of choices did, including succulent tandoori chicken, fragrant kashmiri pillau (rice with peas, currants, almonds, and cashews); savory palak panir (spinach cooked with homemade cheese), flavorful lamb kofta (meatballs in a mild curry sauce); and tender naan (flat bread). Dessert was a ! lesson in the outer limits of sweetness-if there is anything on the planet sweeter than gulab jamun (pastry balls in cardamom-flavored syrup), I hope never to taste it. The dark side: service tends to be out of it. and the setting verges on the depressing, thanks to the oppressive shade of gray the walls are painted. 2620 Walnut Hill Ln. 350-6466 Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10. Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30; brunch ’ Sal & Sun 11:30-2:30. MC. V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.



KEBAB ’N’ KURRY ★ ★ ★ We suspect that part of Kebab TV Kurry’s secret lies in the comparatively limited menu. There are really only a few delights of North Indian cuisine offered, but they are done superlatively well, from the chicken korma (rich, creamy, and mild) to the shrimp in a tomatoey curry sauce Paradoxically, you can find the rarest treasures here at the weekend lunch buffets. They offer such unusual delicacies as curried fresh black-eyed peas and lamb ribs (bony but magnificently sauced), for the ridiculously low price of $6.95 for all you can eat, including a dessert like the barely sweet rice pudding. 401 N Central Expwy, Suite 300, Richardson, 231-5556. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30, brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30. All credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate



TANJORE ★★ Tanjore is an unprepossessing-looking place and the weekday fare-including a lunch buffet – ranges from above-average to run-of-the-mill. It is on weekends when Tanjore becomes interesting to Indian food connoisseurs That is when South Indian vegetarian fare is served: savory little fried doughnuts, rice cakes (called idli). curried lentils, and fresh coconut chutney The extremely satisfying masala dosa-a crisped crêpe wrapped around a filling of curried potatoes-is worth a trip in itself .Prestonwood Creek Shopping Center. 5409 Beit Line Rd. 960-0070 Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner daily 6-10; brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-2:45. All credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate.



ITALIAN



ADRIANO’S ★★ Adriano’s, which seemed to be on the cutting edge of New Wave Italian dining when it opened, is looking a bit timeworn these days. The trademark pizzas, however, have maintained their appeal-particularly the pancetta version with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms. Pasta is available, too, and it’s not bad, but you can do better elsewhere, as demonstrated by the fettuccine casa with ham, mushrooms, cheese, and a too-gluey cream sauce and slightly charred, heavy-on-the-oregano lasagna of my last visit. The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. Suite 170. 871-2262 Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10. Fri & Sat 5:30 pm-midnight. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.



ALESSIO’S ★★★★ Not all top-notch restaurants have the proprietor on the premises more often than not, but nearly all of them do. Alessio’s is a case in point If you’re not happy with your meal at Alessio’s. it will only be because you have failed to apprise the ever-watchful Alessio Franceschetti of any problems. Happily, on a recent visit, there were no problems to report (other than the aesthetic one of the inelegant decor}. Crab cannelloni, an appetizer of the day. was estimable enough to warrant on-the-menu status Shrimp proven-cale. with mushrooms and tomatoes, was quite good, if not as seductive. The subtly dressed romaine lettuce salad that accompanied entrees was simple perfection Linguine with shrimp and scallops in a delicately spicy tomato sauce was agreeable, though not as meritorious as the perfectly breaded veal parmigiana accompanied by buttered, parslied mostaccioli For dessert, amaretto macaroon ice cream was extremely sweet but still easy to finish oft. 4117 Lomo Alto. 521-3585. Tue-Sat 6-10:30 pm. Sun & Mon 6-10 pm. MC. V.AE. Moderate to expensive.



CAFE ITALIA ★★ According to John Mariani in Eating Out- Fearless Dining in Ethnic Restaurants, it was Neil Simon who said there are two laws in the universe- the Law of Gravity and Everybody Likes Italian Food. The second law certainly seems to apply at Cafe Italia, where they’ve never heard of nuovo cucina, and the plainly happy patrons like it fine that way Cafe Italia is informal, and prices are low, which makes one inclined to overlook such minor glitches as flabby garlic bread and flat San Pellegrino water. I tried entrees of an on-the-money combination of cannelloni and manicotti and a very meaty yet unheavy lasagna Barely sweet flan with a drift of lightly whipped cream and kilter-strength espresso made for a nice finish. 5000 Maple 521-0700. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Mon-Thur 5.30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-11 Closed Sun. MC V.AE. Inexpensive to moderate.



ClAO ★ ★ New Wave pizza may be the featured attraction at Ciao, and they are well and good, but the smart money is on the calzone, a sort of pizza turnover filled with fresh riccotta, Italian sausage, and herbs One of these and a perfectly simple green salad, and you won’t be in the market for dessert. 3921-B Cedar Springs. 521-0110. Mon-Sat 11 30 am-midnight. Sun 3 pm-midmght. MC. V. AE. Inexpensive



FERRARI’S★★ ★ If you can overtook the drab decor and cornball gondolier-style waiters’ uniforms, Ferrari’s is a serviceable West End option for good, if not great, Italian food. On my last visit, the linguine carbonara and , lemon veal were more than satisfactory. For dessert, oranges marinated in Grand Marnier and caramel sauce were a much better choice than cream puffs. 1713 N Market. 741 -5538. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30. Fri & Sat 5-11. MC. V. AE. Moderate to expensive.



MOMO’S ★★★ Momo’s is small, plain, and disorganized none of which matters to devotees of its pastas and pizzas At lunch, mostly pizzas-including a wonderfully forceful-tasting one of tomato, mozzarella, and gorgonzola- are available At dinner, the menu is more extensive (Pasta, such as tortelli di spinaci. is a much better idea than veal, which can be dauntingly chewy.) You can have any wine you wan! at Momo’s as long as you bring it yourself. 9191 Forest Lane. 234-6800. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 am-1:30 pm. dinner Mon-Thur 6-9:30 pm. Fri & Sat 6-11 pm, Sun 5:30-9 pm MC. V. Moderate



NERO’S ITALIAN ★ ★ ★ The food is good enough here, but it isn’t great, and it certainly doesn’t come cheap. What, then, accounts for the two-hour waits on weekends? suspect it’s that ol’ debbil ambience. Nero’s is made to order for dates or get-reacquainted-with-your-spouse sessions, at least if your date or spouse is a stylish.

ironic character. (Diana Vreeland and Catholic-school veterans should feel particularly at home here because of the red walls and the Michael the Archangel lamps.) There is an extensive menu of pasta, veal, and seafood, but the two things to concentrate on are the Italian wine-the selection is great, and the staff well-informed -and the pizza, which comes in both traditional and New Wave varieties. 2104 Greenville. 826-6376 Mon-Thur 6-11 pm. Fri & Sat 6 pm-midnighi Closed Sun. MC. V. AE. Moderate



PIZZERIA UNO ★★★ The service here could most charitably be described as dingy even during off hours. And when the place is packed – which is any time near lunch or dinner-Job-like patience is required of customers. However, to judge from the mobs willing to traverse the far end of Belt Line and suffer the service, serious pizza-seekers care about what’s on the plate, not how long it takes to get there. They may have a point these are terrific buttery-crusted Chicago-style pan pizzas The menu warns’ “Be careful when you order Each Uno pizza has about twice the food content as the pizzas you are probably accustomed to.” The menu is right, and the reason is the vertical quantity of ingredients, not the diameter. A regular pizza, which the menu recommends tor two, looks smallish when it arrives, but only two would-be wart hogs could finish it in one silting. 4002 Bell Line, Addison. 991-8181. Mon-Thur 11-11, Fri 11-12:30. Sat noon-12:30. Sun noon-10,30. MC, V, AE. Moderate.



D REVISTS

PUCCI ★ This attractive restaurant seemed so promising that I delayed reviewing it after a couple of disastrous early visits However, months have passed, and the food is still extremely uneven at best. On different occasions, linguine with Bolognese sauce has been scorched, lobster and crab pizza with cream sauce has been a veritable swampland of sogginess, and seafood Iinguine has been distressingly funky-tasting. 4514 Travis, Suite 133. 521-7450 Mon-Thur 11-11. Fri & Sat 11 am-midnight Closed Sun. MC, V, AE Moderate



311 LOMBARDI’S ★★★★★ What is the Italian translation of “good karma7 Our waiter didn’t know, but 311 Lom-bardi’s has achieved it. Here, surrounded by the glow created by creamy apricot walls, happy hordes of downtown workers get what may well be the best Italian food in town a! reasonable prices No pasta was visible in the pasta and bean soup, but it was a hearty, herb-enlivened delight anyway A pizza with leeks, pancetta goal cheese, and mushrooms could have held its own against New York’s best. The next stop on the menu was good enough to be required eating for potato-philes: potato gnocchi with two sauces {tomato and irresistible gorgonzola). A tender, thin veal cutlet topped with arugula and diced tomatoes was simply immense. Dessert of raspberry ice cream and respectable espresso rounded off a repast that was pure pleasure from start to finish. 311 Market 747-0322. Mon-Fri 11 am-midnighl. Sat 5 pm-1 am. Sun 11 am-10 . pm: Sun brunch 11 am-3 pm. All credit cards. Moderate



JAPANESE/KOREAN

KOREA HOUSE ★ ★ As always, we were welcomed hospitably by (he Korean ladies who run this place. This time we skipped the appetizers and went right to a selection of main dishes and were rewarded by a satisfying meal. We always enjoy kalbi gui, Korean barbecued ribs that are more like the Mexican version, agujas, than their American counterpart Tiny shrimp stir-fried with a myriad of vegetables and little chunks of fried chicken coated with a spicy sauce were complemented by the delightful Korean cold vegetables, vinegary cucumbers, bean sprouts touched with sesame, and. of course, kimchee, the Korean five-alarm spiced cabbage Promenade Center. Coit at Belt Line, Suite 610. Richardson 231-1379. Daily 11 am-10:30pm MC. V. AE. Moderate



MR. SUSHI ★★★ Now that it has expanded in size. Mr. Sushi is more than ever Dallas’s most enjoyable Japanese restaurant if you’ve picked up the taste for raw fish, the sushi bar enables you to pick and choose among the juiciest morsels. Yellowfin tuna is a consistent winner, and this time we found an interesting concoction of scallops in a mayonnaise-like dressing wrapped up in seaweed. If you prefer to sit at a table, the service is extremely polite. You can choose among appetizers such as kara age chicken (plump chunks deep-fried- McNuggets were never like this) or tofu steak (fried bean curd sitting atop a gingery sauce) The Quorum, 4860 Belt Line. Addison 385-0168. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2, dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. Sun 530-10 All credit cards Moderate.



