Friday, February 3, 2023 Feb 3, 2023
33° F Dallas, TX


Also: Manuel
By Liz Logan |

Taverna Christina

★ ★ ★ One of the hazards of restaurant reviewing is the ongoing imperative to strong-arm friends-and, in cases of increasing desperation, co-workers and passing strangers-into partaking of ethnic food they have severe doubts about. Nobody doesn’t love Italian food, but Ethiopian is another story.

On the persuadability scale, Greek food ranks low with the average Dallastte, or at least the average one of my acquaintance. Getting a companion to help me check out a Greek restaurant requires major plea-bargaining (okay, if you’ll come with me to this one, you get the next trip to the Mansion).

Which is why I was somewhat worn out by the time I prevailed upon my most accommodating partner-in-gastronomy to accompany me to Taverna Christina. The restaurant turned out to be large, loud, and attractive, with its white and bright blue color scheme. The loud part of the description deserves emphasis; even with a mere smattering of customers, the design of Taverna Christina is such that a resounding hubbub assaults the diner. Noisy restaurants are supposed to be what yuppies want, but this particular yuppie finds them shattering to the fragile nervous system.

Like DiPalma’s, Taverna Christina is casual, stylish, and uncommonly expensive for what you get. No lagniappe here: when the waiter asks if you will be wanting any garlic pita-bread toast or cracker bread, rest assured that you will be charged for each and every basket.

Pricey as it is. the food is quite good-as good, I suspect, as Greek food gets, and certainly better than any Greek food I have heretofore tasted in Dallas. (This brings to mind the line in a story about the Greek islands in a recent issue of Vogue: “Samos has a lot of restaurants, and unfortunately they all serve Greek food.”)

On the appetizer front, dol-mas-stuffed grape leaves-were refreshing, even if they were described as being stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat, and in fact were stuffed with rice only when I ordered them. Hummus-a puree of garbanzo beans, sesame paste, olive oil, and lemon juice-was perfection on one occasion, and dry and over the hill on another. Keft-ethes, diminutive meatballs served with a lemon-egg sauce, were savory and satisfying.

An entree of moussaka- zucchini and potatoes in a tomato-based meat sauce, topped with bechamel sauce-would have been swell save for the crunchy, undercooked potatoes. Pastitsio, a block of macaroni and meat sauce with bechamel and cheese on top, was very satisfying in an utterly bland way. Lamb stifado, chunks of lamb in a disagreeably strong-tasting tomato sauce, was relatively disappointing.

For dessert, I’ve heard good things about the rice pudding. I know that the galakto-bouriko, an unpronounceable lemon-flavored cheesecake-like dessert, is pleasant. The wine list is small and Greek, which is a disadvantage, but everything is available by the bottle or by the glass, which is an advantage. 3300 Oak Lawn. 520-2020. Mon-Thur 11 am-l0 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. MC, V, AE. Moderate to expensive.


★ ★ ★ ★ Even though Manuel has been previously reviewed in these pages, it’s reappearing because, mirabile dictu, Manuel has turned into the tapas-purveying Spanish restaurant local food maniacs were hoping for. Whereas before the change of menu. Manuel was just another continental restaurant with a not-very-noticeable Spanish accent, now it actually offers Spanish food-and terrific Spanish food at that. The Goya-esque, heavy-on-the-red decor is the same, but now it makes sense.

Presumably, this is the work of Javier Gomez, for years the maitre d’ at Calluaud, recently at San Simeon, and now at Manuel. Whoever is responsible for Manuel’s transformation is to be congratulated. The tapas-which translates roughly to “small foods.” or appetizers, in Spanish-are a can’t-lose proposition, to judge from the batch of them 1 tried recently.

Standouts were the tortilla espanola, a heavy-duty assemblage of potato, egg, and onion, and gambas al ajillo, shrimp in garlic-and pepper-enlivened olive oil. For dessert, the orange-sauced bunuelo made for a satisfying close to a thoroughly pleasing meal. 8220 Westchester, Preston Center. 373-4663. Lunch Mon-Fri ll:30 am-3 pm; dinner Mon-Fri 6-11, Sat 6-midnight; happy hour 5:30-7. dosed Sun. All credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate.



BABY ROUTH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This infant son of Routh Street Cafe is a casual, relatively inexpensive alternative to the pricey, reservation-required pleasures of Routh Street Cafe. Stephan Pyles and chef Amy Ferguson (who first made a name for herself in Houston) have come up with an earthy menu that is a pleasing balance of the new and the familiar Don’t miss the smoked corn chowder with collard greens cream, the spicy honey-fried chicken, the grilled prawn and apple-smoked bacon club sandwich on toasted brioche, and the chocolate-ancho pot de crème. 2708Routh. 871-2345. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, dinner daily 6-11. late-night menu Mon-Sat 11 pm-1 am; brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-3. All credit cards Inexpensive to moderate.

BEAU NASH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 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-survived. Hotel Crescent Court, 400 Crescent Court, Maple at McKinney 871-3240. Breakfast daily 6:30-10:30; Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; dinner daily 6 pm-11:15 pm, Sun brunch 11-2:15. All credit cards Expensive.

BLOM’S ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Last 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; shrimp stir-fried with snow peas, ginger, and truffles; sorbets; fillet of lamb m pastry with tomato salsa and goat cheese: and a summer pudding with a strawberry sauce. Westin Hotel. Gallena, 13340 Dallas Pkwy. 851-2882. Mon-Thur 6:30-10:30 pm. Fri & Sat 6-11. Closed Sun. Jackets and ties required. All credit cards. Expensive.

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, hippies, 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 sophislicated. And what hardly anyone at all knows is that although the place has no liquor license, you can bring your own wine or beer. 3312 Knox. 522-1478. Mon-Fri 7 am-3 pm, Thur-Sat 6 pm-10 pm. Sat & Sun 8 am-3 pm. MC, V; personal checks accepted Inexpensive.

LAURELS ★ ★ ★ ★ Two things that usually bode ill lor one’s prospects of eating well in a restaurant are height and association with a hotel Laurels, located on the twentieth floor of the Sheraton Park Central, is an exception to both caveats. The menu degustation, with a fixed price of $38.50, changes daily and is a good bet. A la carte choices are expensive, but choices like Maine lobster, wild mushrooms, and basil with fettuc-cine and roasted pheasant with green apple pasta and blue cheese sauce are well worth the tariff Desserts are killers here, especially the souffle of the day (apricot with raspberry sauce on my visit). Sheraton Park Central. 12720 Merit Or 851-2021 Mon-Sat 6 pm-10:30 pm. Expensive.

THE MANSION ON TURTLE CREEK ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ What never seems to change at the Mansion is its historic beauty and top-of-the-line service. What does change is the menu Now it’s printed daily, the better to accommodate changing offerings according to season-and the creative inspiration of Dean Fearing. Regulars tend to opt for whatever appears on any given day, diners for whom the Mansion is a relatively rare experience may prefer to sample such classics as (he peerless tortilla soup, Louisiana crab cakes with a sauce of smoked chilies, lobster, and blood orange, and crème brulée with raspberry sauce for dessert. 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-midmght. FriS Sat 11 pm-midmght. Promenade Room-breakfast Mon-Fri 7-11:30, Sat & Sun 7 am-1 pm; tea Mon-Fri 2-5 pm. All credit cards Expensive.

PARIGI ★ ★ ★ Parigi is a restaurant that inspires strong emotion. Its fans love its marbleized, post-modern look and its menu, which changes daily and might be described as hybridized nouveau American-French-Italian. Its detractors hate its patrician attitude (no iced tea on this menu – too plebeian) and its menu, which in its stranger manifestations can seem more Martian than anything else. On my last dinner visit, I found myself reflecting once again on the Parigi paradox: the pasta dishes always sound too interesting to pass up, and nearly always turn out to be too strange to enjoy: in this case, the relevant examples were tomato fettuccine with shrimp and asparagus in sorrel cream sauce and cilantro linguette with chicken, black beans, and red bell pepper pesto. Still, Parigi’s wine list is well chosen, its Saturday brunch is a lovely thing, and its waiters are terrific. 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. All credit cards. Expensive.

