DINING OUT NEW RESTAURANT REVIEWS Teppo: Irresistible Japanese Cuisine

Also: Eduardo, Tuppee Tong, Fresh ’n Light, and Macho’s Cafe and Bar

TEPPO

WHEN THEORISTS SPEAK of pheromones, the mysterious hormonal signals by which members of a species irresistibly attract each other, restaurants are not the subject of the discussion. Yet some similar silent magnetism must affect the dining trade-how else to explain how a relatively unsung new eatery, devoted to a relatively underappreciated cuisine, could explode overnight into SRO popularity?

Teppo is the eatery, Japanese is the cuisine, and its instant attraction is easier to experience than to explain. Occupying an arrow-narrow space between two other ethnic restaurants on Lower Greenville, the immaculate little establishment can-and daiiy does seat some four dozen celebrants at its six inside tables and 20-chair sushi bar. Up to 15 more can be accommodated out front on a tiny sidewalk patio, What they’re fed here sounds, at first blush, equally limited: Teppo’s bill of fare is confined to sushi, sashimi, and yakitori, the last involving skewer-strung nibbles of marinated meats and vegetables grilled over oak-scented charcoal. The one-page menu reads like a bare-bones shopping list of raw seafood and simple canapé-sized cooked treats.

Ah, well, but that’s without allowing for the expanded pleasure inherent in orchestrating the selections. And sequences. Prompted by cultural conditioning (first the shrimp cocktail, then the steak, dontcha know), we’d have started with cool sushi ridbits and given the grilled treats entree eminence if our server hadn’t tactfully mentioned that Japanese custom calls for savoring yakitori choices as hors d’oeuvres before proceeding to the subtler flavor and texture contrasts of fresh, raw seafood.

Not that it matters; we could have dined creatively off either category. Of the half-dozen grilled delicacies we sampled {two skewers per $3.50 order), none was disappointing. Bite sized chicken meatballs were succulent dipped in the beaten quail egg, then red pepper or spicy mustard that came with them. Beef sirloin nuggets studded with garlic and dark cubes of crisp-edged duck virtually d ripped flavor, as did chicken breast strung with bits of green onion. Firm whole quail eggs with creamy centers were interestingly exotic, and baby okra pods grilled with cubed bacon carried delicious healthy-veg crunch.

The sushi-sashimi side of the menu offers more variety in selection as well as price. The standard favorites we shared were peerlessly fresh, the sushi artfully presented on vine-gared rice, the sashimi prettily sliced and arranged on tiny trays. The salmon skin roll was outstanding- the crunchy strip was rolled around cucumber and radish sprouts inside seaweed; and the house specialty Teppo roll, prepared to order by the sushi chef, wrapped tuna and chewy-firm conch ribbons together in a magical marriage of taste and texture.

Two closing cautions: Teppo fills with diners early, especially on weekends; and while single items on the menu are mostly pittance-priced, an evening of enthusiastic ordering can add up astonishingly. That’s in pleasure as well as cost, of course.

-Betty Cook

Teppo. 2014 Greenville Ave., 214-826-8989. Dinner Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Moderate to expensive.



EDUARDO

Eduardo, a taste of Europe, has recent-ly moved into what may be the Bermuda Triangle of restaurant spaces, an oft-doomed spot a few doors up from Alessio’s on Lomo Alto that last housed Rebeccas’ Steak House but is perhaps best known as the old Loma Luna location. Though much of the food here is good, sometimes excellent, the restaurant’s empty feel and ersatz Mediterranean decor, as well as its sometimes bungled service despite scant clientele, has me wondering how long Eduardo will stay afloat.

On my most recent visit, things started off on the wrongfoot when I overheard the owner yelling an obscenity over the phone at a supplier. Later, when I complained that the mussels, in an otherwise heavenly saffron-scented paella with peas, chicken, and sausage, tasted off, the owner and his son swore up and down that the mussels had arrived that morning and that I, the customer, must be wrong. Meanwhile, at the next table, mistakes involving the patron’s bill and the amount of change he had given were blamed by one waiter on another.

All that aside, among appetizers I enjoyed a seafood salad heavy on calamari as well as a cucumber, mozzarella, and tomato salad. A Tuscan vegetable soup rich with pasta, white beans, potato, celery, and spices was humble and equally pleasing. The only disappointm-net were mushrooms stuffed with vegetables-a too mushy dish that fell apart as I tried to eat it.

As for entrees, fresh sautéed soft-shell crabs, three to an order, crisp on the outside and succulent within, were exceptional, though, as always, I was glad that I had asked that the wine and butter sauce be served on the side. Unfortunately, my companion’s osso buco or braised veal shank in what struck me as too spicy a tomato sauce was fatty. When I asked for a spoon to get at the marrow, a delicacy hidden inside the bone, no one knew what marrow was and eventually we were handed a soup spoon far too wide to get at it.

Other menu choices promised more: Patrons at a nearby table were raving about their golden, dough-encrusted strombolis and calzones, which were beautiful indeed.

Desserts were a delight and, despite vows to do otherwise, I devoured two candied chocolate cups filled with raspberries float-ing in crème anglaise. Meanwhile, my companion filled up against his will on fresh tasting strawberry sherbet. Waiters ranged from overbearing to sweet, the nicest of whom plays the piano in the evenings. -Jill Harris

Eduardo, A Taste of Europe. 4131 Loma Alto, 214-522-0606. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m -10 p.m and 5 p.m-10 p.rn., Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Moderate.



TUPPEE TONG

Allow plenty of time for your eating experience in this homey little restaurant, because everything is freshly prepared to order. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be served Thai-style, which means that you’ll get your food the minute it’s ready-one member of your dining party’s appetizer won’t languish under a heat lamp until the others are finished; each will be brought out as soon as it’s prepared. It can make for an unevenly paced meal, but this (and the ample portions served here) gives you a great excuse to sample each other’s food. Also, be aware that the menu is under constant revision as first-time chef/owner “Lilly,” (her Americanized name) gets to know her customers’ tastes; and make sure you ask if the item you want is available that day.

Tips aside, on to the food: at last, hooray, a Thai restaurant that’s not afraid to serve spicy food. Yes, you can order it toned-down, but if you do, you’ll be losing out on the palate-pleasing punch of the peanut sauce that comes with the satays (appetizers of skewered grilled chicken, meat, or shrimp}. And, you’ll miss the subtle kick of the red curry chicken (and Lilly blends her own curry sauces daily with the Thai spices she grows). Even the sweet-and-sour sauce for the excellent seafood and vegetable tempura appetizer has a sneaky bite to it.

The heat of Thai food can be nicely balanced with bites of Thai salad-delicate slivers of carrots, cucumbers, and radishes in sweetened vinegar. The importance of soup in Thai cuisine is demonstrated by the eight-or-so types offered here, each one in three different sizes, from individual portions to “hotpots” that will serve between five and 10 people. The delicately good torn yum shrimp soup features fat, succulent shrimp swimming in a broth flavored with lemongrass and Thai lime leaves.

Entrees, as in most Thai restaurants, focus on seafood and vegetarian choices, with a sprinkling of beef, chicken, and pork. Fried rice offers another option. The fruit-fried rice, which sounded intriguing, did have some cubes of apples in it, but it was mainly chock-full of vegetables.

Tuppee Tong translates as “big golden spoon,” so keep in mind that portions are, indeed, big. And, even better, prices are low.

-Suzanne Hough

Tuppee Tong. The Village at Collin Creek, 621 W. Plano Pkwy., Piano, 214-509-7979. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Inexpensive.



FRESH’ N LITE

The name can be misleading-yes, it’s true that Fresh ’n Lite’s menu offers a lot of fat-free foods, but you can also order burgers, croissant-based sandwiches, and even kids’ corn dogs. Opt for a fruit smoothie, unsweetened lemonade, oricedtea (unfortunately,not freshly brewed) for a walk on the low-calorie side. High rollers can quaff an Irish cream soda, beer, or wine instead. This restaurant aims to please everyone, and even offers a drive-thru window {you can call your order in ahead of time).

Fresh ’n Lite (the fifth restaurant in this poised-to-expand Texas chain) has been packed ever since day one at its Pres-ton/Frankford location, and the cool interior design may be one of its drawing cards. A low, undulating wall nicely divides a basically boxy room into dining and bar areas; a funky teal and purple color scheme is easy on the eyes; and a nifty wall-mounted waterfall entertains those who wait for tables.

While the waiters and waitresses here still need to learn more about the restaurant’s food and how to serve, they certainly do work hard. They’re also so eager to please, that you find yourself not minding the glitches.

Midway through a chicken salad sandwich on my first F & L visit, I watched enough servers’ trays go by to understand that the enormous bowls of salad are, for most people, the way to go here. Perfectly grilled chicken heaped atop Fresh ’n Lite’s version of a Caesar salad (they add iceberg lettuce, black olives, and onions to the classic one) made a satisfying meal, although its accompanying pasty white rolls need improvement. You can crunch your way through 13 different and tempting salads on this enormous menu, including a Fiesta chicken salad and a shrimp and pasta mix.

If you’re in the mood for comfort food, though, go Italian with pasta or pizza (the puffy-crusted vegetarian one supplies you with ample fresh vegetables for the day). Or try the burgers and jumbo baked potatoes, (available in regular, lite, and vegetarian versions) which offer hands-on calorie control. In any case, make sure to save room for dessert. Steaming hot fruit cobblers add a homestyle touch to the meal and come with a generous scoop of fat-free frozen yogurt. Or, just kick back, order a cappuccino, and let the waterfall mesmerize you. -S.H.