SHOGUN ★★★Shogun serves commendable versions of the standards of Japanese cuisine- lightly battered tempura, juicy teriyaki chicken, and fresh-tasting sushi (commonly referred to as “bait” by non-aficionados) – in a pleasingly serene atmosphere. The only element of the plentiful, reasonably priced lunch that took me aback was the unidentified soup For all I know, it was superb by the standards of the East, but it resembled primordial ooze from my Occidental viewpoint. This small restaurant is exceptionally pleasant, thanks to the quietly efficient service 5738 Cedar Springs. 351-2281. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-1:45. dinner Mon-Thur 6.10.30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11, Sun 5:30-10.30. MC. V, AE. Moderate.



SUSHI OH McKINnEy ★★★ The sushi is a better bet than the cooked things at this self-styled “friendly postmodern sushi bar.” The atmosphere is lively to the point of freneticism. which is either a refreshing or a disturbing change from the traditionally quiet, subdued atmosphere of local Japanese restaurants 4500 McKinney. 521-0969 Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30-2, dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. All credit cards. Moderate.



LUNCH



ClTY MARKET ★ ★ ★ ★ City Market has acquired a loyal following of downtown habitues hungry for fresh, imaginative soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. However, in the past the pleasures of this light, airy, upscale cafeteria were unpredictable. If, for instance, you loved the marigold mint chicken salad, it might be weeks before you and it were on the premises on the same day. Now. with the advent of menus printed every week. City Market regulars can predict with assurance when it will be possibie to eat pasta salad with Indonesian peanut sauce or marinated beef salad with multi-colored bell peppers. Whatever else you get, the light, souffle-like apricot-raisin bread pudding should not be missed. Alas, the coffee that is available is weak stuff Given that this is the only complaint that can be made about the place, City Market is worth a trip even if you don’t work downtown (park in LTV Center parking and bring your ticket with you for validation). 200 LTV Center, 2001 Ross at Harwood 979-2696. Mon-Fri 7:30 am-4:30 pm. MC, V. Inexpensive.



PACIFIC EXPRESS ★ ★ ★ ★ Pacific Express, a chic eighty-eight-seat cafeteria, makes the hasty downtown lunch into an art form. I happen to be obsessed with the tuna salad with toasted almonds, grapes, and blue cheese in tarragon mayonnaise, but the smoked chicken salad with toasted walnuts and shallot vermouth mayonnaise has its devotees, too Other choices include pasta salad, wild rice salad, and several sandwiches. Patrons of Parigi will recognize the peach cobbler offered for dessert (The mother-daughter restaurant team of Marilyn Romweber and Andree Falls is responsible for both establishments.) I don’t like it any better here than at Parigi, but I appear to be alone in the Metroplex in this sentiment The blueberry custard pie available on my last visit would have been pleasing had it been about half as sweet. Pacific Place BIdg, 1910 Elm, Suite 103. 969- 7447 Mon-Fri 11 am-2 pm Closed Sat & Sun. No credit cards; checks accepted. Inexpensive



THEO’S DlNER ★★★Although the lyrics don’t specify Theo’s by name. I suspect that Theo’s grilled ham and cheese sandwich is what Janet Jackson has in mind when she makes musical reference to nasty food in “Nasty Boys.” With its garlic-buttered Texas toast, this is the ultimate grilled-cheese thrill. As for the fries, some people think they’re the best in Dallas. Others disagree: they think they’re the best on the planet. Then there is the ambience, which could hardly be more intimate-there are just nine seats around the counter. One more attraction: the proprietor’s plot summaries of “All My Children.” 111 S Halt St. 741-9130. Mon-Fri 7 am-4 pm, Sat 8 am-3 am. No credit cards. Inexpensive.



MEXICAN



ANTONIO’S ★ ★ ★ Although one has to order with care to assure hitting the highlights, Antonio’s is worth a trip for anyone serious about Mexican food. Recommended nachos, which are made with first-class ingredients (black beans, white cheese, fresh-tasting guacamole, jalapenos, and real, runny sour cream), rich-lasting black bean soup, shrimp with a subtly nutty pumpkin-seed sauce, coconut flan, and merengue (whipped cream or chocolate ice cream sandwiched between two layers of egg-white pastry) 14849 Inwood (south of Beit Line). Addison 490-9557 Lunch Mon-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm. dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30 pm. Fri & Sat 5:30-11:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate.



BLUE GOOSE ★ ★ When Big Hungry Boys want to eat Tex-Mex, the Blue Goose is where they head. The sheer quantity of food that appears at the table is enough to make those of normal appetite gasp with disbelief. Quantity, however, is not the end of the story here. The quality is surprisingly high, in light of the low prices The chicken fajitas are the best in town, and the beef fajitas are more than respectable. The flour tortillas that accompany both are admirably thin and fresh The standard Tex-Mex is standard, with the exception of great rice and poor guacamole. 2905 Greenville 823-8339. Mon-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm & 5:30-11 pm, Sat & Sun 11 -11. All credit cards. Inexpensive.



CAFE CANCUN ★ ★ ★ Cafe Cancun was a Mexican food trailblazer in Dallas, one of the first to offer black beans and white cheese as an alternative to pintos and day-glow Cheddar. In recent years, however, quality control was a problem, and many Cafe Cancun fans lost faith. Brethren, it is time to rejoin the fold: on a recent visit, everything-from the warm, fresh tostadas to the enchiladas verdes with chicken to the luscious coconut ice cream-was very good. 4131 Lome- Alto, 559-4011; Caruth Plaza. Park Lane at Central Expwy, 369-3712. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. Sun noon-10 pm at Lome Alto location; Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm. Fri & Sat 11-11, Sun noon-10 pm at Caruth Plaza location All credit cards. Moderate.



CANTINA LAREDO ★★★★★ A belief shared by many Mexican food enthusiasts hereabouts is that great Mex can only be found in grungy, time-worn establishments located in the vicinity of Maple Avenue However, holding to this belief would mean missing out on Can-tina Laredo, which is situated in a clean, new building in-yes-Addison Standard Tex-Mex combinations are available here, and they’re quite good, but the comida casera-home-style food-is where the smart money is. Standouts include the tacos al pastor filled with marinated pork, cabrito (baby goat to you, gringo), mesquite-grilled shrimp with garlic butter, and red snapper with lime butter. 4546 Belt Line. Add/son. 458-0962. Sun-Thur 11-11, Fri & Sat 11 am-midnight. All credit cards Moderate



D REVISITS

CASA ROSA★★ in the past, I’ve found Casa Rosa to be a reliable source for top-quality Tex-Mex. It was dol Jy distressing, therefore, to stroll over from the Inwood Theatre expecting a modicum of gastronomic satisfaction and to get instead the following: a fishy stare from the employees a! the host station, service of unparalleled spaciness, and food that was barely edible. On the assumption that this evening was an anomaly. Ill be back, hoping for a return to the Casa Rosa of old. In-wood Village, Inwood at Lovers Lane, Suite 165.350-5227 Mon-Thur 11 am-3 pm & 5-10 pm. Fri 11 am-3 pm & 5-11 pm. Sat 11 am-11 pm. Sun 11 am-10 pm All credit cards. Moderate.



CHIQUITt ★ ★ My first review of a Dallas restaurant was of Chiquita six years ago. On the basis of a recent lunch, I can say that Chiquita falls into the Restaurant That Time Forgot category. Other than minor changes in the menu. I’m not sure that I could tell the difference between the two experiences half a dozen years apart. The place is still packed and noisy; the service is still overtaxed; the decor is still exuberantly pastel, and the food still requires an insider’s knowledge lo skip what is lackluster – essentially all the standard combination-plate items-in favor of what Chiquita does best-specialties like polio en crema, pieces of marinated, grilled chicken breast in a parsley-, pecan-, and paprika-enlivened sour cream sauce 3810 Congress. 521-0721. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-11 pm. Closed Sun. MC. V.AE. Moderate.



CHITO’S ★ ★ ★ A New Yorker I know loves Mexican food more than life itself Chito’s on Maple is where I look her on her last slop in Dallas, and she found its funky set-ling (featuring tattered orange booths, window-unit air conditioning, and lime green and acid yellow walls) and low prices (guacamole has reached $7 in one Manhattan Mexican restaurant) inordinately satisfying. The food at Chito’s-especially the bean, cheese, and guacamole quesadillas-is good enough to please even native Dallasites. who are accustomed to the Tex-Mex way of We. 4447 Maple. 526-9027; 3747 Walnut Hill. 351 -9554. Sun-Tue & Thur 9 am-9 pm. Fri & Sat 9 am-3 am Closed Wed. at Maple location; Tue-Sun 9 am-10 pm Closed Mon. at Walnut Hill location. MC, V. Inexpensive.