ROUTH STREET CAFE ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Routh Street Cafe’s formula for national gastronomic fame: Stephan Pyles’s New Southwestern Cuisine; a sleek, Tonny Foy-designed selling, and snappy, congenial service The five-course, fixed-price menu ($42. with surcharges for certain items) is printed daily, but certain items-such as cornmeal cattish 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. 871-7161. Tue-Sat 6-10:30 pm. Closed Sun & Mon. Reservations. All credit cards. Expensive.

SAN SIMEON ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Richard Chamberlain’s food matches the splendor of San Simeon’s service and its subtly, weirdly wonderful, post-modern Egyptian interior (Keep your eye on the lighting; it changes over the course of a meal.) Pick hits include a chowder of corn, wild rice. and duck sausage, chilled bow-tie pasta and prosciutto with sage walnut pesto; and Romano-crusted veal with angel-hair pasta and tomato sauce. 2515 McKinney at Fairmount in Chateau Plaza. 871-7373 Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 6-10:30, Fri-Sat 6-11; Sun brunch 11-2. All credit cards. Expensive.


LA MADELEINE ★ ★ ★ These are trying times, and every so often one needs a judicious combination of caffeine 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 lines 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. 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/café. 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 for the focac-cia 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 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 applicable adjectives. 5519 W Lovers Lane. 351-1426. Mon-Thur 9 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 9 am-11 pm. Sun 9-9. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive.


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 Closed Sun. No credit cards, personal checks accepted Inexpensive.

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 wood smoke 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. However, that sandwich alone is sufficient to earn Sonny’s its stars 2202 In-wood. 357-7120. Mon-Fri 10 am-5 pm, Sat 10 am-3 pm. Sun 11 am-2pm. No credit cards; personal checks accepted Inexpensive.

SOLLY’S ★ ★ There are those who believe that good barbecue can’t be found in the squeaky-clean reaches of Addison. They haven’t eaten at Solly’s, where the “casual cuisine” promised by the logo features barbecue as flavorful as that in any other part of town – and French fries that were recently derived from a potato, which is a sadly rare state of affairs 4801 Belt Line. 387-2900 Mon-Sat 11 am-9 pm. Closed Sun. MC, V. Inexpensive.


SNuFFER’S ★ ★ ★ Snuffer’s is nearly always packed with patrons who either go to SMU or look as if they ought to, but this should not be held against it. 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 the feat. 3526 Greenville. 826-6850. Man-Sat 11 am-2 am. Sun 11:30 am-2 am. All credit cards. Inexpensive.


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 prn-2 am. MC. V, AE. Inexpensive.

LOUISIANA PURCHASE ★ ★ Cajun is ragin’ in Piano, too. now that Louisiana Purchase is purveying étouffèe to residents of the North Land. The étouffée in question was quite good, with crawfish, rice, and sauce doing their collective magic The choice of size of entree (“large” or “not so large”) was also a nice touch A shrimp poor-boy sandwich was worthwhile, if not as impressive, and the dessert sampler, substantial tastes of three desserts-bread pudding, sweet potato pecan pie, and French silk and peanut butter pie-was a sugar fiend’s dream. The only problems: below-par bread and a Caesar salad that didn’t deserve the name. Central Expwy at Parker Rd. Piano. 422-2469 Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11, Sun 5 pm-10 pm; Sun brunch 11:30-2. MC, V, AE. Moderate.


AUGUST MOON ★ ★ ★ ★ On a recent visit to the origtnal Addison August Moon (there are now dones in Piano and Arlington, too), the food shone much more brightly than on previous visits. Whatever the reason, the results were impressive enough to make me look forward to a return trip. Steamed pot stickers, pork dumplings that are the Oriental version of ravioli, were simultaneously light and satisfying – and much more interesting than the standard-issue egg rolls. Lamb and prawns Hunan-style was a blast of heated flavor, which was a nice contrast to the refined tang of lemon chicken. 15030 Preston 3t Belt Line. 385-7227. Sun-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. All credit cards. Moderate.

BEST A ROUND ★ ★ ★ Mere at D, our fun-loving staff members frequently find themselves hard at work-and hungry-at odd hours Lately, we’ve taken to 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 Sun-Thur 3-3, Fri & Sat 3 pm-4 am. No credit cards. Inexpensive.

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 McKinney. 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, Addison. 385-7888. Sun-Thur 11:30 am-10 30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-11:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate.

HAN-CHU ★ ★ ★ Han-Chu is a great restaurant for an il-licit 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 lie, 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 imparted by the presence of black mushrooms and bam-boo 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! Expvsy at Park Lane, Suite 191. 691-0900. Sun-Thur 11:30 am-10.30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am 11:30pm. All credit cards. Moderate.

MAY DRAGON ★ ★ ★ ★ The food and service are as distinctive-and as commendable-as the post-modern decor at this Addison entry in the local Chinese restaurant sweepstakes. I’ve tried a raft of food here-from steamed dumplings to the whimsically named Penguins Double Happiness, which involves shrimp and chicken, not penguin-and never been less than happy. 4848 Belt Line at Inwood, 392-9998. Mon-Thur 11-10:30, Fri 11-11. Sat 11:30-11, Sun 11:30-10:30. All credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate.

PLUM BlOSSOM ★ ★ ★ ★ The elegant Plum Blossom has a new chef, and Steve Chiang’s work was very impressive on a recent visit. From appetizers of crispy five-spice quail and paper shrimp to main courses of knockout Peking duck, subtly gratifying birds nest chicken with pine nuts, and crispy whole catfish (looks frightening, tastes great), dinner was phenomenally good. And dessert-jasmine sorbet and rice ice cream with candied apple and kiwi sauce – was the best I’ve ever had in a Chinese restaurant. Loews Anatole Hotel. 2201 StemmonsFwy. 748-1200 Mon-Sat 6 pm-I0:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate to expensive.

UNCLE TAI’S HUNAN YUAN ★ ★ ★ ★ Uncle Tai’s is the highest 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. 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.


ACTUELLE ★ ★ ★ ★ If I had a chapeau to hand, I would eat it. As it is. I’ll have to settle for ingesting my words. When I first reviewed Actuelle. I found it off-putting and said so. However, as the months passed, and reliable sources continued to file reports of formidable meals at Actuelle. I revisited for lunch and dinner and found my sources to be correct. Although breast of Long island duck with angel-hair pasta was on the fatty side, everything else, Including tortilla soup with smoked chicken and serrano chilies and a dessert of apple-almond custard torte with caramel sauce, ranged from remarkably good to perfect Service is excellent, and the setting is austerely attractive. The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. 855-0440. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 6-10:30. Fri & Sat 6-11 All credit cards. Expensive.

CAfe 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 op-lions: 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 entrée 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 ot the Americas, 650 N Peart. 979-9000. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 630-10 30. Fri & Sat 6.30-11 Closed Sun. Jackets and ties required All credit cards. Expensive.

CHEZ GERARD ★ ★ ★Now that Calluaud has laid down its life to become a parking lot for the Hard Rock Cafe, it’s a safe bet that former Calluaud regulars will be joining the already healthy crowds at Chez Gerard (which is also a Guy and Marline 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. 4444 McKinney. 522-6865. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30: dinner Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Moderate to expensive.

The French Room ★ ★ ★ ★ With its cherubs, vaulted ceil-ing, 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 recent visit suggested that it is in an up cycle. From salads (green bean and green salad with goat cheese croutons) to entrées (salmon and rack of lamb) to dessert (apple tart), the food was all that one could ask for. What’s more, the sommelier is both congenial and weil-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 doot – 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. 2808 Greenville at Goodwin. 8230133. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 6-11, Fri & Sat 6 pm-midnight. All credit cards. Moderate.