Fresh ’n Lite Deli and Grill. 6150 Frankford Rd., Dallas, 214-713-8167. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-l 1 p.m. Inexpensive.



MACHO’S CAFE AND BAR

Macho’s, billed as a casual Mediter-ranean eatery, is one of those places that attempts to be all things to all people. At lunch time, the restaurant serves mostly pasta, soups, and salads to the ladies who gathered at the old Chimney restaurant in Willowcreek Shopping Center, where Macho’s is now housed. At dinner, a younger set has followed the effusive Nestor Macho and his wife, Chris, previously owners of the White Swan Cafe, for their fix of Cuban and Spanish dishes, On Sundays, at brunch, the after-church crowd gathers for a disparate assortment of Cuban, Spanish, American, and Italian fare,

To be honest, my impressions of Macho’s were somewhat mixed. Though service is attentive, the menu seemed so diverse that I had to visit several times before determining that the Cuban and Spanish offerings were my hands-down favorites. Among these, I especially recommend the empanadas, pockets of dough filled with ground beef, olives, and raisins with an inspired cranberry and jaiapeno dipping sauce. Plaintains sautéed in butter were sweet and flavorsomc. Shrimp sautéed in a coconut batter was bathed in a coconut milk that was not overly sweet.

Even at $8.95,1 found the Sunday brunch disappointing. For one thing, many of the dishes suffered from sitting on warrning trays for too long. For another, many of the selections seemed incongruous and, unlike at lunch or dinner, few were standouts. Of these, I enjoyed crisply sautéed catfish and a cold fluffy omelet with cubed potatoes and peppers. A pink fruited luncheon salad seemed out of place. Eggs Sardou, with cold hollandaise on leaden toast, needed work. Among the panoply of desserts, the best was a whipped cream and sherry trifle with canned fruit over angel cake.

On another visit, after sending back an artichoke unpleasantly doused in bread crumbs, I joined the ladies’ lunch crowd for a safe and pleasant combination plate of homemade minestrone, chicken salad, and fruit salad. My companion was more than content with garlicky black bean soup and a seasonal fresh grilled veggie platter with rice and black beans, Macho’s features piano music on Tuesday through Sunday nights and dancing to a Latin jazz band on the weekend. -J.H.

Macho’s Cafe and Bar. 9739 N. Central Expwy., 214-369-6466. Lunch, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Brunch, Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner, Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-midnight. Closed Monday. Inexpensive to moderate.

DMagazine’s restaurant reviews are assigned by the editors and have nothing to do with paid advertising. Restaurant visits are anonymous, and all expenses are paid by the magazine. Restaurants will be revisited every three months.

KEY:

25 Named one of D Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants [August 1995]

Inexpensive: Dinner entrees under $10

Moderate: Most entrees $10 to $25

Expensive: Most entrees $25 or more (Based on a typical dinner for one, not including drinks, tax, and tip



Australian

Outback Pub. 1701 N. Market St., 214-761-9355. Inexpensive.



Bakery/Cafe

Breadwinners Cafe And Bakery. With the most charming open-air courtyard in the city at the site of the old Andrews, Breadwinners is winning renown: loyal breakfast and lunch customers forced the small bakery to open for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays, and day-time joys like Normandy French Toast and San Antonio Tacos now segue into such eclectic dinners as shrimp macadamia nut stir fry, veggie faji-tas, and Jack Daniel’s barbecued baby back ribs. 3301 McKinney Ave., 214-754-4940. Inexpensive.

La Madeleine. 11930 Preston Rd., 214-233-6448; 3906 Lemmon Ave., 214-521-0182; 3072 Mockingbird Ln., 214-696-6960; and other locations. Inexpensive.

Massimo Da Milano. 6333 E. Mockingbird Ln., 214-826-9456; 5519 W. Lovers Ln., 214-351-1426; 2121 San Jacinto St., 214-871-0400; and other locations. Inexpensive.



Barbecue

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse. Deep in the heart of Texas barbecue, Houston has Goode’s, Fort Worth has Angelo’s, and Dallas has Sonny Bryan’s. And while Sonny may be gone, his sainted name goes on in franchising; the original dump on Inwood is father to two downtown spots and a strip-mall storefront in far North Dallas. The meat’s what matters here; falling-off-the-bone ribs, tender, thick slices of smoky beef, and wonderfully greasy sausage, all kissed with spicy, thick sauce. 2202 Inwood Rd., 214-357-7120; and other locations. Inexpensive.

Anderson’s Barbecue House. 5410 Harry Hines Blvd., 214-630-0735. Inexpensive.

Baker’s Ribs. 2724 Commerce St., 214-748-5433; 4844 Greenville Ave., 214-373-0082. Inexpensive.

Billy Blues Bar-B-Que Market. 316 Hillside Village, 214-823-6131. Inexpensive.

Peggy Sue BBQ. 6600 Snider Plaza, 214-987-9188. Inexpensive.

Red Mot & Blue. 9810 N. Central Expwy, Ste. 600, 214-368-7427. Inexpensive.

R.J.’s Sho-Nuff. 4310 Maple Ave., 214-528-5230. Inexpensive.

Sammy’s BBQ. 2126 Leonard St., 214-880-9064. Inexpensive.

Sony’s. 4801 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-387-2900. Inexpensive.

Spring Creek Barbecue. 270 N. Central Expwy., Richardson, 214-669-0505; 14941 Midway Rd., Addison, 214-385-0970; 3514 Airport Fwy., Irving, 214-313-0987. Inexpensive.



British

Jennivine. 3605 McKinney Ave., 214-528-6010. Moderate.



Burgers/Casual

Chip’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers. You loved it on Central. You’ll love it on Cole. Chip’s award-winning burgers are as good as ever served at the new location in the turn-of-the-century structure that was built as a Baptist church and has been the site of many a good restaurant in recent years. The classic hamburger is a messy, delicious concoction involving pickles, lettuce, onion, tomato, mustard, mayonnaise, and, of course, juicy beef all piled between the folds of a huge poppy seed bun. Seasoned fries, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese and some salads are also on the menu and are good, simple, if fattening, fare. Throw caution to the wind: Top it all off with a thick creamy shake. 4501 Cole, 214-526-1092 or its other new location, 4530 Lovers, 214-691-2447. Inexpensive.

The San Francisco Rose. On our last trip, the service here was poor, but it’s easy to forgive the Rose since they’ve given us so many good times in the past. The food is good, standard fare-salads, burgers, chicken sandwiches, and a Larry North special for the health-conscious. Special kudos to the veggie quesadillas, full of fresh vegetables and probably the best in town. 3024 Greenville Ave., 214-826-2020.

Slider and Blues. Since its arrival on the corner of Hillcrest and Northwest Highway in 1990, this casual burgers and pizza joint has been a gathering place for Park Cities and Preston Hollow parents and their kids. The menu offers simple, cheap fare, with most choices in the $3 to $6 range. Best picks are the appetizers (“sliders”), which include hot tortilla chips with salsa, peppery curlicue fries, and buffalo wings; the burgers; and the ultra-thin crust pizza. Parents can linger over a by-the-glass house wine or an on-tap beer while kids head for the noisy game room. 8517 Hillcrest, 214-696-8632. Slider and Blues Frankfort, 18110 Midway, 214-732-6363. Inexpensive.

Chuck’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers. 8309 Westchester Dr., 214-369-7600; and other locations. Inexpensive.

Club Schmitz. 9661 Denton Dr., 214-350-3607. Inexpensive.

Filling Station. 6862 Greenville Ave., 214-691 4488; 15201 Addison Rd., Addison, 214-458-8841. Inexpensive.

Hard Rock Cafe. 2601 McKinney Ave., 214-855-0007. Inexpensive.

Jake’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers. 6606 Skillman St., 214-349-1422; 10226 Garland Rd., 214-319-6060. Inexpensive.

Planet Hollywood. 603 Munger St., 214-749-7827. Inexpensive.

Snuffer’s. 3526 Greenville Ave., 214-826-6850; 14910 Midway Rd? Addison, 214-991-8811. Inexpensive.



Cajun/Creole

Café Margaux. Kay Agnew has a happy talent for endowing whatever space her restaurant occupies with a distinctively Southern comfort, The cafe’s food is outstanding. Prime examples: a half-dozen fried oysters, their little frills crisped with corn meal, came arranged on a pale, lemony sauce laced with nuggets of cracked pepper, while a day’s special of blackened halibut delivered a truly subtle murmur of Creole warmth in seared surface seasonings, gilding pearly leaves of moist, sweet flesh. Crestpark Hotel, 4242 Lomo Alto Dr., 214-520-1985. Moderate to expensive.

Crescent City Cafe. N’Awlins in a funky industrial setting, Crescent City Cafe brings spicy gumbo, huge muffalettas, fried oyster po’-boys, and de rigueur red beans & rice to Deep Ellum. On a recent visit, the noisy ambience and street scenery kept both downtown business suits and pony-tailed artsy types occupied as the too-few wait-staff bustled about, apologizing cheerfully. No harm done: thick, hearty gumbo, stout sandwiches, and cold beer can warm any heart. Avoid non-Cajun offerings, which aren’t bad, just undistinguished. 2615 Commerce St., 214-745-1900; 2822 McKinney Ave., 214-969-1885. Inexpensive.