GENARO’S ★★★ This cool, tropical oasis would be great-for people-watching, sipping margaritas, dancing on Sunday nights-even if no food were available. But it is, and most of it’s quite reliable. On recent visits we’ve tried ceviche, seafood nachos, flautas. the excellent torta del mar, and basic Tex-Mex, and come away smiling every time 5815 Live Oak at Skillman. 827-9590 Sun-Thur11 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. All credit cards. Moderate



GONZALES ★★ Some dining establishments are as much in the business of purveying comfort as of purveying cuisine. Gonzales is such a place. Here, for very little money, one can have a beer and hunker down in the dark wood-grain booths and achieve low-budget Tex-Mex-style satori This is not to say that there aren’t good things to eat available at Gonzales There definitely are, but one needs to know the topography of the menu to find them They are most notably the numerous varieties of burritos made with fat, tender flour tortillas: the bean and cheese and the potato and egg are two good choices for those in search of hangover cures that do not require as much machismo to ingest as menudo does. The drive-through window provides a good, last option for ort-the-run diners. 4333 Maple. 528-2960. Daily 7 am-9 pm. All credit cards. Inexpensive.



MARIO & ALEBRTO ★ ★ The standards of Mario Leal’s second restaurant don’t seem to have suffered with the opening of a third one-this popular North Dallas spot seemed as fine (and as busy) as ever To start with, a tart ceviche or tortilla soup is a good choice Among the main courses, the filete de la casa (tenderloin strongly flavored with garlic, accompanied by lightly fried potato slices) remains a favorite Those who crave fa-|itas will find a relatively restrained version here-a manageably modest serving, and no sizzling fireworks. The Tex-Mex plates continue to run way behind the specialties in excellence Coconut or cinnamon ice cream makes a refreshing dessert. Preston Valley Shopping Center, LBJ Frwy at Preston. Suite 425 980-7296 Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-11 pm. Closed Sun. Drinks with $5.50 membership charge. MC, V.AE Moderate.



MARIO’S CHIQUITA ★★★ This Piano outpost of Mario Leal’s mini-empire is- surprise, surprise-very much like his other two restaurants, from the odd pastel color scheme, with its emphasis on skating-rink pink, to the average Tex-Mex offerings to the superior Mexico City-style specialties. Unlike the original Chiquita, Mario’s Chiquita is big enough that getting seated immediately is rarely a problem. 221 W Parker, Suite 400. Piano. 423-2977 Mon-Thur 11 30 am-1030 pm. Fri & Sat 11:30-11:30 Closed Sun. MC. V, AE. Moderate



MIDDLE EASTERN



MR. SHISHKabab ★★ The namesake kabab dishes-lamb, beef, chicken, or shrimp skewered and broiled with mushrooms, onions, tomato, and green pepper -are fine here, but the vegetarian options are where the real culinary excitement is. The smart money is on hummus (a dip of purged chickpeas-also known as garbonzo beans-served with pita bread), the fatafel sandwich (fried balls of mashed, seasoned chickpeas with lettuce and sesame sauce in pita bread, described on the menu as “Elizabeth Taylor’s favorite”), and lemony tabouleh salad (marinated cracked wheat with . parsley and tomato). Both the setting and the service are pleasant, if not exceedingly impressive. 9454 Marsh Lane, just north of Northwest Highway- 350- 9314. Tue-Sun 11 am-3 pm & 5:30 pm-11 pm. Closed Mod All credit cards. Moderate.



NATURAL



BLUEBONNET CAFE ★ ★ ★ you are a yuppie of a certain age. here is where, to the tune of James Taylor, you’re , likely to run into friends, acquaintances, or the ex-spouses of same. Bluebonnet Cafe is part of Bluebon-net Natural Foods Grocery, and as the name of the establishment indicates, the food tends toward the healthful. Happily, however, Bluebonnet doesn’t take a doctrinaire stand. Burgers, wine, and coffee-three controlled substances at hard-line health establishments-are allowed here. I love a number of Bluebonnet’s offerings, including the strawberry-banana-papaya smoothie and the black bean nachos with white cheese and guacamole. What I don’t love is how complicated life at Bluebonnet can seem: at lunch food is served cafeteria-style, but at dinner there is table service, albeit frequently spacey. and the customer isn’t allowed to take a look at the specials at the steam table. Still, the lure of sequential grocery shopping and nacho noshing makes Bluebonnet a useful stop on the yuppie trail.2218 Greenville. 828-0052 Daily 9 am-10 pm. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive.



D REVISITS

DREAM CAFE ★★★★★ The bliss that is breakfast at the Dream Cafe is one of the worst-kept secrets in the Highland Park/Oak Lawn area. On weekends, the place is full of sleepy yuppies and preppies in quest of fresh-squeezed orange juice, blueberry pancaKes, and migas What still isn’t widely known is the appeal of the Dream Cafe’s changing lunch and dinner choices, which are simultaneously healthy, satisfying, and sophisticated. And what hardly anyone at all knows is thai although the place has no liquor license, you can bring your own wine or beer. 3312 Knox. 522-1478. Tue-Thur 7 am-9 pm, Fri 7am-10 pm, Sat 8 am-10 pm. Sun 8 am-5 pen. Closed Mon. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.



SEAFOOD



ATLANTIC CAFE ★★★★ Unlike bad relationships,restaurants sometimes do change for the better. In the case of Atlantic Cafe, the big change in recent months is m service. Having heard tale after tale of insulted customers who vowed never to return because of warterly rudeness, on two recent visits I was pleasantly surprised to observe service that was warm as well as efficient Another change is the addition of a glassed-in gazebo area, which provides a sunny seating alternative that seems ideal for Sunday brunch. What has not changed is the cooking, and that’s good news, since it was always admirable. Fish, presumably, is what you come here for, and its first-rate, at least in its sautéed and broiled forms. (The fried seafood is okay, but it’s not a strong point here.) However, Atlantic Cafe also does itself proud in other departments, such as the sourdough bread, fruit salad, eggs Benedict, crème caramel, and strawberry or banana crêpes. 4546 McKinney at Knox. 559-4441. Lunch Mon-Fri 11 -2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11; Sun brunch 11-2:30. All credit cards. Expensive.



D REVISITS

AW SHUCKS ★★ Although the “fried thangs”-oysters and shrimp-that are the featured attraction at this relaxed restaurant are splendid, one does tend to feel in need of a shower after eating at Aw Shucks But if you can handle the inherent grease factor involved in dining at an establishment fitted out with a battery of deep-fat fryers, Aw Shucks is a worthwhile destination. One exception to the rule of quality here is the fat French fries, which have hardly any flavor. 3601 Greenville. 821-9449; 4535 Maple. 522-4498; Village at Bacriman Lake, 3701 W Northwest Hwy, Suite 310, 350-9777. Mon-Thur 11-11. Fri & Sat 11 am-midnight, Sun noon-10 pm at Northwest Hwy location; Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-11:45. Sun 11 am-10 pm at Maple and Greenville locations. No credit cards. Inexpensive.



BAY STREET ★ ★ ★ Bay Street has made some efforts toward climbing aboard the Cajun bandwagon with such dishes as Cajun popcorn (fried crawfish tails), gumbo, and crawfish étouffée Still, these Cajun up-starts, while respectably prepared, are outshone by the non-Cajun seafood choices like a simple charbroiled swordfish. which was impeccably fresh and juicy on a recent visit. (And if you are optimistic enough to order swordfish on a regular basis, you know how rare it is when the meaty fish does not emerge with the texture of fish jerky.) Say Street does well with bread and dessert, but falls down in the salad department . because of heavy use of tasteless iceberg lettuce and the presence of weird strips of what appears to be fried dough. Bay Street’s service is young and tries hard, and the setting is a handsome, hangar-like space. 5348 Belt Line,Addison.934-8502.Sun-Thur 11 am-10 pm,Fri & Sat 11-11. All credit cards.Moderate



CAFE PACIFIC ★ ★ ★ ★ At its best. Café Pacific does a great job with seafood A perfect piece of swordfish on my last visit demonstrated this. However, at less than its best (as in the case of eggs Benedict with an English muffin so tough it was almost inedible), Cafe Pacific can be disheartening. However one’s gastronomic luck is running, the setting is attractive and the service is competent. Highland Park Village. Preston at Mockingbird, Suite 24. 526-1170 Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30, Sun 10:30-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. MC. V, AE. Expensive.



GULF COAST OYSTER COMPANY ★ ★ ★ This casual little restaurant with a misleading name-oysters aren’t the only focus of attention, and the place has a Greek, not a Gulf Coast, accent-takes its seafood seriously. A meal here starts with pita bread and Greek dips and segues to such main courses as broiled trout (which could hardly be simpler-or better) or broiled shrimp with rice. Perhaps because of its location – it’s nearly hidden in the Corner Shopping Center-Gulf Coast Oyster Company doesn’t get as much attention as many of its competitors. For that reason, it’s a good place to remember at times when it’s hard to obtain a table elsewhere. Corner Shopping Center. 8041 Walnut Hill Lane. 361- 1922. Lunch Mon-Fri 11 -2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5-10. Fri 5-11, Sat 5 pm-11. Closed Sun. MC. V. AE. Moderate.



NEWPORT’S ★ ★ ★ ★ When Newport’s hits, as it did on an order of trout amandine on my last visit, it’s as good as any seafood restaurant in town. Unfortunately, on this same visit, swordfish kebabs were below par However, such instances are anomalies in my experience. Which is a good thing, because unlike its competitors for serious seafood-Atlantic Cafe and Cafe Pacific- Newport’s can’t rely on a gorgeous setting (the vast, woody setting is merely inoffensive) or polished service (the waiter was bungling). 703 McKin-ney in the Brewery 954-0220. Lunch Mon-Fri, 11:30-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. All credit cards. Expensive.



RUSTY PELICAN ★ ★ ★ You can’t judge a restaurant by its decor – or its nomenclature, either, at least not in the case of the Rusty Pelican Given the corny name and time-warped (from somewhere in the mid-Seventies) heavy-on-the-wood-and-earth-tones look of the place, my expectations of the Rusty Pelican were somewhere between zip and zero To my happy surprise, two of tour things ordered -shrimp cocktail and trout amandine – were excellent, and the other two- shelled Dungeness crab and mahi-mahi breaded with hazel-nuts-were more than edible, if less than electrifying. 14655 Dallas Pkwy. 980-8950. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:15-2; dinner Mon-Thur 5-11. Fri & Sat 4:30-midnight, Sun 4:30-10 pm. All credit cards. Expensive.