LA CAVE ★ ★ ★ What with all the recent hoopla about the West End Marketplace and the weekend crowds resulting therefrom, hungry West End troopers would do well to remember quieter, less heralded establishments like La Cave. Although, as the name suggests La Cave focuses on wine, with its cellar full of the stuff, the food is reasonably priced and reliably good. The standard pales and cheeses are as good here as anywhere else in town, but it’s the well-prepared daily specials that earn La Cave its stars. 2019 N Lamar at McKinney 871-2072 Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri 11:30 am-midnight, Sat noon-midnight. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Moderate.

LEFT BANK ★ ★ ★ ★ The left bank in question is that of the Trinity River, and the restaurant in question is the best thing to hit Oak Cliff since the viaduct from downtown The food is simple, French-influenced, and changes every day. On the weekend, all of Oak Cliff wants to be here, so reservations are essential. 408 N Bishop. Suite 104. 948-1630. Lunch Tue-Fri 1130-2. Sat noon-3: dinner Tue- Thur 6-9. Fri & Sat 6-10. Wo credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate.

L’ENTBECOTE ★ ★ ★ ★ After a long sliding spell, L’Entre-cote has. as the French say. pulled up its socks. Thanks to the efforts of chef Michel Platz, 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 crawlish 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 killer. Loews Anatote Hotel. 2201 Stemmons Frwy. 748-1200. Wed-Mon 6-10:30 pm. Closed Tub. All credit cards. Expensive to very expensive.

THE RIVlERA ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 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 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, it 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. 7709 Inwood 351-0094. Sun-Thur 6 30 pm-10:30pm. Fri& Sat 6:30 pm-11 pm. All credit cards. Expensive to very expensive.


BELVEDERE ★ ★ Perfectly tender Wiener schnitzel is what keeps me coming back to Elelvedere, a Swiss/Austrian restaurant that adjoins the CrestPark Hotel, a residential hotel Alas, 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 setling, 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 6-1030. 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 tood-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 quill 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.

HOFSTETTER’S ★ ★ ★ ★ Tucked away in the Plaza at Bachman Creek, Hofstetter’s is a Viennese jewel. Here, in a setting that leads one to expect nothing more than sanawichshop tare, some of the best Germanic cuisine in the area is served. Sandwiches, coflees, and desserts are listed on the menu, but the real action is on the blackboard, which lists the daily specials. Plaza at Bachman Creek, 3830 W Northwest Hwy. 358-7660. Mon, Tue, Thur 11 am-9 pm; Wed, Fri, Sat 11 am-10 pm. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.


AKBAR ★ ★ ★ ★ Old India hands will want to thoroughly explore the byways of this restaurant’s menus That’s plural – there are two of them. the regular menu and the snack bar menu. Although the regular menu is praise-worthy, 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 turnovers stuffed with herbed potatoes and peas, and malai kofia, curry, cheese, and vegetable dumplings in a cream and almond sauce 2115 Promenade Center at Coit & Belt Line roads. 235-0260. Lunch Mon-Fri 11 am-2 pm. dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10. Fri & Sat 5.30-10.30. Sat & Sun brunch 11:30-2:30 MC, V, AE. Inexpensive.

ASHOKA ★ ★ ★ ★ Times may be hard, but this town has no shortage of wonderful Indian restaurants. Ashoka joins the list, with its bargain lunch specials and varied dinnertime menu Chicken korma is especially noteworthy here. Prestonwood Creek Shopping Center, 5409 Belt Line. 960-0070. Lunch daily 11-2: dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10. Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.

CURRY IN,CURRY OUT ★ ★ ★ ★ Love the name Also love the food and the prices This charming little family-run establishment may be somewhat spartan in appearance, but it is immaculate, and the food that emerges from the kitchen is well worth a trip to Garland, even it you don’t live nearby. One more incentive: prices are shockingly low. If you’re serious about Indian food, Curry In, Curry Out is required eating As the name suggests, meals may be eaten in or earried out. Northwest Crossing Shopping Center, 1250 Northwest Highway. 681-0087 Tue-Thur 11 am-9 pm. Fri 11 am-10 pm, Sat noon-10 pm. Sun noon-9 pm Closed Mon. No credit cards. 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 op! 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 pm-10 pm. Fri & Sat 5:30 pm- 10:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate.


ALESSIO’S ★ ★ ★ 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 Crab cannelloni, an appetizer of the day. was estimable enough to warrant on-the-menu status Shrimp provencal, 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. 4117 Lomo Alto. 521-3585. Tue-Sat 6-10:30 pm, Sun & Mon 6-10 pm. MC. V, AE. Moderate to expensive.

DIPALMA ★ ★ ★ This Italian eat-in/take-out shop/restaurant has been too popular for its own good ever since it opened. This means that Zen-like patience is required to have dinner here on weekend nights However, lunch is possible even for extreme Type As The chicken sandwich is a standout-the chicken breast marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, and red peppers is grilled and served on olive oil bread with lettuce, tomato, and vinaigrette And for dessert, you can hardly go wrong with any selection from the pastry cases. 1520 Green ville. 824-4500. Lunch Mon-Sat 11-3. dinner Mon-Thur 5-10:30. Fri & Sat 5-11. Closed Sun MC. V, AE. Moderate.

LA TOSCA ★ ★ ★ This chic, minimalist restaurant was designed by the late Perry Bentley, and it still looks as fresh in 1987 as it did when it opened in 1981. The food has also worn well, especially the state-of-the-art tortellini and veal scallopine with lemon sauce. 7713 In-wood. 352-8373 Sun& Tue-Thur 6 pm-10:30 pm. Fri & Sat 6 pm-11 pm, Sun noon-9 pm All credit cards 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 want 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 6-11 pm. Sat 5:30-11, Sun 5.30-9 pm. MC. V. Moderate.

NERO’S lTALIAN ★ ★ ★ The food is good enough here, but it isn’t great, and it certainly doesn’t come cheap. What, then, accounts (or 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-midnight Closed Sun. MC, V, AE. Moderate.

RISTORANTE SAVINO ★ ★ ★ Savino does well on both the congeniality and the food front. A recent visit v notable for warm service and commendable versions of spaghetti carbonara, fettuccine with gorgonzola and walnuts, and vitello tonnato, that refreshing combination of veal and tuna sauce. 2929 N Henderson. 826-7804. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Sun-Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. All credit cards. Moderate to expensive

SFIZI ★ ★ Sfizi is an odd, rewarding little West End eating establishment. Odd because this presumably Italian restaurant includes nachos among its appetizers, rewarding because its tortellini in cream sauce is one of the best versions in the city. Obviously, this a menu that requires care in ordering. the same lunch that featured the aforementioned stellar tortellini also included dull salads and ravioli In any case, prices are low, and the informal setting is airy and pleasant 1718 Market. 698 9390 Mon-Thur 11-11. Fri 11 am-1 am. Sat noon-1 am. Sun noon-11 pm. All credit cards. Inexpensive.

311 LOMBAROI’S ★ ★ ★ ★ What is the Italian translation of “good karma? Our waiter didn’t know, but 311 Lombar-di’s has achieved it Here, surrounded by the glow created by creamy aprtcot walls, happy hordes of downtown workers get what may well be the best Italian food in town at 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. goat 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 (or 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. 747-0332. Mon-Thur 11-11. Fri 5 pm-10 pm, Sat 5 pm-1 am. Sun 5-10 pm. Alt credit cards. Moderate.