Pappadeaux. Pappadeaux may be a chain, but it consistently prepares lively Cajun and stately New Orleans style food in a welcome and authentic manner. Fresh, ice-cold Gulf oysters are delec-tably topped with crab meat, spinach, and hollandaise on a bed of rock salt. We found the fried alligator to be so sweet, juicy, and lightly fried that we plan to have it again, even though it did taste like chicken. 3520 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-521-4700, and other locations. Moderate.

Copeland’s Of New Orleans. 5353 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-661-1883. Moderate.

Dodie’s Seafood Cafe. 2129 Greenville Ave., 214-821-8890. Inexpensive.

Nate’s Seafood A Steakhouse. 14951 Midway Rd., Addison, 214-701-9622. Moderate.

Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe. 1712 Towne Crossing Blvd., Mesquite, 214-686-9100; and other locations. Inexpensive.

Treebeards. 700 N. Pearl St., 214-871-7477. Inexpensive.



Caribbean

Cafe Gecko. 5290 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-458-9884. Inexpensive.

Carib-B. 2012 Greenville Ave., 214-824-3395. Inexpensive.



Central American

25 Gloria’s. Dallas’ first El Salvadoran restaurant may have a casual, relaxed atmosphere, but the service couldn’t be better. Mom (Gloria) and Dad (José) are famous for their “wickedly good ” black bean dip, served with salsa and tortilla chips to start every meal. Over 70 items crowd the order-by-number menu. We especially liked number 24, tender, nicely seasoned shrimp and onions over Spanish rice, and number 29, a seafood soup loaded with cubed fish, vegetables, and-surprise!-half an enormous crab in the shell, uncracked, and every bit worth the work of dislodging the succulent meat. 600 W. Davis St., 214-948-3672; and other locations. Inexpensive.

El Gallo De Oro. 4114 Maple Ave., 214-522-6624. Inexpensive.



Chinese

New Big Wong. This Lower Greenville spot still does a good lunch and late-night business, vending reliable and tasty Chinese standards and an assortment of challenging dishes for bolder palates. Start with cold noodles drizzled with hot sesame sauce, then move on to walnut shrimp, bean curd with crabmeat, or the excellent eggplant with minced pork in a feisty garlic sauce. Or, you and your dining companion may want to diwy up one of the large bowls of soup; we stand behind the mixed deluxe with bean curd, almost overloaded with shrimp and pork. 2121 S. Greenville Ave., 214-821-4198. Inexpensive.

May Dragon. If you want to treat yourself to Chinesebanquet-style dishes any day of theweek, May Dragon, which serves a blend of Mandarin, Hunan, Cantonese, and Szechuan-style offerings, may be the place. At lunch, try the unusual Ming lettuce rolls, consisting of a large iceberg lettuce bowl lapped with hoisin sauce and filled with minced chicken and vegetables. From the elaborate dinner menu, the Magic Seafood Basket of Maine lobster tail, crab meat, scallops, and shrimp in a knitted noodle basket was beautiful, the crab and lobster exquisite, though the sherry sauce was surprisingly strong. 4848 Belt Line Rd., 214-392-9998. Moderate to expensive.

Taiwan Restaurant. The menu might look like a lot of other Chinese restaurants’, but that’s where any similarity ends. First, the decor: These elegantly decorated, spacious rooms are lined with windows to take advantage of the view from Taiwan’s second-floor location. Second, dim sum is offered daily (11:30-2:30), and it’s authentic, complete with carts loaded with little plates of these Chinese appetizers. There’s sticky rice, egg rolls, dumplings, and much more. 4980 Belt Line Rd., Addison. 214-387-2333. Moderate.

Uncle Tai’s Hunan Yuan. Massive media hype propelled newly opened Uncle Tai’s to immediate prominence back in 1983; delectable, gourmet Szechwan fare and attentive, unobtrusive service have kept it on top since. Uncle Tai’s churns out amazing Changsha prawns, melt-in-your-mouth crispy beef, potent Uncle Tai Chicken, and huge, buttery, ginger-fragrant Jumbo Shrimp. Don’t miss the diced boneless squab package appetizer for an instant rush of “squab euphoria.” 13350 Dallas Pkwy. (in the Galleria, third level), 214-934-9998. Moderate.

August Moon. 15030 Preston Rd., 214-385-7227; 2300 N. Central Expwy., Piano, 214-881-0071. Inexpensive.

Cafe Panda. 7979 Inwood Rd. 214-902-9500. Moderate.

Henry Chen’s. 3701 W. Northwest Hwy., 214-956-9560. Moderate.

JadeGarden. 4800 Bryan St., 214.821-0675, Inexpensive,

Monkok. 2150 N, Collins Blvd., Richardson, 214-644-0404. Inexpensive.

Royal China. 201 Preston Royal Village, 214-361-1771. Inexpensive.

Szechwan Pavilion. 8411 Preston Rd., 214-368-4303; 1152 N.Buckner Blvd., 214-321-7599. Inexpensive.



Cuban

Las America.. 1146PeavyRd, 214 324-2604. Inexpensive.



Deli

Gilbert’s New York Delicatessen. Mile-high combination sandwiches, best on rye, include “The Brooklyn Bridge,” a triple-decker of corned beef, lean pastrami, chopped liver, and onion, and “The Queensboro Bridge” stuffed with turkey, pastrami, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, and thousand island dressing. Be sure to sample the fabulous borscht with sour cream and the garlickly new cucumber pickles. For those who long for Eastern European dishes, specialties include stuffed cabbage, knishes, and chicken or flanken in the pot. 127 Preston Forest Village, 214-373-3333. Inexpensive.

Bageistein’s. 8104 Spring Valley Rd., 214-234-3787. Inexpensive.

Deli News. 500 Crescent Court, 214-922-3354; 15775 Hillcrest Rd., 214-392-3354. Inexpensive.

Preizler’s Delicatessen And Bakery. 116 Preston Valley Shopping Center, 214-458-8896; 3100 Independence Blvd., Piano, 214-964-4044. Inexpensive.

Romano’s. 3111 Monticello Ave., 214-521-1662. Inexpensive.



Eastern European

Franki’s Li’l Europe. If you dunk nothing but trouble ever came from the former Yugoslavia, a night at Franki’s will set you straight. Try the reliable German combo of bratwurst, ham, sauerkraut, and baked apples; the jaeger schnitzel, served with savory spaetzle; or the awe-inspiring pork medallions in wild blackberry sauce, quickly voted Dish We Wish We’d Ordered by the nib-blers at our table. The star of the show is the ebullient Franki himself, always in suspenders and ready to laugh. No warring factions here-everyone leaves happy. 362 Casa Linda Plaza, 214-320-0426. Inexpensive to moderate.

Cafe Athenee. 5365 Spring Valley Rd., 214-239-8060. Inexpensive.

The Russian Room. 500 Crescent Court, 214-922-3333. Expensive.



Eclectic

8.0 Restaurant and Bar. Mead here on any Thursday night to mingle with the standing-room-only coolest crowd in Dallas. Even the non-hip crowd comes for Sunday brunch, especially fora courtyard seat. Healthful cooking is stressed, but pancakes, chili cheeseburgers, and bacon appear alongside the “workout omelette. ” You’ll find large portions and low prices, but 8.0’s goal isn’t to attract epicureans. The “Lava Lamp,” an 8.0 drink involving jello shots and vodka, has a loyal following, and the blue frozen margaritas are nothing but fun in a glass. The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh St., 214-979-0880. Inexpensive.

Fog City Diner. This glitzy, San Francisco-spawned transplant is to the traditional plate-lunch palace what Rockefeller Center is to the tepee; you’ll need a reservation. Some dishes pay lip service to the diner concept-chili dogs, burgers, and shakes are available-but you’ll know you’re riding the crest of trendmania when you see “warm chocolate chili tart with coffee ice cream” on the dessert menu. 2401 McKinney Ave., 214-220-2401. Inexpensive.

25 The Grape. The interior of The Grape is painted to look mellowly aged, like a wine cellar, and it’s guaranteed to stir up romance. Chef David Burdette toils behind a glass wall, and a huge blackboard displays the day’s menu, specials, and wine by the glass. Whatever you order, start with the mushroom soup-it’s famous, and justifiably so. The menu changes every few days and includes classics like beef tournedos, osso buco, and grilled swordfish. each given a unique Burdette sauce or accompaniment. 2808 Greenville Ave., 214-828-1981. Moderate.

Pete & Sean’s Angry Dog. Rules to remember when planning an outing to the Angry Dog. Rule 1: Don’t go to the Angry Dog unless you plan on drinking-a lot. Rule 2: Don’t go to the Angry Dog if you don’t have at least two hours to wait for your main course, which is mediocre at best if you’re sober but probably tastes great if you’re drunk. Rule 3 : Don’t go to the Angry Dog if you want to talk to, rather than shout at, your companion. Rule 4: Leavea good tip anyway, because the much overworked staff is friendly and apologetic. 2726 Commerce St., 214-741-4406. Inexpensive.