SOUTHERN



BUBBA’S ★ ★ Forget the catfish, forget the chicken-fried steak, forget the vegetables (especially the amazingly tasteless mashed potatoes). All of these things are beside the point. At Bubba’s you will be wanting the fried chicken, a high-rise yeast roll or two. and the fruit cobbler Order this sacred trinity of Southern food, and you will be rewarded with a matchless high-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate repast You could drive through at Bubba’s and take your order home, but that would deprive you o’ hanging out in the lipstick-red booths that punctuate the black-and-white deco decor. 6617 Hillcrest. 373-6527. Daily 6:30 am-10 pm. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.



CELEBRATION ★ ★ ★ My friend suggested that we should have an argument at dinner to make Celebration authentically family-style. Even if you can’t manage to stage a family feud. Celebration is likely to live up to its billing. The simple concept – Southern fare, with salad, rolls, muffins, vegetables, and most entrees in all-you-can-eat quantities- packs them in every night of the week. The delectable, if oversweetened, little biscuits and muffins and the immense wooden bowl filled with green salad would be enough for those of normal appetite Still, most patrons press on to such entrees as pot roast (Mom never did better) or chicken-fried steak (Mom did much better) and vegetables (broccoli, squash, and mashed potatoes on our visit) For dessert, peach cobbler was pleasingly doughy and cinnamon-scented. Celebration’s rustic, woody setting is comfortable, and service is pleasant and efficient. 4503 W Lovers Lane. 351-5681. Lunch daily 11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5-11. Sun 11 am-10 pm. All credit cards. Moderate



GRESCENT CITY ★ ★ Crescent City serves the best muf-faletta sandwich in the area It may well be the only muf-faletia sandwich in the area, but this is not to detract from the accomplishment. For those who haven’! been to Central Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans, a definition of a muffaletta sandwich is in order Crescent City’s version consists of a round loaf of chewy, sesame seed-topped bread filled with ham. salami, three kinds of cheeses, and a mixture of marinated, chopped olives and vegetables There are other things on the menu – including laudable oyster and shrimp poor boy sandwiches and eminently skippable French bread pizzas – but the muffaletta is the reason to make the trek The beignets and café au lait. while reasonably good, are no rivals to Café du Monde’s. Service is in the quick and “hor”-style tradition. 10819 Garland Rd. 321-1613. Mon-Sat 630 am-10 pm, Sun 7:30 am-10 pm. MC, V. Inexpensive.



HIGHLAND PARK CAFETERIA ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ standing in line at HPC and moving past the portraits of the presidents is a ritual of unmatched resonance in Dallas dining. HPC is a treasured local institution, from the Southern classics on the menu to the line staff, some of whom have been on the job lor decades Even the concessions to technology are homey: on the video screens that display the menu, there is offered a Bible verse dujour along with information about the employee of the month Perhaps as a result, many regulars believe that heaven itself will resemble HPC, with hairnetted attendants querying. “Serve you?” and booths always available. The menu on cloud nine: ham or chicken-fried steak, green beans, mashed potaloes and cream gravy, a jalapeno corn muffin, and cherry cobbler The Addison and downtown branches have their virtues, but they don’t reproduce the allure of the original Knox Street location. 4611 Cole. 526-3801; Sakowilz Village, 5100 Belt Line at Dallas Pkwy. Suite 600. 934-8800: downtown. 500 Akard at San Jacinto. Suite 220, 740-2400. Mon-Sat 11:30 am-8 pm at Cole location; Mon-Sat 11 am-8 pm. Sun 10:45 am-3 pm at Sakowitz Village location, Mon-Fri 6:30 am-2 pm at downtown location. No credit cards; personal checks accepted; MC. V, AE tor takeout and buffet orders of more than $10. Inexpensive.



MAMA TAUGHT ME HOW ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Here is a down-home dream come true: lovingly prepared versions of the greatest hits of Dixified cuisine That name, incidentally, is no trumped-up product of marketing strategy Mama is Doris Alexander, her daughters are Judy Sharp and Vickie Piland. and together they run the place with a combination of charm and warmth that is as specific to the South as are grits Standouts include the red beans and rice, chicken-fried steak (both available every day), chicken and dumplings, and coconut cream pie (which are available only on some days). 14902 Preston Rd. #512 (SE corner of Preston & Belt Line) in Pepper Square. 490-6301. Mon-Fri 7 am-2:30 pm, Thur 5-8 pm. No credit cards. Inexpensive.



ROSEMARIE’S ★ ★ ★ ★ In the days when I toiled at The Dallas Morning News, one of my prescriptions for a bad morning was a quick trip across the bridge to Oak Cliff for lunch at Rosemaries. These days, I don’t make it to Rosemaries quite so often, but when I do, it’s like old-home week. Rosemarie Hudson never forgets a customer, and her warmth accounts in part for the fanatical loyalty this litile cafeteria-style operation inspires; the terrific chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, and peanut butter pie also might have something to do with it. 1411 N Zang. 946-4142. Mon-Fri 11-2. No credit cards Inexpensive.



STEAKS



If the chiaroscuro theory of life is true-thai its darker moments serve to set off more radiant times – then restaurants like the Butcher Shop serve a useful purpose by making diners appreciative of other, better restaurants The steak itself wasn’t the problem on my last visit. The rib-eye in question was decent. However, every other element of the meal, from the lackluster salad bar to limp home fries to a dry chicken breast, was just this side of edible. 808 Munger Ave at Lamar. 720-1032. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 5-11. All credit cards Moderate.



DEL FRISCO’S ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In this age of Perrier, fish, and steamed vegetables, every so often it is important to balance the system with red wine, beef, and baked potatoes. Del Frisco’s, a straight-ahead steak house with premium fare and prices to match, is made for just such occasions. An appetizer of shrimp remoulade was as good a version as you’ll find this side of New Orleans (which happens to be where owner Del Frisco hails from). I was quite happy with my soft ball-sized eight-ounce filet until I tasted the twelve-ounce rib-eye that my partner in cholesterol had ordered. This was a steak to remember-a supremely flavorful piece of meat Some things to bear in mind: your steak will arrive in a pool of melted butter unless you nix this idea. Side dishes are ordered a la carte, and in portions immense enough for four. And bread pudding fans are advised to plan their meal to allow plenty of room for Del Frisco’s version with raisins, coconut, and Jack Daniel’s sauce. 4300 Lemmon. 526-2101. Mon-Thur 5 pm-10 pm, Fri & Sat 5-11. Sun 5 pm-9 pm. MC, V, AE. Expensive.



THE PALM ★ ★ ★ ★ The floors are littered with sawdust, and the decorations consist mainly of doodled caricatures of the famous (and not so famous). So what makes this a playground for the biggest spenders around? The old-pro waiters give the place a certain air, and the food is certainly the sort high rollers go for. Steaks are the number one item – our tenderloin was as delicious as it was pricey Lobsters are another specialty, and luckily this time we found one weighing in at only three and a half pounds. The accompanying potatoes of various kinds are usually tempting (though the “cottage fries” are potato chips). Appetizers and desserts are mostly not worth the additional (hefty) expense. At lunch there is a much more reasonably priced menu. 701 Ross. 698-0470. Mon-Fri 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri 11:30 am-11 pm, Sat 5-11 pm, Sun 5-9 pm. All credit cards. Very expensive.

THAI



SIAM ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Gone from the scene for more than two years, Siam has returned in a new location. The signature dishes that made the original Siam’s reputation are as good as ever: the pork satay comes with peerless curried peanut sauce, the spring rolls are commendable, the beet salad is rolling in leaves of fresh mint, and pud Thai, a dish of rice noodles with shrimp, ground peanuts, and scrambled egg. tastes better here than anywhere. Siam is one of Dallas’s all-time great Asian restaurants. Northwest Corners Shopping Center, 2415 W Northwest Highway #108 (accessible from Harry Hines]. 358-3122. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Moderate.



SlAM ORCHID ★ ★ ★ While the food may not live up to the memories of that served by Siam (the restaurant that formerly occupied this space), Siam Orchid is still worth exploring. On our most recent visit, the spring rolls were wonderfully crunchy and tasty, and both soups (chicken with rice and shrimp in a hot-and-sour broth flavored with lemongrass) were enormously satisfying Crunchy fish fillets swam in a red curry sauce decorated with fresh hot peppers On the down side, the pork satay was dry, and the charcoal-grilled beef in the salad with fresh mint lacked flavor But since most of the food is excellent and the service kind and helpful, we think it’s worth braving the sleazy neighborhood for a meal here. 1730 W Mockingbird near Harry Hines. 631-6505. Mon-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm & 5-10 pm, Sat 5-10 pm. Closed Sun. Ail credit cards. Moderate.



D REVISITS

SlAM ROSE ★ ★ ★ ★ The wilds of Addison are not where one expects to come across ethnic-food finds. But after a shopping expedition at nearby Prestonwood, my partner in credit-card abuse and I spied Siam Rose, where we had a superb Thai dinner. The spring rolls were fine, but it was the pad thai (rice noodles with shrimp, bean sprouts, egg, scallions, and peanuts) and the massaman chicken cooked in coconut milk with tamarind and curry sauce, potatoes, and peanuts that were startlingly good. The sweet-natured service and quiet selling are bonuses 5290 Belt Line. Suite 142. 991-9881. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-3; dinner daily 5-11. MC. V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.



VIETNAMESE



LA PAGODE ★ ★ In the past. I’ve experienced the emperor’s new clothes syndrome in regard to La Pagode. Although I had heard numerous reports of excellence from restaurant-hounds I respect, I had never had a meal that was belter than average here until I went to lunch with a regular, who simply asked the chef to show us his stuff. The results, most notably a shrimp and shredded cabbage salad with a peanut sauce, were dramatically more distinguished than on my past visits. 4302 Bryan at Peak. 821-4542. Mon-Thur 11-10, Fri & Sat 11-11, Sun 5 pm-10 pm. MC, V, Inexpensive.