MR. SUSHI ★ ★ ★ ★ Its all raw fish to me, but a number of my (rends are dedicated seekers of sushi, and the most serious of them swears by Mr Sushi My friend was moved by the “sushi B” dinner-tuna, white meat fish. yellowtail, jurnbo clam, shrimp, salmon, smelt egg, salmon egg, cooked egg, and tuna roll-and I was appeased by the sautéed soft shell crab and perfect shrimp tempura. The Quorum. 4860 Belt Line. Ad-dison. 385-0168. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30. Fri & Sat 5:30-11. Sun 5:30-10. 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 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 6-10:30, Fri-Sun 5:30-11. All credit cards. Moderate.

SUSHI ON McKINNEY ★ ★ ★ As a rule, the sushi is a better bet than the cooked things at this self-styled “friendly post-modern 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.


CITY 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. II, tor 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 possible to eat pasta salad with Indonesian peanut sauce or marinated beef salad with multi-colored bell peppers. Whatever else you gel. the light, soufflé-like apricot-raisin bread pudding should not be missed. 200 LTV Center, 2001 Ross at Harwood. 979-2696. Mon-Fri 7 am-4:30 pm. MC, V. 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 Hall St. 741 -9130. Mon-Fri 7 am-4 pm, Sat 8 am-3 am. No credit cards. Inexpensive.


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-tasting 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 Belt Line), Addison. 490-9557. Lunch Mon-Fri 11 am-2 30 pm, dinner Mon-Thur 4 pm-10 pm, Fri & Sat 5-11:30 pm 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 com-ida casera-home-styte 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, Addison. 458-0962. Sun-Thur 11-11, Fri & Sat 11 am-midnignt. All credit cards. Moderate.

CASA ROSA ★ ★ ★ This has long been a preppy hangout supreme, and in this instance those well-scrubbed WASPs in Ralph Lauren attire are on to something. From chili con queso to botanas especiales (bean, chicken, and beef nachos; marinated beef strips; and flautitas with sour cream and guacamole) to !he Puerto Vallarta combination (beef taco, enchilada with chili con carne, chicken enchilada with sour cream sauce, and Spanish rice) to praline cheesecake for dessert, everything (except for the underdone, too-tomatoey Spanish rice) was well-prepared, if not in the forefront of culinary innovation. Inwood 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.

Garcias Caribbean Grill. ★ ★ what is this world comingto? We’ve had Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex, tropical-Mex, and now, from Garcia’s, fish-Mex-their term. I swear it. Your reviewer, for one, has not been waiting breathlessly for catfish enchiladas, but Garcia’s peerless chili con queso- composed of white cheese and spinach, unlikely as it may seem – is alone worth a visit. Plaza at Bachman Creek, 3830 Northwest Hwy. 358-2664. Mon-Thur 11-midnight, Fri 11 am-1 am, Sat 11:30 am-1 am. Sun 11:30am-10pm MC. V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.

GENAO’S ★ ★ With its tropical art-deco look, Genaro’s is the prettiest place in town for margarita consumption. Happily, for the most part, the food matches the margaritas. Enchiladas Genaro. filled with snapper and crab meat, were extremely gratifying. And even if chicken with jalapeno and tomatillo cream sauce lopped with pumpkin seeds arrived sans pumpkin seeds, the accompanying black beans and pea-studded rice were pleasing, anyway. And the coconut ice cream was lushly satisfying, as always. 5815 Live Oak at Skillman. 827-9590 Mon-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri-Sun 11 am-midnight. All credit cards. Moderate.

LA BOTICA ★ ★ The mishmash of Dallasites who have found La Botica (it’s nearly hidden on Haskell Avenue about a mile east of Central) must like it for the same reasons I do: it’s casual, (airly quiet, and steeped in family-run friendliness The food – Mexican staples with a hefty addition of beef dishes-is tine but rarely exciting. Particularly good: the langy enchiladas verdes, the simple tacos. and the chicken soup. My otherwise happy visits met with two disappointments: the ho-hum and smallish carne asada and La Botica’s tendency to be out of things I want to order. 1900 N Haskell 824-2005. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2: dinner Mon-Thur 5-10. Fri & Sat 5-midnight. No credit cards. 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-10:30 pm. Fri & Sat 11-11. Closed Sun. Ait credit cards. Moderate.

MARTINEZ CAFE ★ ★ ★ Tex-Mex abounds in Dallas: top-notch Tex-Mex, however, is relatively rare Thai’s where Martinez Cafe comes in. It’s been a long time since standard-issue Tex-Mex made me sit up and take notice as I did here. There’s nothing outre on the menu, lust the standards, prepared as they should be Here you will find snappy salsa, notable nachos, tasty tacos, and enticing enchiladas. Just one caveat if Mexican food and margaritas are synonymous in your book, don’t come to Martinez Cafe. There aren’t any margaritas to be had. though beer and wine are available. 3011 Routh. 855-0240. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30, Sat 11-3; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. No credit cards. Inexpensive.

MIA’S ★ ★ ★ For to these many years, I have been hearing about the chile rellenos at Mia’s. And for lo these many years. I have been missing out on the chile rellenos at Mo’s. I would remember that they were available only on Tuesday, but forget they were available only at dinner on Tuesday. I would remember that they were available only at dinner on Tuesday, but they would be sold out. Recently, thanks to a kind-hearted waitress who let me have her pre-reserved relleno. I finally tasted the elusive entrée, stuffed with ground beef, potato, and raisins, and can report that the result was worth the wait The rest of Mia’s menu is above-average, but it’s the relleno- and the warm service-thai make the place worthy of cult status 4418 Lemmon. 526-1020. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Mon-Fr i5-10, Sat 11 am-10 30 pm. No credit cards. Inexpensive to moderate.

VlLLA MARGARITA ★ ★ ★ If you were |ust tooling around in the Coit-Belt Line area, chances are that you’d miss Villa Margarita unless you knew it was there. This is a shame, because VM is one of the best Mexican restaurants north of LBJ. Here, in pretty pastel surroundings, you can have some of the best nachos (with black beans, white cheese, and sour cream) to be had in these parts After the nachos, the standard Tex-Mex is fine, but I prefer the tender, flavorful carne asada. 362 Promenade Center. Coit & Belt Line, Richardson 235-5447 Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri 11-11, Sat 11 am-1 am. Sun 11 am-9 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate.


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 dtp of puréed chickpeas -also known as garbanzo beans-served with pita bread), the falafel 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) 9454 Marsh Lane, just north of North west High way 350-5 750. Lunch daily 11 -2; dinner 5:30-11. MC, V, DC, CB. Moderate.


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 Bachman Lake, 3701 W Northwest Hwy. Suite310, 350-9777. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm. Fri & Sat 11 am-11, Sun noon-9 pm at Northwest Hwy location, Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm. Fri & Sat 11 am-Wpm. Sun 11:30 am-9 pm at Maple and Greenville locations. MC. V. Inexpensive.

CAFE PACIFIC ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ There are a lot of first-rate waters working in Dallas, but Don at Cafe Pacific has to be in the very top rank. Even if the food hadn’t been as close to perfection as mere mortals can approach, his courtly but never pretentious manner and ability to be there exactly when you need him would still have made a recent lunch at Cafe Pacific a pleasure. All the same. Chinese chicken salad and a daily special of red snapper with a julienne of snow peas were all that they could and should have been. Highland Park Village. Preston at Mockingbird. Suite 24 526-1170. Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30-2.30, Sun )0 30-2:30. dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30. Fri & Sat 5:30-11 All credit cards. 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. Corner Shopping Center, 8041 Walnut Hill Lane. 361-1922. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5-10, Fri 5-11, Sat 5-11. Closed Sun. MC, V, AE. Moderate.

HAMPTON’S ★ ★ ★ Required eating for the cheapskate gourmet: Hampton’s perfect one-pound lobster, at $11. This family-oriented establishment offers a wide variety of some of the freshest seafood in town. Go ahead and do maximum damage to your appetizer and entree, because dessert is nothing special. Berkshire Court, Preston Center, Preston at Northwest Hwy. 739-3474. Lunch daily 11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10. Fri-Sat 5:30-11. Sun 5:30-9. 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 selling (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. MC, V, AE. Expensive.