25 Sipango. Some may resent the compulsory $3 rge for valet parking in Sipango’s spacious, private lot, and others may wonder why some patrons are on a California kissy-kissy basis with Sipango’s powers-that-be while mere mortals receive a stony glance at best, but, aside from that, there’s plenty of reasons to recommend this attractive, trendy Travis Street restaurant. Nearly all of Sipango’s California, Pacific Rim, and Italian dishes are light, like an unusual shrimp cake appetizer brightened with peppers and ginger, or a grilled vegetable entree including porta-bello mushrooms, zucchini, pimiento, tomatoes, and eggplant. Try the extraordinary three-layer chocolate mousse cake for dessert. 4513 Travis St., 214-522-2411. Moderate.

Antares. Reunion Tower,300 Reunion Blvd. ,214-712-7145. Expensive.

Beau Nash. Hotel Crescent Court, 400 Crescent Court, 214-871-3242. Moderate.

Brasserie At The Fairmont Hotel. 1717 N. Akard St., 214-720-5291. Moderate.

Cafe Georgi. 2305 Abrams Rd., 214-823-1683. Moderate.

Deep Ellum Cafe. 2706 Elm St., 214-741-9012; 5001 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-392-0894. Moderate.

Dovie’s. 1-4671 Midway M, Addison, 214-233-9846. Moderate.

Kathleen’s Art Cafe. 4424 Lovers Ln., 214-691-2355. Moderate.

The Library Bar. Melrose Hotel, 3015 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-521-5151. Moderate.

Martini Ranch. 2816 Fairmount St., 214-220-2116. Inexpensive.

Pinot’s Wine Bar And Cafe. 2926 N. Henderson Ave., 214-826-1949. Moderate.



Ethiopian

Queen of Sheba. It you ever doubted that you would love an Ethiopian restaurant, try Queen of Sheba. Not only is the food extremely good but the dishes are easy to distinguish from one another, which is not always the case with this type of cuisine. Though the restaurant offers a low-cost luncheon buffet as well as Italian dishes, it’s best to order from a group of freshly prepared Ethiopian special selections. This will allow you to sample a more interesting group of offerings from $8.75 for vegetarian to $11.25 for beef, including a main dish and a panoply of vegetables and salad. All food, from doro wott, a spicy chicken stew, to shiro, a mild puree of yellow peas, is eaten via your fingers or injera, a slightly tart, crepe-like bread made from self-rising flour and sater. 3527 McKinney Ave., 521-0491. Inexpensive.

Dallul. 2515 Inwood Rd., 214-353-0804. Inexpensive.

Tana. 3701 W. Northwest Hwy., Ste. 173, 214-350-3234. Inexpensive.



French/Continental

Addison Cafe. Behave nicely at this little French charmer, and you might be offered a complimentary glass of port after you’ve lapped up the last silky mouthful of the chocolate mousse. The intimate setting, clusters of long-stemmed flowers, and regal service bode well for a night of amour. Hot crusty rolls and a “Salade Victor Hugo,” greens topped with juicy grilled chicken, tomatoes, and walnuts, team up for a swell lunch; and a spinach, gruyere, and sun-dried tomato salad makes a nice segue into dinner. The heaps of vegetables served with the entrees are so beautifully prepared and cooked that it’s tempting to polish them off first. However, you’ll be devoting equal time to the beef tournedos in their intoxicating bordelaise sauce if you’ve been clever enough to order that. Prestonwood Place, 5290 Belt Line Rd., Addison. 214-991-8824. Moderate.

25 Calluaud’s Bistro. Long one of Dallas’ most charming French eateries, Calluaud’s now concentrates on casual entrees and tapas, with an occasional “small bite” from the restaurant’s previous, skillfully executed, traditional French menu. Among the entrees, try the moist, perfectly cooked red snapper topped with tomatoes, onions, green peppercorns, rosemary, and a touch of vinegar, served with sautéed squash. And don’t be surprised if you’re seated by the owner’s wife or teenage daughter, or if the chef himself, Guy Calluaud, comes out of the kitchen to set a table or straighten the silver. 5405 W. Lovers Ln. 214-352-1997. Moderate.

25 Chez Gerard. Chez Gerard makes French cuisine approachable while upholding its reputation for exquisite food, service, and wine. Try simple, rustic Country French dishes like casserole of scallops in red wine sauce or rabbit fricassee, or dishes rarely seen outside France like roasted pigeon, grilled mullet, or halibut tartare. Meals are served in the cozy, dimly lit inside room or in the covered patio, and both locations set the stage for romance. 4444 McKinney Ave., 214-522-6865. Moderate.

25 The French Room. The French Room is perhaps Dallas’ pre-eminent grand-occasion restaurant. For one thing, the price is haughty, although the courtly and unassuming staff certainly is not. And the menu is charged with such romantic eloquence it might make the best-seller lists as The Dishes of Dallas County. But it’s not just hype- every dish we sampled more than lived up to its billing, from an appetizer of foie gras terrine with mesclun salad to a roasted breast of guinea hen, split and filled with sweet crabmeat. Chef Donald Guillory’s cuisine makes dining here a special occasion. In the Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce St., 214-742-8200. Expensive.

25 TheGreen Room. ChefChrisPyun’sfoodwill stop you from wondering whether the Green Room’s decor is Victorian melodrama, French farce, or Deep Ellum send-up; the Culinary Institute of America alum cooks avant French, scaled down pricewise by resourceful mixing of local and seasonal ingredients with more exotic elements, and an occasional snap of piquancy salutes Southwestern influences. Like a consummately delicious red bell pepper soup barely laced with lingering fire from a float of jalapeno coulis that spells “Room,” in-of course-green. 2715 Elm St., 214-748-7865, Moderate.

Le Chardonnay. Restaurateur Michel Baudouins same-name Dallas spin-off of his Fort Worth establishment serves the same menu as the original. Yet the two could hardly be more different physically. The western Le Chardonnay is merry and casual, while the Big D version strikes a serene, urbane note. At both locations, M. Baudouin’s French fare is modulated to appeal to Texas palates. Black bean soup and beef tenderloin sauced with jalapeno and cilantro are popular favorites, as is a rather sweet tan featuring apples with purple, green, and Vidalia onions on sturdy pastry. A pan-seared veal chop with port sauce was flavorful. Finish it all with a lighter-than-air serving of Floating Island. 500 Crescent Court, Ste. 165, 214-922-4555. Moderate to expensive.

Old Warsaw. Romance is on the menu at Old Warsaw, with its candlelit atmosphere, unobtrusive service, and strolling violinists. The menu is solidly Continental and features lots of tableside preparation. The lobster crepe, packed with cubes of sweet meat, makes an excellent appetizer, as does the rich, creamy Brie soup. The entrees include braised pheasant, rack of lamb, and sweetbreads, and a favorite choice is the crab-stuffed tenderloin. It is meltingly tender and a visual delight, The wine list is excellent, and you’ll have plenty of time to study it if, as often hap-! pens, you’re shown to the bar for a lengthy wait until your tables ready. 2610 Maple Ave., 214-528-0032. Expensive.

The Pyramid Room. The plush atmosphere, impeccable service, and exotic flowers belie the fact that you don’t have to spend big bucks to have a fine meal here. In addition to the regular menu, there’s a five-course dinner for $24 a person offered nightly, like sautéed calamari, chilled cucumber soup, homemade sorbet, and grilled beef tenderloin on polenta. Dessert’s included, and the beautifully garnished macadamia nut torte is a favorite. The lobster bisque is a classic, smooth and rich with morsels of lobster, and the basket of breads is irresistable. The wine list, recognized by The Wine Spectator, is outstanding. Live music nightly. Fairmont Hotel, 1717 N. Akard St.. 214-720-5249. Expensive.

25 The Riviera. We know of nowhere in Dallas where food, service, and ambience unfailingly come together in a more pleasurable whole, from seating and gift hors d’oeuvre to bitter smooth farewell chocolate truffle. Between those grace notes, every course shines with the exuberance characteristic of the restaurant’s namesake Mediterranean region. One appetizer featured rich nuggets of Maine lobster with fresh-scented celery root in sautéed cakes nestled in basil-lobster sauce along with infant leaves of aural and cilantro. We also found a perfect soup: a chilled Provencal blending of fresh and sun-dried tomato afloat with ripe avocado slices around a crouton heaped with crabmeat. 7709 Inwood Rd., 214-351-0094. Expensive.

25 Watel’s. This spirited eatery on McKinney Avenue treats guests with neighborly informality and uncommonly amiable, caring, and personal service. And me kitchen feels secure enough to vary its mostly classic country French bill of fare with nor-so-Gallic dishes like pasta, vegetarian specials, and even an occasional Asian accent. But it’s in its house specialties that Watel’s culinary nationality is defined-in a white bean-based cassoulet bulging with iamb, duck confit, sausage, and smoked pork, and in the organ meats, prepared here with consummate skill. 1923 McKinney Ave., 214-720-0323. Moderate.

Cafe Capri. 1507 Addison Rd., Addison, 214-960-8686. Moderate.

Ewald’s. Stoneleigh Hotel, 2927 Maple Ave., 214-871-2523. Moderate.

Hotel St. Germain. 2516 Maple Ave., 214-871-2516. Expensive.

L’Ancestral. 4514 Travis St., 214-528-1081. Moderate.

Monte Carlo. Grand Kempinski Hotel, 15201 Dallas Pkwy.. Addison. 214-386-6000. Expensive.

St. Martin’s Wine Bistro. 3020 Greenville Ave., 214-826-0940. Moderate.

Tony’s Wine Warehouse And Bistro. 2904 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-520-WINE. Moderate.