MAI’S ★ ★ Lunch specials at Mai’s are a great, inexpensive way to be introduced to Vietnamese food, if you haven’t discovered it. The garlic shrimp or the subtly fiery lemongrass chicken makes (or a great lunch, especially if you follow it with Vietnamese-style iced coffee with condensed milk. (Finish this stuff off, and the paperwork will be flying from your desk for hours afterward.) You don’t come here for the atmosphere: Mar’s decor is distinctly utilitarian. 4812 Bryan, Suite 100 (at Fitzhugh). 826-9887 Wed & Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11, Sun 11 am-10 pm. Closed Mon & Tue. MC, V. Inexpensive.



SAIGON ★ ★ ★ ★ Situated where Yolanda’s used to be on Lowest Greenville, Saigon is definitely the best-looking Vietnamese restaurant in town. It also promises to be the best Vietnamese restaurant in town, period Everything I tried on three visits was impressive, but shrimp wrapped around sugar cane was particularly laudable. As usual at Vietnamese restaurants, the beverages of choice are fresh lemonade and/or iced coffee. 1731 Greenville 828-9795. Tue-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. Sun 5-10. All credit cards. Inexpensive.



LAS COLINAS/MID CITIES



CACHAREL ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Jean-Claude Prevot, former proprietor of Jean-Claude, one of Dallas’s best, longest-running restaurants (before it closed last year), has turned his attention to this new restaurant atop the Brookhollow Two building in Arlington The result is a pretty establishment, with a glassed-in exhibition kitchen and a fixed price of $10 for lunch and $22 for dinner. The fare – including such Gallic classics as green salad with goat cheese, scallops with an assertive tarragon sauce, and lamb with a natural-juice sauce-would be worth twice the tariff. 2221 E Lamar, Suite 910, Arlington. 640-9981. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Sat 6-11 All credit cards. Moderate



CEDARS VILLAGE CAFE ★ ★ ★ ★ I am still trying to figure out how it took longer (specifically, just under an hour) to get from Dallas to Arlington than from Dallas to Fort Worth All turnpike travail aside, the voyage to Cedars Village Cafe resulted in food that was well worth the effort: hummus (a dip of puréed chickpeas served with pita bread); potato salad (dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic); grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground sirloin; falafel (fried balls of mashed, seasoned chickpeas); and rosewater-flavored rice pudding topped with pine nuts. There is a “light” lunch special that offers a choice of appetizer, entree, and salad for $3.89 that is one of the great bargains in the Metroplex. 5801 Green Oaks Plaza. Suite360, 5801 W I-20, Arlington. (817)483-1988 Mon-Thur 11-3 & 5-10, Fri & Sat 11-11, Sunnoon-5. All credit cards. Inexpensive.



CHINA TERRACE ★ ★ ★ I like to think that I will forgive almost anything for good food. However, if that were the case, the well-prepared steamed dumplings, Szechwan beet, and shrimp with snow peas that I tried on my last visit to China Terrace would have left me happy. Instead, the harshly lit setting and the tough-luck attitude of the service (a request for a beer at 9:55 was refused because the bar was dosed) put a significant dent in my sense of well being. 5435 N MacArthur, Irving. 550-1113. Sun-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11 MC. V. AE. Moderate.



ENJOLIE ★ ★ ★ ★ In most parts of the country. hotel food is something to be endured by travelers and ignored by locals. Hereabouts, however, some of the best restaurant fare around can be found in hotels The Mansion, the Hotel Crescent Court, the Adolphus, and Plaza of the Americas all offer first-rate food close to or in downtown. Enjolie also belongs in the category of great hotel restaurants, although it is somewhat removed from its peers in terms of distance from the heart of Dallas. Nevertheless, the drive is a brief one, and worth it for the likes of pheasant mousse with cranberry puree, chilled cream of celery and smoked shrimp soup, peppered chicken breast served with a shallot and Zinfandel reduction, beef with Bourbon sauce, and chocolate and coffee pots de crème. Mandalay Four Seasons Hotel. 221 £ Las Colinas Blvd. Irving. 556-0800, ext 3155. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Expensive



TANDOOR ★ ★ Fighting words for fans of non-Western cuisines: “You wouldn’t like it.” Intrigued by the idea of jeera pani, a harmless-sounding aperitif of cumin, mint, and lemon water on Tandoor’s menu, we practically had to arm-wrestle out waitress to obtain a glass of the advised-against liquid One by one, we three die-hard gastronomic tough guys tasted humiliation as we choked down a sulfurous concoction that could have passed for Trinity Rivet water. Our waitress whisked away the evidence of our defeat, and we moved on to a superior assortment of appetizers- minced lamb patties, vegetables fried in chickpea batter, potato/chili patties, turnovers with potatoes and peas, and cheese fritters stuffed with mint chutney. A tomato and coconut milk soup provided a pleasurable interlude before our main dishes, which were a relative let-down: tough curried lamb, slightly overcooked tandoori chicken, and dull cheese and vegetable dumplings. Tandoor’s setting, with dim lighting and blue walls, is plain but pleasant. 532 Fielder North Plaza, south of I-30, Arlington 261-6604. Lunch daily 11:30-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 5 30-10. Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30, brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30. MC, V, AE. Moderate.



VIA REAL ★ ★ ★ Dramatic abstract pictures dominate the walls, and even the menus are original handcrafted works by the same artists The contents of the menu are as fresh as the look of the place – you might call the concept New Wave Mexican, with a hint of Continen-tal Spanish influence. The appetizers include such novelties as crepa de salmone (thin slices of smoked salmon enfolded in crepes and served dry except for a garnish of pico de gallo) and rellenos de pescado (cylinders of fish mousse studded with salmon and sur-rounded by a rich sauce). Main courses at Via Real also tilt toward the seafood end, with skewered scallops and swordfish among the specialties. Town North Centre. 3591 N Belt Line at Northgate, Irving. 255-0064. Lunch Mon-Sat 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 5-11, Sun brunch 10-2. All credit cards. Moderate.



FORT WORTH



ANGELO’S ★ How much of Angela’s reputation is warranted and how much mere mystique? We found the sliced barbecue and the chopped beef sandwich both lacking in smoky flavor (though tender and lean enough) on our most recent excursion. The extras here have never been worth hooting about, so that didn’t leave much besides the cold beer and the folksy sawdust on the floor to make our visit memorable. 2533 White Settlement Rd. (817) 332-0357. Mon-Sat 11 am-10 pm. Closed Sun No credit cards. Inexpensive.



HEDARY’S ★ ★ Some things at Hedary’s were better than ever on our last visit, including the service by the members of the Lebanese-American family that owns the place. The assortment of appetizers was nothing short of spectacular, with definitive eggplant and chickpea dips, falatel. vegetables, and salads And the baklava and other desserts were light, delicate, and delicious. We confess to some disappointment with our main dishes, though. Our skewered lamb was tough, and our frarej (chicken broiled in olive oil) didn’t taste as boldly of garlic as we remembered 3308 Fairfield at Camp Bowie. (817) 731-6961. LunchTue-Fri 11-2; dinner Tue-Thur & Sun 5-10 pm, Fri & Sat 5-11 pm. Closed Mon. No reservations. All credit cards. Moderate.



LE CHARDONNAY ★ ★ ★ ★ Former Ceret chef Philip Lecoq is a co-owner of this new bistro, and its combination of serious food and an informal atmosphere is reminiscent of that late, lamented establishment. The lamb chops topped with goat cheese, served with a rosemary sauce and accompanied by herbed French fries, ’e a standout. 2443 Forest Park Blvd, Fort Worth. (817) 926-5622. Tues-Sat 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Sun 11 am-3 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate.



SAINT EMILION ★ ★ ★ ★ Proprietor Bernard Tronche grew up in Saint-Emilion. a village in Frances Bordeaux area. Happily for the sake of Fort Worth residents, he moved to Cowtown and opened a charming restaurant that serves excellent straight-ahead French food. Considering the four-course fixed price of $20 per person-a great bargain by Dallas standards – it’s surprising that more Dallasites don’! make 1he trek. The last time I did, the results were impressive. A thoughtfully put together salad {leaf lettuce, radicchio, watercress, walnuts, and bus of bacon dressed with walnut oil), textbook lobster bisque, rich spinach cannelloni, and creditable snails in garlic butter made for a great start. (Order the last with the boneless quail and you’ve got the snail-and-quail special.) Only the over-complicated quail stuffed with Belgian endive was less than impressive. Juicy swordfish provencal and nicely roasted duck with cherry sauce were all one could ask lor. (Actually, one could ask that the duck be boned.) For dessert, pass on the fluffy, lightweight chocolate mousse and opt for the extraordinary crème caramel. 3617 W Seventh. (817) 737-2781. Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 pm & 6-10 pm.Sat 6-10 pm. Closed Sun. MC, V. AE. Moderate.



NIGHTLIFE



BABY’S.The slickest new dance club in Dallas is (sur-prise!) found amid the laid-back nightlife on McKinney Avenue It will probably bother some that most of the clientele is gay-bu! there are sprinklings of all the eclectic types here. This place has every trapping of Coo!-a sunken dance floor (a la Starck Club), video screens, neon lights, a separate room in the back lor a quiet drink, and bottom-shaking music 3501 McKin-ney. 521 4748 Wed-Sat 9 pm-4 am. Sun 5 pm-4 am. Closed Sun-Tue. AE.



BARNEY OLDFIELD’S. Barney Oldfield’s relentlessly pushes on. no matter what other clubs are doing, with its “straight from Las Vegas” theme Everyone who appears on the stage seems to be either from Reno or Vegas, Bui while other similar supper clubs in Dallas have only had short lives, this one continues to thrive with its basic pop music act. 1893 W Mockingbird. 634-8850. Mon-Thur 11 am-1:30 am. Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat S Sun 4:30-2 am. Shows Sun-Thur 8:30 & 10:30, Fri & Sat 9 & 10:30. All credit cards.