CELEBRATlON ★ ★ ★ 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 ap-petile. Still, most patrons press on to such entrées 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.

CHAISE LOUNGE ★ ★ ★ ★ “This Is The Place Your Mother Warned You About,” says the sign outside The food served inside this dark roadhouse is swell: corn and conch chowder, pan-fried trout, and rice and raisin pudding with heavy cream are transcendenily noteworthy. It you don’t like to rock out to Cajun music, either go for lunch or sit in the kitchen at dinner. 3010 N Henderson. 823 1400. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner Mon-Sat 4 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.

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 (or decades. 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 potatoes 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; Village on the Parkway, 5100 Belt Line at Dallas Pkwy, Suite 600, 934-8800 N; downtown, 500 Akard at San Jacinto, Suite 220, 740-2400. Mon-Sat 11 am-8 pm at Cole location, Mon-Sat 11 am-8 pm, Sun 10:45 am-3 pm at Village on the Parkway location. Mon-Fri 6.30 am-2 pm at downtown location. No credit cards. MC. V, AE for takeout and buffet orders of more than $10. Inexpensive.

Mama Taught Me How ★ ★ ★ ★ Here is a down-homedream 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; personal checks accepted. 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 Rosemarie’s quite so often, but when I do, it’s like old-home week. Rosemarie Hudson never forgets a customer, and her warmth accounts in pan for the fanatical loyalty this little 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.


DElFRISCO’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 softball-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 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-10 pm All credit cards Expensive.

LAWRY’S THE PRIME RIB ★ ★ ★ ★ Finding myself once again on the verge of the big NB (nervous breakdown). ! decided on dinner at Lawry’s The only choices are prime rib. prime rib, and prime rib-in three cuts-so the stress of ordering is minimal. And the fare is hardcore comfort food that takes the overwrought diner back a couple of decades to the Sunday-dinner fare of a simpler time The beef was tender and flavorful; and the accompaniments- including a salad of Romame, iceberg, and watercress; mashed potatoes: and creamed spinach -were admirable. At lunch there are also chicken, fish, and salad options, but prime rib is the point here At lunch or dinner, the look of Lawry’s is surreally baronial, with tapestry and massive furniture abounding. 3008 Maple. 521-7777. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2: dinner Mon-Thur 6-10:30. Fri 6-11:30. Sat 5.30-11:30, Sun 5-10. Sun brunch 11:30-2. All credit cards Expensive.

PALM ★ ★ ★ ★ The Palm is a weird experience for first-timers, to |udge from the comments of the friend who accompanied me on my last checkup lunch. She knew it was famous for huge, expensive lobsters and steaks. and. logically enough, expected the place to be plush and serious-looking Instead, of course, the decor, such as it is, consists of the worst caricatures ever committed to paper of the locally famous and semi-famous. Lunch at the Palm, it turns out, is a really good idea. The lunch specials are not only less pricey than the choices at dinner, but they’re frequently better, to judge from the celestial roast pork I tried this time around 701 Ross. 698-0470. Mon-Fri 11:30 am-10:30 pm, Fri 11:30 am-11 pm, Sat 5-10:30 pm, Sun 5-9:30 pm. All credit cards. Very expensive.


CRESCENT GOURMET ★ ★ ★ The Crescent Gourmet offers some of the best baked goods in town for breakfast. The croissants, Danishes, and muffins are done right-and on the premises. Any of the aforementioned, along with fresh-squeezed juice, would start any day right At lunch, there are plenty of reasonably priced sandwiches and salads to choose from, including the knockout pizzas served next door at Beau Nash. 400 Crescent Court, Suite 150. Maple at McKin-ney. 871-3223. Mon-Fri 7 am-5:30 pm. Sat 10:30 am-3 pm. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Moderate.

EVERYDAY GOURMET ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This is the takeout establishment that I’ve been waiting for-or it would be, if only it kept later hours. The food is homey in the best sense, but never tastes amateurish. The fare changes, but peerless meat loaf and chicken salad are two standards, and the prices for this simple perfection are reasonable. 4446 Lovers Lane. 373-0325. Mon-Fri 7:30 am-7 pm. Sat 8 am-5:30 pm. MC, V. Inexpensive to moderate.

POLLO BUENO ★ ★ ★ This may well be the fast food of the gods. PB’s hickory-roasted chicken is remarkably succulent. With it you can get very good cole slaw and rice, pretty good cornbread, and pretty odd beans. You can eat inside the clean, spiffy-looking premises or take your treasure home. 3438 Samuell Blvd. 828-0645. Daily 11-11. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive.

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 fettuccine? 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 Spring Valley, Suite 158 at Montfort, 991-4040. Mon-Fri 11 am-7 pm. Sat 10 am-6 pm. Closed Sun. MC, V. Inexpensive to moderate.

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 beef 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. Now more than ever, 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.


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 beef, and shrimp with snow peas that 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 I was refused because the bar was closed) 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.

LA DELI ★ ★ You can begin and end your meal with the Generous Tray alone: eighteen (count ’em) dishes of assorted Lebanese salads and appetizers, from rolled and stuffed grape leaves to fresh yogurt. This is a very enticing – and tilling – beginning. But if you have room tor an entree, the combination dinner is a good choice because you can sample some of Lebanon’s best dishes: kibbi, falafel, and shish kebab. 5433 N MacAr-thur, Irving. 580-1163 Mon-Thur 11 am-8 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-10 pm. Closed Sun. All credit cards; personal checks accepted, Inexpensive.

TANDOOR ★ ★ 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 our waitress to obtain a glass. Three gastronomic tough guys tasted humiliation as we choked down a sulfurous concoction that could have passed for Trinity River 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 1-30. 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 Continental 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 surrounded by a rich sauce). Main courses at Via Real also tilt toward the seafood end. Town North Centre. 3591 N Belt Line at Northgale, Irving. 255-0064. Lunch Mon-Sat 11-5; dinner Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 5-11; Sun brunch 10-2. All credit cards. Moderate.


ANGELO’S ★ How much of Angelo’s reputation is warranted and how much mere mystique? I found the sliced barbecue and the chopped beef sandwich both lacking in smoky flavor (though tender and lean enough) the last time around. The extras here have never been worth hooting about, so that didn’t leave much besides the cold beer to make the visit memorable. 2533 White Settlement Rd. (817) 332-0357. Mon-Sat 10:30 am-10 pm. Closed Sun. No credit cards. Inexpensive.

HEDARY’S ★ ★ Some things at Hedary’s were better than ever on my 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 delicate and delicious. However, skewered lamb was tough, frarej (chicken broiled in olive oil) didn’t taste as boldly of garlic as we remembered. 3308 Fairfield at Camp Bowie (817) 731-6961. Lunch Tue-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, are a standout 2443 Fores! Park Blvd. Fort Worth. (817) 926-5622 Mon-Thur 11:30 am-9 pm. Fri 11:30am-10 pm. Sat 6 pm-10 pm, Sun 11 am-2:30 pm MC. V Moderate.

THE ORIENTAL ★ ★ ★ Come the weekend, and normal people grab a bite at the nearest eatery that appeals. Restaurant critics and their long-suffering triends head out for North Richland Hills, where they have been told terrific Thai food is to be found-and where they are misdirected by the local constabulary, and so arrive after closing time. To the credit of the kind-hearted staff of the Oriental, the group in question was fed in spite of the hour And the food was worth any amount of driv-ing, especially the pork sate with peanut sauce, the risibly named “Earth, Wind and Fire Part It” (which translates to breast of chicken with cashew nuts and vegetables), and Thai doughnuts, with an orange-peanut sauce for dipping. (And thanks to reader Lisa Bain Grossman for the recommendation.) 6455 Hilltop Or, North Richland Hills. (817) 656-2144. Lunch Tue-Sun 11 am-3:30 pm; dinner Tue-Thur 4:30 pm-9:30 pm,Fri & Sat 4:30 pm-10:30 pm. All credit cards. Inex-pensive to moderate.