German

Kuby’s Sausage House. 6601 Snider Plaza, 214-363-2231. Inexpensive.

Hofstetter’s. 3840 W. Northwest Hwy., Ste. 400, 214-358-7660. Moderate.



Greek

Cafe Neiu. 56 Arapaho Village. Richardson, 214-235-5387. Moderate.

Greek Isles. 3309 N. Central Expwy, Plano, 214-423-7778. Moderate.

Kostas Cafe. 4914 Greenville Ave., 214-987-3225; 4621 W. Park Blvd.. Piano, 214-396-8424. Inexpensive.



Homecooking

Mecca Restaurant. This vintage coffeehouse might have been lifted, unchanged, out of Mayberry, U.S.A. The best foods here are the ones that Andy Griffith himself might have enjoyed, like hen and dumplings washed down with a glass of cold buttermilk. Breakfasts are especially good, with plate-sized pancakes, thick ham steaks, and shredded hash browns. Chicken-fried chicken is cooked to a juicy crunch, and the pies are homemade and worth every calorie. 10422 Harry Hines Blvd., 214-352-0051. Inexpensive.

Bubba’s. 6617 Hillcrest Rd., 214-373-6527. Inexpensive.

Celebration. 4503 W. Lovers Ln., 214-351-5681. Inexpensive.

Gennie’s Bishop Grill. 321 N. Bishop, 214-946-1752. Inexpensive.

Gigi’s. 415 W. Ledbetter Dr., 214-699-0944. Inexpensive.

Good Eats Cafe. 3888 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-522-3287; 6950 Greenville Ave., 214-691-3287; and other locations. Inexpensive.

Highland Park Pharmacy. 3229 Knox St., 214-521-2126, Inexpensive.

Mania’s Daughter’s Diner. 2014 Irving Blvd., 214-742-8646; 2610 Roval Ln., 214-241-8646; 211 N. Record St., 214-741-6262. Inexpensive.

Original Market Diner. 4434 Harry Hines Blvd., 214-521-0992. Inexpensive.



Indian

India Palace. With gracefully figured arcades, a glass window overlooking the deep clay tandoor ovens, and a bountiful buffet, India Palace can appear quite splendid. The buffet spread is variegated: Try the mulligatawany soup-tomato with an undercurrent of coconut- and pureed lentil punctuated with a host of distinct herbs. Curried chicken is creamy, tender, and moist, while the bright-red marinated tandoori chicken and grilled flat bread or naan, both scared by the intense dry heat of the tandoor oven, are without parallel. Raita, a cooling cucumber and yogurt salad, and mint and tamarind chutneys are welcome pick-me-ups. End it all with a luscious mango custard or creamy rice pudding with almonds, pistachios, and a hint of rosewater. 12817 Preston Rd., 214-392-0190. Moderate.

Anand Bhavan Vegetarian Restaurant. 115 Spring Valley Village, Richardson, 214-783-4353. Inexpensive.

Bombay Cricket Club. 2508 Maple Ave., 214-871-1333. Moderate.

Kebab-N-Kurry. 401 N, Central Expwy., Richardson, 214-231-5556. Moderate.

Taj Mahal. 9100 N. Central Expwy., 214-692-0535. Moderate.

Irish

Tipperary Inn. It’s pints of the good black Guinness you’ll be hoistin’ here, not to mention the sainted Fullers ESB and dozens of other brews by the glass and bottle. But the food’s more than an afterthought at this cavernous Irish joint that moved east from Greenville Avenue a few years ago and settled down with a comfortable sigh into the old Genaro’s spot. There’s earthy beef stew (again, kissed by the frothy lips of Guinness), smoked salmon, and high-piled sandwiches. 5815 Live Oak St., 214-823-7167. Inexpensive.

George Wesby’s Pub. 2713 Commerce St., 214-742-8313. Inexpensive.



Italian

Angelo’s. The ticket here is what might be called Italian comfort food, from perfect fettucini alfre-do and mama-mia spaghetti dishes to any entree involving the succulent Italian sausage. The fare leans more to retro than nouveau, as witness the generous bowls of the house red sauce, a zesty concoction that accompanies baskets of delicious warm bread-dipping encouraged. The staff is friendly and competent, and diners here get good weight for the dollar. 6341 La Vista, 214-823-5566. Inexpensive.

Caffe Paparazzi. Warm service sets the scene here, along with superior Northern Italian dishes: Thin-shaved carpaccio comes to you chilled and flavor-splashed with vinaigrette; crema di funghi is a perfect smooth summer evening soup; spaghetti puttanesca strikes exactly the right hearty note with its rich sauce of olives, capers, onions, and tomato. 8989 Forest Ln., 214-644-1323. Moderate.

Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant. Walking off the street into Campisi’s is like stepping directly from Dallas into Queens. As our slow but friendly waitress informed us, Campisi’s was one of the first places in Dallas people could get real pizza. Campisi ’s still serves up one of the best good old-fashioned pizzas in the Metroplex. The ravioli and lasagna are good, too, but be sure not to miss the Italian crab claws (swimming in garlic butter-heaven!) and Joe’s special toast. And remember-sit facing the door! 5610 E. Mockingbird Ln., 214-827-0355. Moderate.

Ciao Bella. Chef Tomazo, a farm-reared native of Italy, honors the sunny simplicity of his region’s dishes with finesse. A first course of roasted sweet peppers, tender mozzarella, and ripe tomato sparkled in a lacing of virgin olive oil. A pasta plate’s tangle of al dente spaghetti wore exactly the right amount of lively tomato sauce scented with basil snips. Every dish we tried demonstrated how total dedication to freshness can turn the plainest fare into poetry. 3232 McKinney Ave., 214-871-2074. Inexpensive to moderate.

Flip’s Wine Bar And Trattoria. Original art on the walls, soul music in the background (but not too loud), and an eclectic, friendly waitstaff make Flip’s a great place to just hang out and sample the unusual imported beer and wine-but don’t miss the food. Flip’s Italian nachos are a must- we had Texas goat cheese and red bell peppers on ours. Order some bruschetta with the nachos and it could make a meal, but why stop there? The manicotti will put smiles on faces and songs in stomachs. 1520 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9944. Moderate.

25 Mi Piaci. The name means “you are pleasing to me.” You’ll see why when you check out this Addison restaurant, with its team of workers making fresh pasta, an 80-pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano on display, and columns twisting from wood floor to high, sponged ceilings. The pasta is outstanding, especially the fusil-li loaded with earthy wild mushrooms, and the risotta ranks among the best in town. Delicious homemade bread and a largely Italian {and largely superb) wine list will make for a dining experience very pleasing to you. 14854 Montfort Dr., Addison. 214-934-8424. Moderate.

25 Momo’s Italian Specialties. You’ve got your MoMo’s, see, and then you’ve got your MoMo’s. If you don’t understand, don’t worry-we don’t either! But the upshot is that MoMo’s Italian Specialties is no longer associated with MoMo’s Pasta. There is food to die for at MoMo’s Specialties, like the quattro stagioni pizza; the lasagna-offered only at lunch lest it monopolize dinner; the bresaola-thin slices of air-dried beef; and the carpacc-sliced tenderloin topped with savory mayonnaise-with a twist: it’s accompanied by cucumber, radicchio, radishes, and hearts of palm. 9191 Forest Ln., 214-234-6800; 8300 Preston Center Cir., 214-987-2082. Moderate.

Nero’s Italian. This venerable Lower Greenville institution dishes up spicy Linguini Fra Diavolo, classic Caesar salads, and killer pizza reminiscent of New York’s Little Italy. Skip the bland novelty of “pink” garlic bread; instead, for a real taste of “Noo Yawk,” try slathering fresh bread with appetizers of roasted garlic or sautéed spinach and wash it all down with a big Chianti. Huge veal chops are distinctive, but stick with pasta and pizza for a most memorable evening. Recent purchase by Dallas-based MoMo’s Italian won’t affect campy Rococo ambience. Menu changes every six months. 2104 Greenville at Prospect, 214-826-6376. Moderate.

Pomodoro’s. Pomodoro’s offers up fresh, delectable Italian pastas, fritattas, veal, and fish in a Napa Valley-esque setting just north of downtown. Go light (and cheap) with minestrone, complimentary fresh bread with sautéed tomatoes, and a Chianti Classico, or belly up to spicy Penne Arrabiata or Linguine Verde con Popla di Granchio (spinach linguine with crabmeat). Appetizers shine, especially the silky Carpaccio Pomodoro and bountiful Calamaretti. Service is spunkily efficient. 2520 Cedar Springs Rd., 214-871-1924. Moderate.

Prego Pasta House. We’ve always thought-and please, Don Prego, take this as a compliment- that if Dallas really had any old wise-guy mafia types, they’d gather in this dark den for no-nonsense spaghetti dishes like shrimp scampi and linguine with clam sauce, chicken piccata, and other hearty fare like Tony (“the Bull” )Braga’s mamma used to make before Tony wound up sleeping with the fishes. But don’t worry–those bulges under the jackets here are just the full tummies of satisfied diners. 4930Greenville Ave.,214-363-9204. Moderate.

311 Lombard’s. 311 N. Market St., 214-747-0322. Moderate.

Adriatica. 2574 Walnut Hill Ln., 214-314-1513. Moderate.

AI Dente Cafe. 1920 Greenville Ave., 214-821-6054. Inexpensive.