BELLE STARR. With wave after New Wave of music rolling in yearly, the old country-western culture might be lading. Are you kidding? Belle Starr, packed with a middle-aged boot-kicking crowd, continues to be a huge moneymaker. There are bands every night, urban cowboys everywhere, and women in those tight-fitting |eans that would make any good old boy swoon. There’s also free beer Tuesday through Thursday, which means you’ll have trouble squeezing into the place 7724 N Central at Southwestern. 750-4787, Mon-Sat 7 pm-2 am. Sun 4 pm-2 am. All credit cards.



BOARDWALK BEACH CLUB. You thought preppies were dying out? Head over in your BMW to Boardwalk and you will find them, hiding out from the real world. More than 1.000 of the prep set from college kids to holdovers in their early thirties, jam the place every weekend night. The disc jockey plays good beach music, if you can hear il above the noise of the preppy talk. Dress is essential to a successful bar evening here, so button down tight. 6332 La Vista. 823-5340. Mon-Fri 11 am-1 pm. Thur & Sat 7 pm-2 am, Fri 5 pm-2 am. Closed Sun-Wed. MC, V, AE.



BOWLEY & WILSON’S. If you’re looking for a place to have your church social, don’t come here. Not for the faint of heart or timid of ear, Bowley and Wilson dish out hysterical music and humor that landed them in jail on one occasion. It you’re looking for a reasonably priced, humor-filled evening, Bowley & Wilson and the Blue Bathroom Humor Band are for you. You can win free drinks by being a good sport when they ask you to join in the act. Win free Kamikazies by successfully singing “Old Ben Lucas” in front of the audience, 4714 Greenville. 692-6470. Tue-Sat 7:30 pm-2 am. Show starts at 9:30. Cover vanes MC. V. AE.



BRIO. It’s amazing how the herd instinct works at these Upper Greenville dance clubs. Just when you think one of these places is going to become an institution. wham!, another one opens down the street and the fast-and-sexy singles crowd shifts allegiance. The latest one that is mounting incredible business – lines snake out the door almost every night- is Brio, where the hot-and-hungry do the predictable: sneak glances at one another, buy each other drinks, ask each other what they do, and then, after a dance or two, talk about what a wonderful thing it is to meet someone special at a place like this! Then they return the next night to do it all over again 5500 Greenville. Suite 403. 361-9517. Mon-Thur 4 pm-2 am, Fri 4-4, Sat 7 pm-4 am, Sun 7 pm-2 am. M, V, AE.



BUYERS. All those sharp-looking feshion buyers who flood our city have to go somewhere Often it’s the Buyers bar on the second floor of the Wyndham – a cozy little spot where the patrons sip wine and chat about hem lines. You’d better look right here. Fakes are spotted all the way across the room. Wyndham Hotel, 2222 Stemmons Freeway 631-2222. Mon-Sat 11 am-1 am Sun noon-1 am. All credit cards.



CAFE DALLAS. The club that was the hottest disco in town back in 1980 has overhauled its image to bring back clientele But Cafe Dallas has stuck with its dark decor and driving dance music and the same drink specials – and amazingly, has staged a sort of comeback on the always-changing Greenville strip 5500 Greenville in Old Town Shopping Village. 987-0066. Tue-Fri 4 pm-2 am. Sat 8 pm-2 am. MC. V. AE.



CALLAHAN’S. Ah. the sweet mysteries of Dallas nightlife. At Callaghan’s, part of the West End live music renaissance, you used to get pure Irish music. Now you never know what will be coming out of the loudspeakers The little Irish bands play sporadically, and there’s jazz on Sundays, but the rest of the week could ’ be anything, When we went, there was a Top 40 group early in the week, then a flat-out rock TV roll group by the weekend But it’s still worth the gamble 1701 Market at Ross 761-9355 Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat noon-2 am, Sun 4 pm-2 am. AE, DC, CB.



CHELSEA CORNER,In the block whore upper McKinney Avenue runs into Highland Park, this is the perfect dub to blend the two cultures A quiet, candle-on-the-table place, with little sandwich or quiche dinners, all kinds of colorful fruit drinks, and a guitarist playing folk-pop songs on an elevated stage, Chelsea Corner is great for a peaceful moment before you hit the fas! lane or a way to unwind if you’re coming off it. 4830 McKinney. 522-3501 Mon-Sat 11:15 am-2 am. Sun 5 pm-2 am. Live music Tue-Sat. MC, V, AE, DC.



CLUB CLEARVIEW. Tired of the Starck Club, that million-dollar setting for the teased-out New Wave generation, where happiness is hanging out in the bathroom lobby? Well, now you have a veritable carnival of trendy activities in one nightclub, and it’s all for the artsy, modern-music. strange hair crowd. This Deep Ellum club has avant-garde sculpture and hip art (like an “artistic” depiction of a bums home on a city street) There is great dance music in one part of the dub, and then a warehouse in the back where bands play, the standard coed bathrooms, and a place upstairs to make out

with someone or make sure your purple wig is on straight. 2625 Elm 939-0006. Thur 9 pm-2 am. Fri & Sat 9 pm-4 am. Closed Sun. AE.



CONFETTI. Look what’s happened to Dallas’s major meat market: it went upscale No more wild-looking waitresses in nasty outfits No more besi-body contests. No more barely legal boppers. Now sleekly redesigned 1or the young office crowd, the club still throws a good party. 5201 Matilda off Lovers Lane. 369-6969, 369-6977. Mon-Thur 8 pm-2 am. Fri & Sat 8 pm-4 am. Sun 8 pm-2 am. Cover vanes. All credit cards.



EMRELD CITY. We have no idea why one of the most popular dance bands in Dallas. Emerald City, decided that the name of its new nightclub would be spelled differently than the band’s own name. Nor did we understand when the club’s manager labeled the club’s hot pink-and-black interior as “erotic art deco ” And we know what a gamble it is for the same band to play one nightclub five nights a week, three weeks a month, a hope to keep drawing larger crowds. But Emerald City, which has been playing in Dallas for seven years, can put together a super-charged set- and it’s worth a trip. 4908 Greenville. 361 2489. Tue- Sun 5:30 pm-2 am. Closed Mon. MC. V, AE



ENCOUNTERS. The burning question m North Dallas is: will the young hotspot lovers take an elevator up twenty-one floors to go to a European-styled disco in a hotel? The Doubletree Inn is betting on it. with the kind of flashing lights, sleek waitresses and pounding dance music we’re so used to, On our first visits, the crowd was older than other Upper Greenville clubs The bar food is not typical-there is a dish called “vegetable cheese cake.” 8250 N Central Expwy in the Doubletree Inn. 691-1309. Mon-Thur 4:30 pm-1:30 am, Fri 4:30 pm-2 am, Sat 7 pm-2 am. All credit cards.




FAST & COOL. After a meteoRIc rise to stardom. Past & Cool is now undisputably the King of Lower Greenville. Apparently, the management has decided that patrons don’t want to hear an eleven-minute “dance-mix” version of the latest OOP-chart bullet The music here is predominantly Motown sound and authentic soul from artists like James Brown and Ike and Tina Turner The dance floor is the center of this tiny universe, and it has a magnetic effect on anyone who walks in the door. It’s hard to imagine even the most hard-core Baptist resisting this dance floor Unlike countless dance clubs that have come and gone on Greenville Avenue, this place has staying power. 3606 Greenville. 827-5544. Sun & Tue-Thur 8 pm-2 am, Fri & Sat 7-4. Closed Mon. Cover $3 Thur: $4 Fri & Sat. MC. V. AE.



GERSHWIN’S BAR & GRILL. No one can discover a nightspot faster than the North Dallas single. This new Upper Greenville restaurant features two bars-and both are constantly packed. If you don’t like the bar closest to the door work your way over to the one beside a grand piano that appears to be built on top of a scaffolding. Most of the crowd is at the bar waiting for a table, so if you’re going to hustle someone, you’d better hurry. 8442 Walnut Hill at Greenville. 373-7171. Sun 10:30 am-midnight. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-1 am. No cover. All credit cards.



GREENVILLE AVENUE COUNTRY CLUB. Take one step inside the door of this low-key, easygoing place, and the name “country club” takes on a new meaning Drinks are served inside the “clubhouse.” where the surroundings are warm and comfortable But the only big shots at this country club are the ones poured into your glass, 3619 Greenville. 826-5660. Daily 11am-2 am. MC, V, AE.



GREENVILLE BAR & GRILL. This no-frills bar still remains the centerpiece of the Lower Greenville crowd. After we hit all the funky nightspots on the strip, we always seem to head back over to the Bar & Grill lor one last drink or hamburger. Hal Baker’s Gloomchasers continue with Dixieland music on Sundays and Thursdays. 2821 Greenville. 823-6691 Mon-Sat 11:30 am-2 am, Sun noon-2 am. MC, V, AE.



IMPROV. Everybody loves a clown, and of late some of the funniest folks in the show-biz circus have been split-ting sides at the Improv, Dallas’s newest comedy club. ’ A cousin of the famed L.A. nightspot, the club takes Us name from that gutsy, gonzo brand of comedy that reached its zenith with Robin Williams, wherein the comic plays without a net, relying as much on crowd response, retort and insult as on any set repertoire. When it works, the payoff can be explosive, awe-inspiring On our visit, funnyman Byron Allen (of TV’s “Real People”) provided the yuks, feeding off the audience (with mixed results) and mining a rather dated vein of he-she humor Somehow most of the material worked, though a good deal was just Alan King with four letter words The opening act. juggler Daniel Rosen, broke every law of physics by juggling a “Swiss army cat” festooned with razor-sharp blades One word of warning: you wont be amused by the low-grade fried appetizers on the cutesily titled “Date Plate” and “Swinger’s Plate.” Eat around the corner at Magoo’s and show up ready to laugh 9810 N Central Expwy (in the Corner Shopping Center), 750-5868. Showtimes Sun-Thur 8:30 pm. Fri & Sat 8:30 & 10:45. Closed Mon MC, V. AE.