SAINT-EMILION ★ ★ ★ ★ Considering the four-course fixed price of $20 per person, it’s surprising that more Oallasites don’t make the trek to Saint-Emilion. The last time I did. the results were impressive A thoughtfully put together salad (leaf lettuce, radicchio, watercress, walnuts, and bits of bacon dressed with walnut oil), text-book 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.) Juicy swordfish provencal and nicely roasted duck with cherry sauce were all one could ask for. (Actually, one could ask that the duck be boned.) For dessert, pass on !he fluffy, lightweight chocolate mousse and opt for the extraordinary creme 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.


ADAIR’S. The great old beer joint of Dallas continues t0 pull in its rednecks, loud-mouthed attorneys, chic city women who act country, and all-around fun-loving people who like to drink beer and spill it on the pool tables. Since Adair’s moved to its Deep Ellum location, cynics have been predicting its demise. But the half-pound hamburgers and whiny jukebox still draw a crowd. 2624 Commerce. 939-9900. Mon-Sat 9 am-2 am Closed Sun. No credit cards

ARTHUR’S. If they ever raise the drinking age in Texas to forty one, this place could be in trouble. A tastefully appointed bar offering live entertainment, the crowd that gathers here is older and sophisticated They know that if you don’t have money, you should at least look like you do. Campbell Center, 8350 N Central Expwy. 361-8833. Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 am, Sat 6 pm-2 am. Closed Sun. All credit cards

BABY’S. One of the slickest dance clubs in Dallas is (sur-prise!) found amid the lard-back nightlife on McKinney Avenue. It will probably bother some that most of the clientele is gay-but there are sprinklings of all the eclectic types here. This place has every trapping of Cool – a sunken dance floor (a la Starck Club), video screens, neon lights, a separate room in the back for 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.

BAR OF SOAP. We’d like to see this place make it just because of its name. A combination art pub and launderette, you can do your wash in the back room while sipping your favorite beer or wine. But you’ll want to make sure you stay there long enough to hear original music and poetry readings performed on lop of the “soap box ” Along with the original artwork hanging on the walls p!ans are in the works to provide people a chance to show their own productions on the bar’s VCR. 3615 Parry Ave. 823-6617. Daily noon-2 am. No credit cards.

BARNEY OLDFIELD’S. Barney Oldfield’s relentlessly pushes on, no matter what other clubs are doing, with its “straight from Las Vegas” heme. Everyone who appears on the stage seems to be either from Reno or Vegas But 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. Man- Thur 11 am-1:30 am. Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat & Sun 4:30-2 am Shows Tue-Thur 8:30 & 10:30. Fri & Sat 9 & 11. 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 jeans 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.

BOILER ROOM. Walk inside and it’s easy to see how this bar got its name: it’s the actual boiler room of the old Sunshine Biscuit Company. However, this has nothing to do with its popularity as a dance club and the best new singles bar close to downtown Some may feel inhibited dancing in front of the floor to-ceiling windows next to the dance floor: others won’t want to leave. Part of the Dallas Alley in the West End Marketplace. 603 Monger 988 0581. Daily noon-2 am 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 mourning 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 4-3. Sal 7 pm-3 am. Sun 8 pm-2 am. M, V, AE.CHEERS, Looking for a good dive bar to watch a basket-ball game? Or how about a small, casual place for a hamburger or sandwich? Well, they’re both here. The crowd was starting to make this place look like an SMU dorm. Changes were made to accommodate the over twenty-one drinking crowd, and it’s working. 5114 Greenville 692-5738. Daily 5 pm-2 am, V, AE.CheLSEA CoRNER. In the block where upper McKinney Avenue runs into Highland Park, this is the perfect club to blend the two cultures, Aquiet, 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 fast lane or a way to unwind if you’re coming off it, 4830 McKinney. 522-3501. Daily 11 am-2 am. Live music Tue-Sat. MC, V, AE, DC.THE DEN. This dark, warm, intimate bar is located inside the Stoneleigh Terrace Hotel. You never know who you’re going to see here, if anyone at all. It’s the perfect place to meet someone for a quiet conversation. And if they bore you. you can always-spend your time try-ing to figure out whose picture is hanging next to Bob Hope’s. Stoneleigh Terrace Hotel, 2927 Maple Ave. 871-7111. Mon- Sat 11 am-midnight. Sun noon-10 pm. MV. V. AE, DC.DICK’S LAST RESORT. The customers of this restaurant/bar spend most of their time saying, over and over, “Excuse me.” The place is usually standing room only, and with good reason, it’s a fun bar offering live Dixieland music, bench seating, and decent food that comes in a buck-et. As the West End grows, so will the crowds But not at Dick’s-they cant get any bigger. Corner of Ross & Record. 747-0001. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-1 am, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-2 am, Sun 1 pm-midnight. MC, V, AE, DC.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 dif-ferently than the band’s own name. Nor did we under-stand when the club’s manager labeled the clubs 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, and 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 atrip. 4908 Greenville. 361 2489. Sun-Thur 8 pm-2 am, Fri & Sat 7 pm-2 am. Closed Mon. MC, V, AB.ETCETERA. Think of all the names this hot North Dallas bar has been called. Papagayo, In Cahoots, etc. Oh, wait. The last one is actually the name of the bar now, and it’s the latest one to attract long customer lines. It’s hot for all the right reasons: search lights outside cross the sky, waitresses slink by in hand-painted uniforms. a dress code encourages expensive clothes, and most important, it’s the newest place on the street. 8796 N Central Expwy, in NorthPark East, 692-5417. Mon-Thur 4:30 pm-2 am, Fri 4:30 pm-3 am, Sat 8 pm-3 am, Sun 8 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.FAST & COOL. Fast & Cool is undisputably the King of Lower Greenville. 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-Thur8pm-2am, Fn&Sat 7-4. Closed Mon. Cover $3 Thur, $4 Fri & Sat. MC, V, AE.Fat TuESDAY. You can laissez les bon temps roulez in this spacious pleasure barn, though even a healthy crowdseems swallowed up here. The Mardi Gras mood is enhanced by the huge, festive masks that adorn the walls, especially the striking sun mask that smiles over the bar-our first nomination for the Dallas Museum of Nightclub Art. Ultimately, of course, the Bourbon Street spirit depends on spirits, and Fat Tuesday delivers. More than a dozen high-octane mixtures churn perpetually in blenders, the aptly named Crawgator, a house specialty, mixes three kinds of rum. brandy, and juices. The Cajun buffet-all the jambalaya and chicken wings you want for $2 -is satisfactory. 6778 Greenville 373-7377. Daily 11 am-2 am. MC, V, AE.

FOUR SEASONS BALLROOM. This place offers big-band music for ballroom dancing. A strict dress code is enforced: dresses for the ladies and coats and lies for the gentlemen Only setups, beer. wine, and soft drinks are served, except on Fridays, when food is available Cover varies, and free dance lessons are offered. 4930 Military Pkwy. 349-0390. Wed 8:45- 11:45 pm, Fri 9 pm-12:30. No credit cards.

FROGGY BOTTOMS. Ever wondered what a basement bar during prohibition must have looked like? This is it. A wonderful rhythm and blues club offering good barbecue and cold beer, the atmosphere here was definitely designed for good times in a very small setting The Tonny Foy decor can best be described as early flea market The walls are decorated with graffiti and scrap metal. Part of Dallas Alley in the West End Marketplace. 603 Munger. 988-0581. Daily 11 am-2 am. Cover varies. MC, V, AE.