Alessio’s. 4117 Lomo Alto Dr., 214-521-3585. Expensive.

Alfredo’s Trattoria. 5404 Lemmon Ave., 214-526-3331. Moderate.

Alfonso’s. 718 N.Buckner Blvd., 214-327-7777. Inexpensive.

Arcodoro. 2520 Cedar Springs Rd., 214-871-1924. Inexpensive.

Bugatti Ristorante. 3802 W. Northwest Hwy., 214-350-2470. Moderate.

Cafe Cipriani. 220 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 214-869-0713. Moderate,

Capriccio. 3005 Routh St., 214 871 2004. Moderate.

Carelli’s Ristorante. 12219 Coit Rd., 214 386 7931. Moderate.

Carmine’s Pizzeria. 5365 Spring Valley Rd., 214-404-8110. Inexpensive.

Fausto’s Oven. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 300 Reunion Blvd.,214-651-1234. Moderate.

Ferrari’s Villa. 14831 Midway Rd., Addison, 214-980-9898. Moderate.

II Sorrento. 8616 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214-352-8759. Expensive.

In The Red. 2825 Commerce St., 214-761-1958. Moderate.

Pasta Plus. 17194 Preston Rd., Ste. 150,214 713-7181; 225 Preston Royal East, 214-373-3999. Inexpensive.

Patrizio. 25 Highland Park Village, 214-522-7878; 1900 Preston Rd., Piano, 214-964-2200. Inexpensive.

Picasso’s Ristorante. 3948 Legacy Dr., Piano, 214-618-4143. Inexpensive to moderate.

Ristorante Savino. 2929 N. Henderson Ave., 214-826-7804. Moderate.

Rodolfo’s Italian & Seafood Restaurant. 5956 Royal Ln., 214-368-5039. Moderate.

Ruggeri’s Ristorante. 2911 Routh St., 214-871 -7377. Moderate.

Scalini’s. 2021 Abrams Rd., 214-821-8088. Inexpensive.

Sfuzzi. 2504 McKinney Ave., 214-871-2606; 15101 Addison Rd., Addison, 214-960-2606; 2408 Preston Rd., Plano, 214-964-0700. Moderate.

Teriltli’s. 2815 Greenville Ave., 214-827-3993. Moderate.



Japanese

Mr. Sushi. Raw fish might sound like an anomaly in beef-happy Dallas, but Mr. Sushi could easily win converts from the boot-stompin’, guitar-pickin’ crowd. The menu’s enormous, complete with chicken teriyaki, shrimp tempura, and sukiyaki, but the action’s at the huge, U-shaped sushi bar. A 16-ounce Ichiban beer provides the perfect accompaniment for the best of the sushi: tender halibut, smoothly rich salmon, and a lightly spicy tuna roll. 4860 Belt Line Rd., Addison. 214-385-0168. Expensive.

Nakamoto. Eat at Nakamoto enough times, and you’ll have completed a crash course in Japanese cuisine. The lunch menu looks familiar-complete meals featuring teriyaki, tempura, tonkat-su, and other favorites of Americans. But the dinner menu offers these and much more. Every night, the finest seasonal foods fill the multiple-layered little drawers in a bento box, a multi-course feast-for-one. You can choose traditional tea ceremony cooking, “boat dinners” (combination platters perfect for sharing), or meals like shabu-shabu cooked at your table. And whether at lunch or dinner, don’t miss ordering from the sushi bar, which lists about four dozen of the freshest sushi and sashimi in town. Ruisseau Village, 3309 N. Central Expwy., 214-881-0328. Moderate.

Sumo Sushi. Regally hooded rattan chairs enthrone diners in the lower lounge, striking an exotic note of Eastern mystery, but abundant servings and well-prepared food are the true hallmarks of this newcomer. Get your fill of cool cuts of raw sea creatures-one handroll stuffed with rice and seafood could serve as an appetizer on its own. Or feast on the Grand Champion (boxed) Lunch, which includes battered shrimp, vegetable slices, a pair of gyoza dumplings, avocado-centered California rolls, salad, chicken drumettes, soup, rice, and a dessert orange wedge. 7402 Greenville Ave., 214-987-2333. Moderate.

Awaji. 4701 W. Park Blvd., Piano, 214-519-1688. Moderate.

Benihana. 2700 Park Central Pl., 214-387-4404. Expensive.

Fujl-Ya. 13050 CoitRd., 214-690-8396. Inexpensive.

Kobe Steaks. 5000 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-934-8150. Moderate.

Royal Tokyo. 7525 Greenville Ave., 214-368-3304. Moderate.

Shogun of Japan. 5738 Cedar Springs Rd., 214-351-2281. Moderate.

Yamaguchi’s Bar & Sushi. 7713 Inwood Rd., 214-350-8660. Moderate.



Korean

Kobawoo. 3109 Inwood Rd.,214-351-6922. Inexpensive.

Woo Mee Oak. 10560 Walnut St., Garland, 214-272-9909. Inexpensive.



Mediterrane

25 Adelmo’s. At Adelmo’s, the owner is always on hand to see that the customer is properly looked after-you’ll think you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean; while you are perusing the menu, you might be treated to a platter of pickled cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and olives with rolls and butter. Try the grilled veal chop, easily a meal for two, marinated in olive oil and herbs, seared on the grill, and served with the bone still in; or the rack of lamb, gently scented with rosemary; or the exquisitely grilled soft-shell crabs. 4537 Cole Ave., 21-4-559-0325. Moderate to expensive.

Cafe Highland Park. Mix them together: a French bistro, an Italian trattoria, and a Mediterranean sidewalk cafe, and it spells Cafe Highland Park (formerly Highland Park Cafe). Loaded with artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, and Kalamata olives, and garnished with a cheese-topped baguette slice, the Mediterranean salad awakens the tastebuds. Grilled salmon with its pungent roasted garlic sauce, is a winner, as is the sautéed veal with rich, meaty strips of mushrooms. Flavorful angel hair pasta and flawlessly cooked vegetables accompany both. 69 Highland Park Village. 214-521-7300. Moderate.

Avanti Ristorante. 2720 McKinney Ave., 214-871-4955. Moderate.

Bolero Grill. 5290 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-490-8686. Moderate.

Cafe Mediterranee. 5950-A Royal Ln., 214-692-7716. Moderate.

Mediterraneo. 18111 Preston Rd., 214-447-0066. Moderate.

Popolos Cafe. 707 Preston Royal Shopping Center, 214-692-5497. Moderate.

Rotisserie. Grand Kempinski Hotel, 15201 Dallas Pkwy., Addison, 214-386-6000. Moderate.

Sambuca. 2618 Elm St., 214-744-0820; 15207 Addison Rd., Addison, 214-385-8455. Moderate.

Ziziki. 4514 Travis St., Ste. 122,214-521-2233. Moderate.



Mexican

Casa Rosa Restaurante. Walking into the pink, softly lit interior of Casa Rosa is like walking into a dreamland-a dreamland of great food and excellent service. The hot, fresh, crispy tortilla chips and spicy salsa serve as the best appetizer to the mouth-watering entrees. Our favorites were the shrimp and goat cheese enchiladas and the grilled chicken with avocado relish, both served with rice and black beans to die for, We finished the whole thing off with sizzling Mexican apple pie topped with cinnamon ice cream- scrumptious! 165 InwoodVillage,214-350-5227. Moderate.

Chuy’s. Fight the SMU and 20ish margarita crowd for an SRO spot in the indoor-outdoor Elvis-redux fountain patio retreat, but don’t sell the place short as a touristy pickup joint (just yet). Prodigious combos of New Mex and Tex-Mex cuisine, most prepared with fresh cilantro, lard-free refrieds, and a selection of sauces make this achingly hip Austin transplant authentically Dallas. 4544 McKinney Ave., 214-559-2489. Moderate.

El Arroyo. Over a recent dinner, we decided that the Spanish name meant ” low-lying place on former site of giant Vickery Park pool and amusement park that now vends watery, wimpy mar-garitas and bland, don’t-scare-the-Anglo Mexican food.” But go figure: the place was so packed on our midweek visit that the air conditioning could barely handle the crowd, thus adding a fine layer of sweat to an unhappy experience. 7402 Greenville Ave., Suite 202,214-363-4464. Inexpensive.

Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano. A Dallas institution, Javier’s boasts a well-trained waitstaff and a superlative kitchen that offers up consistently high-quality Mexico City cuisine in an enticingly romantic setting. Start by dipping chips into the warm, piquant green salsa, wash it down with handmade margaritas, then opt for tart, fresh ceviche while you ponder: Barra de Navidad, enormous fresh shrimp sautéed in diablo sauce (coffee, orange juice, tomato), or delicate Snapper Mojo de Ajo in garlic and lime, or mouthwatering Filete con Champinones (steak with mushrooms and brandy)? Decisions, decisions. 4912 Cole Ave., 214-521-4211. Moderate.

25 La Calle Doce. Take a charming old Oak Cliff house, add a dash of restoration, stir in a smattering of family photos, cover with family staff and management, and you’ve got La Calle Doce, known for its killer ceviche; good, stout margaritas; and some of the best seafood around. The herb-marinated grilled catfish, served whole on a bed of Spanish-style rice with plenty of vegetables, can convert the most strident ” catfish- is-so-ugly” snob. Owners Oscar and Laura Sanchez, along with Laura’s sister Alma, are ready to answer all questions and make informed recommendations. 415 W. 12th St., 214-941-4304. Inexpensive.