JAZBA. When you’re in the mood for serious jazz, step down the inviting marble stairs into the sleek Jazba at Ratcliffe’s Unwind in one of the big. comfortable chairs and tune in to some of the best late-night jazz in Dallas. The drinks are plentiful and the food on the after-hours menu is several cuts above the average bar fare 1901 McKinney. 871-2900 Fri & Sat 9 pm-1 am. Cover $5 MC, V, AE.



KNOX STREET PUB. Here, across the street from such yuppie delights as On the Border and Hoftbrau. is a bar still lighting to be laid back. And what is laid back these days? How about a varied |ukebox with rock ’n’ roll, English New Wave, country/western, and Sixties pop7 How about terrible restrooms and old pool tables? How about a motley clientele? he pub is a classic neighborhood bar. a vanishing species 3230 Knox. 526-9476 Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 5 pm-2 am. No credit cards



THE LIBRARY. An elegant spot in the renovated Melrose Hotel, this bar has done some sprucing up of its own. It opened the windows and doors and put in a soothing, quiet piano-jazz act Perfect for a comfortable after-work drink Melrose Hotel, Oak Lawn at Cedar Springs 521-5151. Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 11 am-midnight. All credit cards.



THE LOUNGE Want to throw down a beer with young in-etlligentsia? Here’s what you do: first, dress chic, but don’t let it look elegantly chic. Casual chic is the style here (unless you’re in the New Wave crowd and you come in so everyone can have a look at what they’ve been told is “gloriously outrageous” fashion) Then, you’d better see one of those foreign movies playing next door at the Inwood Theatre so you’ll have something to talk about at the bar And you’d belter show a little poise This is as dose as Dallas gels to one of those sophisticated, high-tech upper West Side bars in New York where you wish you could eavesdrop on the conversation at every table. 5460 W Lovers Lane. 350-7834 Sun-Thur 5 pm-1 am. Fri & Sat 5 pm-2 am. AE, DC. CB.



MARIANO’S. If nachos and frozen margaritas are your passion, this is the place for you Mariano’s remodeled bar is a bright. airy place to enjoy some of the best Tex-Mex munchies in town The chips and hot sauce are exemplary, and the margantas are so famous that the mix is available for sale Old Town. 5500 Greenville. 691 3888. Sun-Thur noon-1 am, Fri & Sat noon-2 am. MC. V. AE.



MEMPHIS. Don’t let the tiny dance floor (literally about the size of a two door foreign car) and the dark hue of the bar disturb you. People dance in the aisles, on the chairs, by the bar – mainly because this is the best live jazz-dance bar in North Dallas. Great local groups are regulars-like Emerald City and Schwantz Lefantz. Quorum Plaza, 5000 Belt Line. Suite 500. 386-9517. Mon-Fri 4 pm-2 am, Sat & Sun 6 pm-2 am Cover$3-$5. All credit cards



MlLO BUTTERFINGER’S. This is one of the few remaining ’bar’ bars on the Upper Greenville strip. Milo’s has outlived the disco and the fern – even the upscale meat market. It’s a comfortable joint where you can wear your jeans (even if they’re faded) and play a game of pool, foosball. or shuffleboard with a buddy while sipping a longneck. A few years ago. owner Ned Smith moved Milo’s off of Greenville to a spacious, but modest, location around the corner But judging by the fresh-faced college clieniele, you’d swear he’d moved into the basement of the SMU student center. 5645 Yale 368-9212. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat & Sun noon-2 am MC, V, AE.




MISTRAL.The all-slick, high-tech dance club with the video screen larger than the side of a barn has gone completely “new music.” which is a nice way of saying that the music is not pop and we can’t always figure out if the song has a tune. But hey, we’re hip, and this crowd, especially early in the week, is truly hip (which means everyone wears androgynous black clothing with hair that is a cross between astronaut crewcut and Johnny Rotten). But you’ll still find your basic sprinkling of suburbanites and hotel guests who come in to gawk at the music videos and the twenty-year-olds who sing along to hits by such charming groups as The Fine Young Cannibals. Loews Anatoie, 2201 Stemmons. 760-9000. Tue 8 pm-3 am, Wed & Tbur 8 pm-2 am, Fri 8 pm-4 am. Sat 7 pm-4 am. Cover $5 Thur&Fri, $10 Sat All credit cards.



NANA. It’s hard to imagine a hotel bar that’s romantic, but elevator up to the twenty-seventh floor of the Anatole. In one of his racier moves, Trammell Crow had a huge painting of a nude woman named Nana put behind the green marble-topped bar. You’d probably stare at the painting, but the view of Dallas through the huge windows is better Fine jazz trio plays Thursday through Sunday Loews Anatoie Hotel. 2201 Stemmons Fwy. 748-1200. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat & Sun 6 pm-2 am All credit cards.



THE PALM BAR. If you’re downtown, few places are as nice as this for a drink after work. If you’re not downtown, it’s worth the trip. The decor is elegant but not pompous. the drinks are excellent and reasonably priced, and the senvice is flawless. If you work late, beware-this place closes al 7 p.m. Adolphus Hotel. 1321 Commerce. 742-8200. Mon-Fri 11 am-7 pm. Closed Sat & Sun. All credit cards



PLUS FOURS. McKinney Avenue provides a sophisticated gathering spot tor a group other than the yuppies With an English-styled, woodsy interior, it almost seems that the “intelligent” thing to do is watch the non-stop sports you find on the bar’s televisions Opened recently, Plus Fours has already proven immensely popular. There’s also great Sinatra music on the jukebox. 2504 McKinney 871-2757. Mon-Fri 11 am-midnight. Sat 5 pm-udmght Closed Sun All credit cards.



POOR DAVID’S PUB. In a city where live music clubs close quicker than real estate deals, Poor David’s has been hanging on for eight years. It’s still the leader in blues artists, progressive-country singers, and touring folk singers. 1924 Greenville. 821-9891. Mon-Sat 7 pm-2 am Closed Sun Cover varies. No credit cards.



POPSICLE T0ES. After taking one look at the seamy exterior, people have been afraid of walking in here, which is a mistake Featuring rhythm and blues and funk bands like Phyrework, Popsicle Toes brings together a lively group from every social strata. This is one of the best places to dance you’ll find. 5627 Dyer. 368-9706 Tue-Thur & Sat 8:30 pm-2 am, Fri 4 pm-2 . Sun 7:30 pm-midnight. MC, V, AE.



PROHIBITION ROOM. Long regarded as the place in the basement next door to the Starck Club, the Prohibition Room has developed an aura of its own For one reason, it has begun to regularly draw some of the top local bands, like Robert Lee Kolb. When you enter, you’ll think it’s another pool-and-shuffleboard bar. but when you run out of quarters, go to the back by the stage and listen to an evening’s worth of fine music. 703 McKinney in the Brewery. 954-4407. Mon-Fri 4 pm-2 am. Sat 6 pm-2 am. Closed Sun. MC, V. AE.



PROPHET BAR. Haunted by thethreat of nuclear war? The . lines of Dylan Thomas? The lines at the Starck Club? If you’re tired of that scene, then retire to the peaceful artistic confines of the Prophet, where people gather coffeehouse-style to discuss, oh, what they did last night at the Starck Club This is fine Deep Ellum-watching place, which means you try to guess who over at table three is the real artist and who is the downtown office worker who just likes to play dress up. But by 11, you don’t have to worry about “cool” talk. The live music will-thank God-drown you out. 2713 Commerce. 742-2615, Sun-Thur 6 pm-2 am, Fri S Sat 6 pm-4 am, Sun 3 pm-2 am. AE.



RANDY’S. You gotta love these tar North Dallas/Addison clubs. Love’em. You can be as pretentious as possible, wear spiked heels longer than stilettos, dress in shiny , GO suits, be driven to the club in a limousine, and still the bouncers will look at you as if you really don’t belong in their place. Randy’s is subscribing to the theory that you can’t be glitzy enough, and it’s working, as people are falling all over themselves to join the private club, Inside, it’s the typical pumping-music-and-twirling-light-show, but oh, what a beautiful experience (and we mean this from the bottom of our hearts) just to be a part of it all. 15203 Knoll Trail, Addison. 907-2639 Mon-Fri 4 pm-2 am, Sat 8 pm-2 am, Sun 7 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.



RAZZ MA TAZZ. Talk about a mixed bag: there’s no telling who you’re going to find in Razz Ma Tazz. Its West End location ensures a steady stream of after-work lounge lizards, visiting businessmen climbing the walls of their hotel rooms and tourists looking for a piece of authentic Dallas culture Razz Ma Tazz features a strong lineup of local talent playing everything from hard-driving R & 8 to straight-ahead mainstream jazz. The acoustics are pretty good, there’s actually enough room for a legitimate stage and the antique bar is a class act. (Sure wish the barstools were higher, though.) Munchies are available for patrons who don’t want purely liquid dinners. 1714 N Market. 748-7112. Mon-Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sat & Sun 6 pm-2 am. All credit cards.



REDUX. The green frog band has come down for good and Tango is no more. But luckily. Redux has risen from the ashes. Unlike its predecessor, Redux has become the top nightclub for live, very upbeat regional music in less than a year, drawing the best Southwest bands and solo acts. 1827 Greenville. 827-1591. WedSat 8 pm-2 am. MC. V, AE.



RlCK’S CASABLANCA. You would think such a tiny club couldn’t come up with such consistent and slIck entertainment. But it’s true, and the word has spread -just try getting in here on a Monday night. The management has, thank heavens, taken down all the palms that were supposed to make you think about Casablanca. And they’ve spread out the stage so that, to go to the bathroom, you have to literally walk right between the people in the band the best reason we’ve heard yet to powder our noses. 1979 Greenville. 824- 6509. Daily 8 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.