FUNNY BONE. The Funny Bone is to the comedy scene what McDonald’s is to hamburgers. It’s the largest chain of comedy clubs in the country. You may not recognize all the names that appear here, but that doesn’t mean they’re not funny. Many of these comics are in the middle of long runs playing the ten clubs around the country. Tuesday nights you can catch the local improv group, “4 out of 5 doctors.” LBJ Freeway and Greenville Avenue in the High Point Village Shopping Center. 437-2000- Shows; Wed, Thur. Sun 8:30; Fri 8:30 & 10:45; Sat 8, 10, & midnight. Tue 9 pm. 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 (or 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. 826-5650. Daily 11 am-2 am. MC, V, AE.

GREENVILLE BAR & GRILL. This no-friiis 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 for 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 LA. nightspot, the club takes its 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. The opening act, juggler Daniel Rosen, broke every law of physics by juggling a “Swiss army cat” festooned with razor-sharp blades. 9810 N Central Expwy (in the Corner Shopping Center). 750-5868- Showtimes Sun-Thur 830 pm. Fro & Sat 8:30 & 10:45. MC, V, AE.

JOE MILLER’S. The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s certainly true of Joe Miller’s. It’s still one of the best places in town tor a real drink, and as always, after work there are plenty of good conversations going on that anyone can enjoy. That is unless you can’t say anything but “Come here often?” or “What’s your sign?” lt’s still (even with Joe’s passing) the number one media bar in town 3531 McKinney. 521-2261. Mon noon-midnight, Tue-Fri noon-2 am Closed Sat & Sun. MC, V, AE.

KNOX STREET PUB. Here, across the street from such yuppie delights as On the Border and Hoffbrau, is a bar still fighting to be laid back. And what is laid back these days? How about a varied jukebox with rock ’n’ roll, English New Wave, country/western, and Sixties pop? How about terrible restrooms and old pool tables? How about a motley clientele? The pub is a classic neighborhood bar, a vanishing species. 3230 Knox. 526-9476. Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 5 pm-10 pm, No credit cards,

LEGENDS. The “legends” here are the least interesting thing about the club- names of Texas sports figures like Bob Lilly. A. J. Foyt, and Babe Didrikson circle the bar in a mock-up of Texas Stadium’s Ring of Honor. More interesting are the dance floors; one is a regulation boxing ring (which will also feature karate and boxing exhibitions) The other is a miniature baseball diamond, which will no doubt spawn endless jokes about scoring and striking out. But if this successor to the old Café Dallas proves to be more than a Greenville mayfly, credit will go to the banks 0f television screens that alternate rock videos with vintage sports footage and live sporting events. It’s quite a novelty to see Magic Johnson and David Lee Roth airborne at once, or to watch Sandy Koufax firing a hummer past the head of Cyndi Lauper. Brush her back, Sandman, brush her back. Old Town, 5500 Greenville 9870067. Mon-Fri 4 pm-2 am, Sat & Sun 11:30-2 am. MC, V, AE.

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-|azz 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 intelligentsia? Here’s what you do: first, dress chic, but don’t let it look elegantly chic. Casual clue 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 1hose foreign movies playing next door at the Inwood Theatre so you’ll have something to talk about at the bar And you’d better show a little poise This is as close as Dallas gets 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. Mariano’s claim to have invented the margarita, like so much else in this world, must, be taken on farth. But if they didn’t create the drink here, you couldn’t tell it from sampling the Mercedes or Papa Mariano’s Recipe, a delightful marriage of Cuervo and Cointreau. A few of these beauties and a plate of the Mexi-canapés (with fleutas, a feisty stuffed jalapeno, etc) and you’ll gladly overtook the cheesy pastel portraits of local sports, entertainment, and media celebs that ring the cantina. Old Town. 5500 Greenville. 691-3888. Sun-Thur 10:30 am-11 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-11 pm. MC, V, AE.

MILO 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 clientele, you’d swear he’d moved into the basement of the SMU student center. 5645 Yale. 368-9212- Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 am, Sat noon-2 am, Sun 2 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.

MISTRAL. The all-slick, high-lech dance dub 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 Anatole. 2201 Stemmons. 760-9000 Tue 8 pm-3 am. Wed 8 pm-3 am. Thur 8 pm-2 am, Fri 8 pm-4 am, Sat 8 pm-4 am. Cover $5 Thur & Fri. $10 Sat. All credit cards.

NANA. Its 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 Anatole Hotel, 2201 Stemmons Fwy. 748-1200. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat & Sun 6 pm-2 am. All credit cards.

NO WHAR BUT TEXAS. This place may be the most casual of the big country/western bars. No one seems to care if you can’t dance or drawl. And you’ll still find great North Dallas cowboys and cowgirls on and around the huge dance floor. The Comer Shopping Center. 9840 N Central Expwy. Suite 340. 369-3866. Mon-Fri 6 pm-2 am, Sat 7 pm-2 am. Sun 6 pm-2 am. Cover varies. All credit cards.

PlNOT’S WlNE BAR. You want wine by the glass, this is the place to get it-twenty-one varieties, ranging in price from $2 50 to $21 a glass. (If you’re trying to check out all twenty-one in one night, the half-glass option might be advisable.) There is a menu, and it’s more than passable, if less than awe-inspiring, but wine, not food, is the lure here. Pinot’s setting is closer to plain than plush, which doesn’t seem to bother in the least the wine and restaurant business crowd that gravitates here. 2926 N Henderson. 826-1949. Daily 2 pm-midnight. MC, V, AE.

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 ten 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 TOES. 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 am. 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 6:30 pm-2 am. Sun 6:30 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.

THE PROPHET BAR. Haunted by the threat of nuclear war? The lines of Dylan Thomas? The lines at the Starck Club? it 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 a 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 music will-thank God-drown you out. 2713 Commerce. 742-2615. Sun-Thur 11 am-2 am, Fri & Sat 3 m-4 am, Sun 3 pm-2 am. AE.

RAZZ MATAZZ. Talk about a mixed bag: there’s no telling who you’re going to find in Razz Wa 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 tor a piece of authentic Dallas culture. Razz Ma Tazz features a strong lineup of local latent playing everything from hard-driving R & B to straight-ahead mainstream jazz. The acoustics are pretty goad, 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 Daily 11 am-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. Tue-Sat 8 pm-2 am MC, V, AE.

RICK’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. 1919 Greenville 824-6509. Daily 8 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.

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. and 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 iukebox. There aren’t many places in the Metroplex where you can hear Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Grand Funk Railroad for the same quarter. 2818 Greenville 823-6550. Daily 3 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.

SRO. What would the yuppie downtown business crowd do if they couldn’t have an after work drink at SRO (which should stand for Smashingly Resplendent-ly Ordinary)? Here, you may tap your manicured fingernails against the sleek bar and wonder who that handsome man is in the Armani suit or what kind of soul lurks beneath that Neiman-Marcus mannequin look-alike who is sipping wine by herself Everyone looks good in the track lighting of SRO. That, of course, doesn’l help the food and you’d better be ready to talk banking or real estate principles if you want to last here 2900 McKinney 748-5014 Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am Closed Sun MC V, AE.

StAN’S BLUE NOTE. The best beer-drinking joint on Lower Greenville, this place has been discovered mostly by the post-SMU crowd. But you’ll still find your quota of eccentrics and plain old barflies who love the shuf-fleboard and pool tables and the surprisingly lively at-mosphere. 2908 Greenville 824-9653. Daily 11 am-2 am. No credit cards.

STARCK CLUB. A lot of people have been wondering: will Starck survive “the bust”? Will it survive the opening of more and more West End bars? True, it may not be quite as crowded and it’s only open Thursday through Sunday now. but we’re happy to report that the bar that taught us how to go to the bathroom together is still going strong. Which only goes to prove, there is life without ecstasy. 703 McKinney in the Brewery 720-0130. Thur & Sun 9 pm-2 am. Fri & Sat 9 pm-4 am. Closed Mon-Wed Cover $5 Thur & Sun after 9 pm; $10 Fri & Sat after 9 prn. All credit cards.