Matt’s Rancho Martinez. A recent visit to this crowded, clattering East Dallas spot went like a baseball game: hit, miss, hit, miss, etc. The chips and zesty queso made sterling starters, though we struck out with bland, chicken-choked tortilla soup and gummy, forgettable nachos. We rallied with grilled chicken flautas that deserve Hall of Fame status, but the score remained tied in the ninth. Then Matt’s famous chile rellenos swaggered to the plate-hefty peppers stuffed with beef, oozing Jack cheese and festooned with raisins and pecans. Wham! Home run! 6312 La Vista Dr., 214-823-5517. Inexpensive.

Monica’s Aca Y Alla. Never let it be said that Monica doesn’t like to mix things up. Pumpkin ravioli, red snapper enchiladas, and Mexican lasagna are just a sampling of her nuevo Latin cuisine prepared with a down-home flair. (And be sure to save room for a tangy slice of Key Lime margarita cheesecake-your taste buds will thank you.) Sunday nights feature live music,with an eclectic crowd dancing to some of Dallas’ spiciest rhythms. 2914 Main St., 214-748-7140. Moderate.

Rosita’s Restaurant. Incendiary salsa, tortilla chips with a fine, oily sheen, and chicken nachos piled high with sour cream, tender chicken, and fresh jalapenos say this place is jen-u-wine Tex-Mex, so pass the butter and leave the cholesterol gauge at home. Try the lettuce-laden Puffed Tacos for a lighter treat. Imported cervezas are served icy cold. Daily lunch specials for $3.25 are classic combos of enchiladas, tacos, and burritos; try the all-you-can-eat weekend buffet for a true Mex-fest. 4906 Maple Ave., Dallas, 214-521-4741; 120 W. Airport Fwy., Irving, 214-445-4741. Inexpensive.

Avlla’s. 4714 Maple Ave, 214-520-2700. Inexpensive.

Blue Goose Cantina. 2905 Greenville Ave., 214-823-6786. Inexpensive.

Blue Mesa. Village on the Parkway, 5100 Belt Line M, Addison, 214-934-0165. Inexpensive to moderate.

Caliente Mexican Grill. 6881 Greenville Ave., 214 369-8600. Inexpensive.

Cantina Undo. 8121 Walnut Hill Ln., 214-987 9192; 4546 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214458-0962. Inexpensive to moderate.

Casa Dominguez. 2408 Cedar Springs Rd., 214-871-9787. Inexpensive.

Herrera Cafe. 4001 Maple Ave., 214-528-9644; 5427 Denton Dr., 214-630-2599; 2853 W. Illinois, 214-330-6426; 1905 N. Josey Ln.,Carrollton, 214-242-4912. Inexpensive.

La Acapulquena. 2706 Samuell Blvd., 214-828-0509. Inexpensive

La Popular. 4904 Columbia Ave, 214-824-7617 Inexpensive.

Los Vaqueros. 6615 Snider Plaza, 214-361-9885. Moderate.

Mariano’s. 5500 Greenville Ave, 214-691 -3888; 2614 Majesty Dr., Arlington, 817-640-5118. Inexpensive

Mario & Alberto’s. 435 Preston Valley Shopping Center, 214-980-7296. Moderate

Martinez Cale. I900 Preston Rd., Piano, 214-964-7898. Inexpensive.

Martin’s Cocina. 7726 Ferguson Rd., 214-319-8834. Inexpensive

Mattito’s Cafe Mexicano. 4311 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste 101,214-526-8181. Inexpensive to moderate.

Mia’s. 4322 Lemmon Ave., 214-526-1020. Inexpensive.

Mi Casa. 8301 Westchester Dr., 214-890 9939; 14920 Midway Rd., Addison, 214-239-4664. Inexpensive.

Mi Cocina. 11661 Preston Rd., Ste. 138,214-265-7704; 77 Highland Park Village, 214-521-6426; 18352 Dallas Pkwy.,214-250-6426; 7201 Skillman St., 214-503-6426. Moderate.

Moctezuma’s. 2847 N. Henderson Ave, 827-1114. Inexpensive to moderate

Piano Tortilla Factory. 1009 E. 18th St., Piano, 214-423-6980. Inexpensive

Rafa’s Cafe Mexicano. 5617 W. Lovers Ln., 214-357 2080. Inexpensive

Raphael’s. 3701 McKinney Ave., 214-521-9640; 6782 Greenville Ave., 214-692-8431. Inexpensive.

Roca Blanca. 7324 Gaston Ave., 214-319-9776. Inexpensive.

Rodolfo’s Cafe. 2002 S. Edgefield Ave, 214-942-1211. Inexpensive.

Rosa’s. 3126 Grand Ave, 214- 428-3118. Inexpensive.

Sol’s Taco Lounge. 2626 Commerce St., 214-651 -SOLS. Inexpensive.

Tachito’s. 3210 W. Illinois Ave, 214-331-4600. Moderate.

Tapinamba. 12801 Midway Rd., 214-243-2355. Inexpensive.

Uncle Julio’s. 4125 Lemmon Ave., 214-520-6620; 7557 Greenville Ave., 214-987 9900. Inexpensive to moderate.



Middle Eastern

Ali Baba. 1905 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8235, Inexpensive.

Basha. 2217 Greenville Ave., 214-824-7794. Moderate.

Little Chef. 3291 Independence Pkwy., Piano, 214 867-8684. Inexpensive.

Sinbad’s Palace. 9220 Skillman St, 214-340-4445. Inexpensive to moderate.



Natural/Health

Dream Cafe. Dallas’ most accessible organic breakfast spot, Dream Cafe unapologetically offers ultra-hip ’90s style breakfasts, complete with killer joe, warming the hearts of artsy advertising types and button-down bankers alike. Black bean and rice luncheons and alfresco din-ner-fests (Monday night specials include kid entertainment) should delight fastidious health-conscious types. The ambitious menu occasionally lives up to glorious nouvelle descriptions (“Mystic Pasta, grilled chicken Brie, caramelized onions” and so forth); try daily specials for best bets. 2800 Routh St., 214-954-0486. Moderate.

Bless Your Heart. 12829 Preston Rd., 214-490-6006; 216 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson, 214-783-0786. Inexpensive. Bluebonnet Cafe & Deli. Whole Foods Market, 2218 Greenville Ave., 214-828-0052. Inexpensive.

Cosmic Cup. 2912 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-521-6157. Inexpensive.

Eureka. 4011 Villanova Dr., 214-369-7767. Inexpensive.

Kalachandji’s. 5430 Gurley St., 214-821-1048. Inexpensive.

Nature Cafe. 2909 McKinney Ave., 214-855-5483. Inexpensive to moderate.



New American

25 Anzu. This is the kind of place where no one will share appetizers-they’re too good. But Anzu’s entrees are as delightful as its starters; every bite brings a heady thrill of pleasure to the tongue. Teriyaki grilled portabello mushroom was a huge, marinated single cap, meaty as steak, sliced for chopstick convenience, and strewn with slivers of vinaigrette-zipped tomato and leek. Asian influences abound in Anzu’s self-styled “New American” menu and decor, from the origami birds fluttering from the ceiling to the sake warmed to just the right temperature. 4620 McKinney Ave., 214-526-7398. Moderate.

Aransas Pass. The patio at this Henderson Avenue eatery overlooks a charmingly landscaped side yard; year-round alfresco dining is made possible by a windowed canvas tent arrangement that can be completely or partially closed or rolled up and put away. Such creativity extends to thefood: fresh corn and roasted eggplant soup with piquant croutons, chopped tomato, scallions, and Parmesan shreds; steamed mussels bathed in herbed Chardonnay. 2912 N. Henderson Ave., 214-827-8650. Moderate.

25 City. Complimentary marinated vegeta- and olives at each table, excellent service, white tablecloths-and an exhibition kitchen featuring chef Katie Schma’s totally innovative dishes, like escolar-similar to halibut but juicier and tastier-served vertically with cumin-crusted stacked filets sitting on Spanish-style rice flecked with tomatoes and onions, topped with fried onion shreds, and surrounded by drizzled sauces of smoked plum and cilantro-spiked mango…need we go on? And brother Doug Schma makes chocolate Kahlua cake: layers of meringue and butter-cream…mmm. 5757 W. Lovers Ln., 214-351-2233. Moderate.

25 Dakota’s. Dakota’s outdoor patio, with its five-tiered waterfall and hundreds of tiny white bulbs, is one of the most romantic spots in town, Sample appetizers like smoky grilled portabello mushrooms, tiny, delicate crab cakes, and smoked chicken quesadillas; revel in soups like smoked chicken chowder; and try not to become addicted to the lamb chops, served with pots of mint jelly, feta cheese vinaigrette, and angel-hair pasta. But, whatever you do, save room for the homemade desserts-cheesecake, “ooey-gooey” brownies, and the divine, sweet-tart Key lime pie. 600 N. Akard St., 214-740-4001. Moderate.