RUSTY PELICAN. The large bar in this restaurant can best be described as having a California surf motif: lots of plants, wood, and surfing pictures, dancing to pop-music bands every night except Monday, and mind-boggling beach drinks. 14655 Dallas Pkwy 980-8950. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-midnight, Fri 11:30 am-2 am. Sat 4:30 pm-2 am, Sun 4:30 pm-midnight. All credit cards.



SAN FRANCISCO ROSE. This is a place that bills itself as a fern bar and grill, so don’t go expecting to find David Byrne and Stevie Ray Vaughn talking shop at the bar. On the other hand, the relaxed atmosphere makes it a pleasant place to start an evening or stop in for a nightcap. And in between? How does sedate grab you? The something-for-everybody appeal includes a TV at the end of the bar, piped-in rock ’n’ roll, a limited menu, indoor and outdoor seating, even a couple of easy chairs and sofas. Color San Francisco Rose eclectic middle-of-the-road. 3024 Greenville. 826-2020. Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun noon-2 am. All credit cards.



THE SALOON. If your jeans don’t come with designer labels, The Saloon may be your kind of Greenville Avenue hang-out. The atmosphere’s down-home, Coronas go for two bucks a pop, there’s live music almost every night and no weekday cover charge. Music runs the gamut from rock to folk, with a hard case of blues in between The quality of the entertainment is variable-Monday is open mike night, Tuesdays feature a blues jam and songwriters strut their stuff on Wednesdays – but you can’t beat the sound when they turn off the amps and crank up the jukebox. There aren’t many places in the metroplex you can hear Sonconsider yourself part of the new scene-and if you promise not to wear anything resembling penny loafers- this is your Deep Ellum kind of place. All the funky regulars from the old “On the Air” bar have already fount) their spots, so be prepared to wait in line. 2812 Elm. 939-9113. Daily 8 pm-2 am. MC, V. AE.



VILLAGE COUNTRY CLUB. Pull out all the old jokes about the people from the Village Apartments, and you have the makeup of this club, right? Wrong. Local bands appear here, and the crowd doesn’t trade business cards or astrological signs. They just hang loose and appreciate the music. 8308 Southwestern. 361-9866. Mon-Wed 4:30 pm-11 pm, Thur-Sat 4:30 pm-2 am. Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 11 am-10 pm. Livemusic Thur-Sat. MC. V.



VISIONS. This North Dallas nightspot gets a well-dressed crowd of junior-executive types who work hard for their money. Consequently, when the work day is over, it lakes about three hours and at least that many drinks to get them out of their chairs and onto the high-techdance floor High atop the Westin Hotel. Visions offersa sparkling view of the city, elegant surroundings, andbartenders who dispense a welcome sense of humoralong with the drinks. Westin Hotel, Galleria, 13340Dallas Parkway 934-9494. Mon-Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sat 8pm-2 am. Closed Sun. All credit cards.



WALL STREETS. Junk bonds . . . absorption rate . . . tax base . . . Oh, sorry, we’ve been hanging out at Wall Streets, enjoying hard drinks and bedrock American business talk. There isn’t much fooling around here. This is the business lunch, business drink, business conversalion crowd – and they love it. 725 N Olive in the Bryan Tower Parking Garage. 754-0199. Mon-Fri11am-8 pm. Closed Sat & Sun All credit cards.



THE WlNE PRESS. This is the perfect place to go on a rainy night-or any time you’re looking for romance, intimacy, and spirits. The Wine Press is decorated with wine bottles from floor to ceding on almost every wall. The atmosphere is low-key and elegantly casual, the service, friendly but not hovering; the wine selection, extensive – to say the least. 4217 Oak Lawn. 522-8720 Tue-Sat 11 am-2 am. Sun & Mon 11 am-midnight. MC, V. AE.



ZANZIBAR. A fresh face on the burger-spattered strip of Lower Greenville Avenue, Zanzibar offers drinks and good deli food in a colorful cafe setting The decor-neon, glass bricks. and pink-and-green walls-is odd enough to work And even though Zanzibar looks cosmopolitan, it has a neighborhood bar feel to it that leads to discussions among perfect strangers from table to table. 2912 Greenville. 828-2250. Mon 11:30 am-1 am, Tue-Sat 11:30 am-2 am, Sun 3 pm-midnight; Sun brunch 10:30-3. MC, V, AE.



FORTWORTH NIGHTLIFE



BlLLY BOB’S TEXAS. This huge country/western club in the Fort Worth Stockyards has a lot going for it two restaurants, forty-two bar stations, a real bull-riding arena, and several shops. It’s bigger than Gilley’s, more citified than the Longhorn Ballroom ever was. and a “must-see” if you re in Fort Worth 2520 N Commerce in the Stockyards. Metro 429-5979. Mon-Sat ) 11 am-2 am, Sun 10 am-2 am. MC, V, AE.



THE BLUE BIRD. Even when the band’s not playing, you’ll feel like dancing at The Blue Bird: the jukebox is the best in Fort Worth. But then, the patrons of this near-South Side club don’t want that to get around; they know a good thing when they’ve found it The club is packed nearly every weekend with regulars dancing to the infectious music of Robert Ealey and the Blues-blasters This is rhythm and blues at its finest, but sssshhh! 5636 Wellesley (817) 732-6243. Fri&Sat 7 pm-2 am. No credit cards.



THE WHITE ELEPHANT SALOON. In 1887, Luke Short, then the er of the White Elephant, shot it out with a former U.S. marshal Today, the Elephant has country/western music six nights a week and lots of tourists trying desperately to learn the two-step on a small dance floor. 106 E Exchange. (817) 624-8273 Mon-Sat 11 pm-2 am, Sun noon-midmght. MC, V. AE.

consider yourself part of the new scene-and if you promise not to wear anything resembling penny loafers- this is your Deep Ellum kind of place. All the funky regulars from the old “On the Air” bar have already fount) their spots, so be prepared to wait in line. 2812 Elm. 939-9113. Daily 8 pm-2 am. MC, V. AE.



VILLAGE COUNTRY CLUB. Pull out all the old jokes about the people from the Village Apartments, and you have the makeup of this club, right? Wrong. Local bands appear here, and the crowd doesn’t trade business cards or astrological signs. They just hang loose and appreciate the music. 8308 Southwestern. 361-9866. Mon-Wed 4:30 pm-11 pm, Thur-Sat 4:30 pm-2 am. Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 11 am-10 pm. Livemusic Thur-Sat. MC. V.



VISIONS. This North Dallas nightspot gets a well-dressed crowd of junior-executive types who work hard for their money. Consequently, when the work day is over, it lakes about three hours and at least that many drinks to get them out of their chairs and onto the high-techdance floor High atop the Westin Hotel. Visions offersa sparkling view of the city, elegant surroundings, andbartenders who dispense a welcome sense of humoralong with the drinks. Westin Hotel, Galleria, 13340Dallas Parkway 934-9494. Mon-Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sat 8pm-2 am. Closed Sun. All credit cards.



WALL STREETS. Junk bonds . . . absorption rate . . . tax base . . . Oh, sorry, we’ve been hanging out at Wall Streets, enjoying hard drinks and bedrock American business talk. There isn’t much fooling around here. This is the business lunch, business drink, business conversalion crowd – and they love it. 725 N Olive in the Bryan Tower Parking Garage. 754-0199. Mon-Fri11am-8 pm. Closed Sat & Sun All credit cards.



THE WlNE PRESS. This is the perfect place to go on a rainy night-or any time you’re looking for romance, intimacy, and spirits. The Wine Press is decorated with wine bottles from floor to ceding on almost every wall. The atmosphere is low-key and elegantly casual, the service, friendly but not hovering; the wine selection, extensive – to say the least. 4217 Oak Lawn. 522-8720 Tue-Sat 11 am-2 am. Sun & Mon 11 am-midnight. MC, V. AE.



ZANZIBAR. A fresh face on the burger-spattered strip of Lower Greenville Avenue, Zanzibar offers drinks and good deli food in a colorful cafe setting The decor-neon, glass bricks. and pink-and-green walls-is odd enough to work And even though Zanzibar looks cosmopolitan, it has a neighborhood bar feel to it that leads to discussions among perfect strangers from table to table. 2912 Greenville. 828-2250. Mon 11:30 am-1 am, Tue-Sat 11:30 am-2 am, Sun 3 pm-midnight; Sun brunch 10:30-3. MC, V, AE.



FORTWORTH NIGHTLIFE



BlLLY BOB’S TEXAS. This huge country/western club in the Fort Worth Stockyards has a lot going for it two restaurants, forty-two bar stations, a real bull-riding arena, and several shops. It’s bigger than Gilley’s, more citified than the Longhorn Ballroom ever was. and a “must-see” if you re in Fort Worth 2520 N Commerce in the Stockyards. Metro 429-5979. Mon-Sat ) 11 am-2 am, Sun 10 am-2 am. MC, V, AE.



THE BLUE BIRD. Even when the band’s not playing, you’ll feel like dancing at The Blue Bird: the jukebox is the best in Fort Worth. But then, the patrons of this near-South Side club don’t want that to get around; they know a good thing when they’ve found it The club is packed nearly every weekend with regulars dancing to the infectious music of Robert Ealey and the Blues-blasters This is rhythm and blues at its finest, but sssshhh! 5636 Wellesley (817) 732-6243. Fri&Sat 7 pm-2 am. No credit cards.



THE WHITE ELEPHANT SALOON. In 1887, Luke Short, then the er of the White Elephant, shot it out with a former U.S. marshal Today, the Elephant has country/western music six nights a week and lots of tourists trying desperately to learn the two-step on a small dance floor. 106 E Exchange. (817) 624-8273 Mon-Sat 11 pm-2 am, Sun noon-midmght. MC, V. AE.

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