STATE BAR. One sign of a bar’s success is the sighting of T-shirts emblazoned with its logo on the persons of its patrons and would-be patrons. By that standard. State Bar is nearly as successful as-and far more hip than – the Hard Rock Cafe. What has made State Bar’s martini-glass trademark omnipresent is simple: this is a bar for low-key Bohemians who want to have civilized conversation while gazing out picture windows facing the fairgrounds across the street. The subdued lighting-there are rheostats at each booth-and moderate volume of the music make this possible All in all, the effect is of a gallery opening without the pic-lures. 3611 Parry. 821-9246. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat noon-2 am. Sun 6 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.

STONELEIGH P. Ask someone about the Stoneleigh P. and they’re likely to describe it as one of their favorite places for a casual lunch. Ask someone else, and they’ll tell you what a great bar it is for a late-night drink. Both are right. This would be a great neighborhood bar even if it weren’t in a great neighborhood It’s a long-time favorite of the downtown set and advertising types. 2926 Maple. 871-2346. Mon-Thur 11 am-1 am, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am. Sun noon-midnight. AE.

STRICTLY TaBu. Tuesday through Sunday, this popular jazz club/restaurant answers the burning question: how many people can you put into a small, smoke-filled, rectangular room? If the jazz weren’t excellent here, they wouldn’t put the bands in the front window for all to see. Bring an appetite for Italian food if you re going to arrive late Chances are the restaurant upstairs is the only place you’ll find to sit. Lomo Alto at Lemmon Avenue. 528-5200. Tue-Thur 6 pm-1 am. Fri & Sat 6 pm-2 am. Sun 6 pm-midnight. Closed Mon. MC, V, AE.

STUDEBAKER’S. Can this good-times emporium be slipping so soon into senescence? Say it ain’t so, Elvis. Actually news of Studebaker’s demise may be greatly exaggerated True, new clubs have cut deeply into its crowds; the pairons are older and less chic than before But the passion for nostalgia seems undying, so aging rock lovers still gather at such shrines to bop and stroll their way to bliss The non-stop mix of cutesy rock (Hand Jive.” “Hokey-Pokey,” elc.). Motown, and the old gold of various Frankies and Bobbies can still pack em in And don’t forget the generous happy hour buffet. NorthPark Bast. 8788 N Central Expwy. 696-2475. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am. Sat 7 pm-2 am. Sun 5 pm-2 am. MC. V. AE.

STUDIO 67. The hottest disco in South Dallas, Studio 67 is regularly packed, with everyone wanting to dance. Dance music is new. not filled with the old disc jockey favorites Membership required to buy liquor 3939 S Polk. 374-1200. Wed-Fri 5 pm-2 am. Sat 7 pm-3 am. Sun 7 pm-2 am. MC V, AE.

TAKE 5. Chefs will tell you that a fine dinner will taste better if it looks good. If that holds true for music, then the jazz in this bar will sound great Take 5 has a sophisticated look done in black and live music at a level that lets you enjoy talking to the person across the table And. unlike many clubs, there is more time devoted to music than breaks. Part of Dallas Alley in the West End Marketplace. 603 Munger. 988-0581. Daily 6 pm-2 am. MC, V, AE.

TERILLI’S. Ah, yes that great Lower Greenville tradition- sipping wine, eating Italian and listening to that smooth, soft kind of jazz that makes you start snapping your fingers like Mel Tormé. Wait a minute! This is on Lower Greenville? Goodness, class is popping up everywhere With the kind of black-and-white art deco decor that looks super expensive a cozy bar area where you can meet someone who is (incredibly) not in real estate, and live |azz groups every night except Monday, you can actually drink something other than beer and not worry if others are making fun of you. 2815 Greenville. S27-3993. Mon-Sat 11:30 am-2 am. Sun 11 am-2 am. MC, V. AE.

VENETIAN ROOM. The old king of the Dallas showroom supper clubs still consistently brings in the most recognizable names in popjazz-comedy acts. The posh, elegant place, with its frescoes on the walls and tux-edoed waiters, might be intimidating to some, but the dress code has been loosened (you can get by without tie or fancy dress), the cover charge ranges from twelve to twenty dollars, and you don’t have to buy the full-course dinner (which starts at twenty dollars) to come to the show Fairmont Hotel. Ross and Akard. 720-2020. Tue-Sun. two shows nightly at 9 pm and 11 pm. All credit cards.

VIDEO BAR. If you’ve watched MTV once during the last year, you owe it to yourself to go to the Video Bar They have found music videos that you never see anywhere else-even some absolutely weird stuff that is all fraught with significant meaning and whatnot. If you 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 found their spots, so be prepared to wail in line. 2812 Elm. 939-9113. Daily 8 pm-2 am. MC V, AE.

VlLLAGE COUNTRY CUB. 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. Live music 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 takes about three hours and at least that many drinks to get them out of their chairs and onto the high-tech dance floor. High atop the Westin Hotel, Visions offers a sparkling view of the city, elegant surroundings, and bartenders who dispense a welcome sense of humor along with the drinks. Westin Hotel, Gallena. 13340 Dallas Parkway. 934-9494 Mon-Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sat 8 pm-2 am. Closed Sun All credit cards.

WALL STREETS. Junk bonds absorption rate, lax 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 conversation crowd – and they love it. 725 N Olive in the Bryan Tower Parking Garage. 754-0199. Mon-Fri 11 am-8 pm. Closed Sat & Sun All credit cards.

THE WlHE 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 ceiling 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-midntght. MC, V, AE.

ZANZIBAR. 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 Zan2ibar 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 5:30 pm-midnight. Tue-Sat 11:30 am-2 am. Sun 10:30 pm-midnight MC, V, AE.

ZEBO’S. This is a wide-open pop-music dance bar that’s unpretentious and has a low cover charge-an increasingly rare find Zebo’s real forte, however, is its Rockabilly Wednesday, which features live bands and pumped-in rock TV roll. 5915 E Northwest Hwy 361-4272. Wed-Fri 6 pm-2 am. Sat & Sun 7 pm-2 am. Closed Mon & Tue. No credit cards.


SILLY BOB’S TEXAS. This huge country/western club in the Stockyards has a lot going for if. 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 Rodeo Plaza in the Stockyards Metro 429-5979. Daily 10 am-2 am. MC, V, AE.

THE BLUE BlRD. 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 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 Bluesblasters. This is rhythm and blues at its finest, but sssshhh! 5636 Wellesley. (817) 732-6243 Fri &Sat 10 pm-2 am. No credit cards.

CARAVAN OF DREAMS. Caravan of Dreams, which covers three floors of a chic Sundance Square building, has excellent live jazz/blues (and a bar) on the first floor, a theater with movies and live drama (and a bar) on the second floor, and an outdoor patio with a cactus garden (and a bar) on the roof. 312 Houston. (817) 877-3000 Wed-Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sat 7 pm-2 am. Sun 6 pm-midntght. Closed Mon & Tue Cover (or shows only. MC, V, AE, DC.

THE HOP. ln three words, The Hop is warm, woody, and wonderful. It has the air of a typical college hangout (it’s just one block from TCU), but lacks the cutesy crowd or trendy atmosphere. A stage tucked in the corner features national and local bands, with music ranging from folk to reggae, rock to country Although all the food is good, none of it can surpass the pizza. 2905 W Berry. (817) 923-7281. Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 4 pm-2 am. MC. V, AE.

THE WHITE ELEPHANT SALOON. In 1887, Luke Short, then theowner of the White Elephant, shot it out with a formerU.S. marshal. Today, the Elephant has couniry/westernmusic six nights a week and lots of tourists tryingdesperately to learn the two-step on a small dancefloor. 106 E Exchange. (817) 624-8273. Sun-Thurnoon-midnight, Fri & Sat noon-2 am Happy hour: Mon-Fri 4 pm-7 pm. MC, V, AE.