Enigma. Call it the garage sale of the gods-art nouveau bronze nudes pose splendidly on walls; tall cabinets display Erté plates and fine crystal; tables are set with madly mismatched china, flatware, and goblets. The premise carries through to the food: Each guest is given a different menu, and no duplicate dishes are served. Smoked venison sausage petals encircled a nest of buckwheat noodles crowned with fruit relish, while pheasant sausage slices were centered with noodles on the plate, encircled with strips of yellow tomato and beet-dyed jicama. An entree of grilled sword-fish was nicely charred, although anointed with tomato sauce too heavy to harmonize with accompanying couscous and steamed vegetables. Those garage sale gods must have been gready, though-Enigma is exceedingly pricey, with only one entree under $30, most noticeably higher. 2515 McKinney Ave., 214-953-1111. Expensive.

25 Landmark Restaurant. Ensconced in the mellow confines of the grand Melrose Hotel is a piquant treat: the “New World” cuisine of Landmark Restaurant chef Kent Rathbun. Rathbun’s experience of the Far East is evident in such creations as “pressed sushi” with daikon and beet confetti salad. It’s lovely, with rounds of firm fish sided with crisp, white radish and scarlet beet, but be warned-the dish is incendiary, even the rice. The spicy presences, though assertive, are just right in masterpieces like the grilled rack of lamb. In the Melrose Hotel, 3015 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-521-5151- Moderate to expensive.

25 Laurels. Everything about this lofty restaurant-atop a North Dallas hotel-does more than just look good. The space is lavish, the view is spectacular, and the New American cuisine is dazzling. A recendy introduced prix fixe menu melds North and South American foods in a selection of health-aware appetizers, entrees, and desserts labeled with their calorie and fat contents for $49.50, including wine, beer or soft drinks, and coffee. Or try entrees like the mixed grill-antelope, lamb, and quail, all splendidly set out on a sun-dried cherry sauce and gilded with pear-jalapeno chutney. In the Sheraton Park Central, 12720 Merit Dr., 214-385-3000. Expensive.

25 The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Dean Fearing, along with Stephan Pyles and several others, perfected the New Southwest cuisine by introducing surprising ingredients and novel interpretations into such simple dishes as salsas, enchiladas, and marinades. Tortilla soup-chicken broth, a touch of tomatoes and onions, topped with toasted shredded tortillas and cheddar cheese-is justifiably famous. Or try the lobster taco, a soft flour taco filled with luscious lobster meat and runny white cheese, a subde and delicious treat. And, of course, you’ll enjoy the superlative service- captains, sommeliers, and waitstaff materialize from the marblework and flutes of premium champagne wash away your cares. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214-559-2100. Expensive.

25 Nana Grill. The name may have changed, but people-watching in the Wyndham Anatole lobby won’t-sheiks and secretaries, politicians and potentates, conventioneers and corporate power brokers. But sit in the 27th-floor Nana Grill and you’ll feel you could buy and sell them all-partly because of the altitude, the plush decor, and the staffs polished competence, of course, but also because of chef Scott Blackerby’s cosmopolitan fare-like the ambrosial baked oysters with cilantro pesto, a trademark house favorite. In the Wyndham Anatole Hotel tower, 2201 Stemmons Fwy., 214-761-7479. Expensive.

25 Yellow. Bright yellow awnings shade the windows, yellow accents the interior, and each dish displays a touch of-you guessed it-yellow! Chef Avner Samuel’s skill imbues such touches with genius, not gimmickry, as you’ll find when you sample such delights as a sesame-crusted seared ahi appetizer, served with a tangle of mixed greens, or honey-spiced duck with a tamarind plum sauce. But seafood reigns here, and the best entree might be the com-crusted halibut with a delicate lemongrass butter sauce. 2719 McKinneyAve.,214-871-1772. Expensive.

650 North. Le Meridien Hotel, 650 N. Pearl St., 214-979-9000. Expensive.

Accolades. 19009 Preston Rd., 214-713-7090. Moderate.

Bay Tree Grill. Stouffer Hotel, 2222 Stemmons Fwy., 214-631 -2222. Expensive.

Cafe Express. 4101 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-991-9444. Inexpensive.

Cafe D’Or. Omni Mandalay Hotel, 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 214-556-0800. Expensive.

Cafe On The Green. Four Seasons Resort, 4150 MacArthur Blvd., Irving, 214-717-0700. Moderate.

Chaplins This Is It Cafe. 1928 Greenville Ave., 214-823-3300. Moderate.

Enjolie. Omni Mandalay Hotel, 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 214-556-0800. Expensive.

Gasper’s. 150 S. Denton Tap Rd., Coppell, 214-393-5152. Moderate.

Caspar’s. 4345 McKinney Ave., Ste. 270, 214-528-5100. Moderate to expensive.

Gershwin’s Bar & Grill. 8442 Walnut Hill Ln., 214-373-7171. Moderate.

Going Gourmet. 4343 W. Northwest Hwy., 214-351-6773. Moderate.

Huntington’s. Westin Hotel Galleria, 13340 Dallas Pkwy., 214 851-2882. Expensive.

No Place. 6310 La Vista Dr., 214-823-9077. Moderate.

Opus. 2301 Flora St., 214-670-3721. Moderate.

Parigi. 3311 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-521-0295. Moderate.

Piano Cafe. 1915 N. Central Expwy, Ste. 500, Piano, 214-516-0865. Moderate.

Quadrangle Grille. 2800 Routh St., 214-979-9022. Inexpensive to moderate.

Tillman’s Corner. 324 W. Seventh St., 214-942-0988. Moderate.

St. Pete’s Dancing Martin. 2730 Commerce St., 214-698-1511. Inexpensive.

York St. 6047 Lewis St, 214-826-0968. Moderate.



Seafood

Aw Shucks. Picnic tables, self-service, rolls of paper towels on each table, and payment by the honor system characterize this tiny breath of sea air across from the Granada on Greenville Avenue. The shrimp cocktail is to die for, and we are great fans of the hot-as in heated-Cajun shrimp, nestled in their soft shells with the heads still on, sprinkled lightly with celery salt and cayenne. Another favorite is the Alaskan king crab, nearly as sumptuous as lobster. 3601 Greenville Ave., 214-821-9449. Inexpensive to moderate.

Cafe Pacific. This posh and dignified Highland Park Village legend has served a wide variety of fresh and saltwater seafood for 15 years. Warm wood paneling, striped fabric walls, a graceful curvilinear chandelier, and a large, perfectly tilted mirror create a sumptuous setting for Cafe Pacific’s refined, bejeweled, and faithful clientele. Breathtaking ceviche, divine crab meat cakes, and seasonal specials make it hard to leave room for the beautiful desserts. 24 Highland Park Shopping Village, 214-526-1170. Moderate.

Daddy Jack’s. Daddy Jack Chaplin and Kenny Bowers are fun-loving guys-and that’s reflected in the laid-back ways and upbeat mood of their clientele. And the food’s good, too! We particularly enjoyed the mussels marinara in their vividly textured, garlicky tomato sauce and a special potato and lobster pancake appetizer. Daddy Jack’s is famous for its reasonably priced lobster, available with two meat-filled claws, or, at a reduced rate, with one. 1916 Greenville Ave., 826-4910. Moderate.

Joe’s Crab Shack. This kitsch filled restaurant, complete with a whale of a whale swimming overhead, wants its customers to feel like they’ve paused, mid-scuba dive, for a meal. And it is a bubbly place, with some of the perkiest servers around. There’s landlubber food, too, but you’ll want to reel in some seafood, especially a mess of Joe’s blue crabs. Whack them with a wooden mallet, dunk the sweet meat in the melted butter, toss the shells in the recessed bucket in the center of the table, and repeat, pausing only for slugs of beer. The crab bisque adds just the right spicy note, and, if your cholesterol level allows it, the crab fingers and fried shrimp can’t be beat. 3855 Belt Line Rd., Addison. 214-247-1010. Inexpensive to moderate.

Mainstream Fish House. Owned by Kelly Haden, who also owns the fish market TJ.’s a few doors down from Mainstream, and by the powers behind Mi Cocina, Mainstream’s name is deceiving: These people know food. Bread pot shrimp-a hollowed out loaf of sourdough filled with the sautéed sea creatures- and creamy crab cakes are not to be missed. Shoot the wad on the highest-priced menu items, the daily specials-a good Canadian salmon for $12.95 or chargrilled tuna at $11.95. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that two side orders are also included. Key lime pie provides the perfect ending to a pleasant meal. Preston Forest Shopping Center, 11661 Preston Rd.,Suite 153,214-739-3474. Moderate.

Newport’s. Entering Newport’s in the West End’s historic brewery building, with its tables set on semicircular rings leading toward a seemingly bottomless pit, seems at first like descending into Dante’s Inferno. But the food is heavenly. New England clam chowder was rich, creamy, and delicious. Mesquite grilled Maine lobster was so meaty, moist, succulent, and filled with coral or roe that we ate almost everything but the gills. For dessert try the Kahlua Nest. 703 McKinney Ave., 214-954-0220. Moderate.

S&D Oyster Company. While sitting inside the cool pale yellow and white airy interior of S&D Oyster Company, it’s hard to escape the notion that you are sitting in a restaurant on the Gulf coast. The food is not as light as the atmosphere, however-the menu here consists of mostly fried fare. We suggest you skip the shrimp dip and go straight for the fresh oysters on the half shell. The menu does offer a few selections of broiled fish, but we recommend the fried oysters with french fries and hush-puppies for a rare treat in these low-fat times. Finally, cleanse your palate with a refreshing piece of lemon pie. 2701 McKinney Ave., 214-880-0111. Moderate.

25 Sea Grill. Chef Andy Tun’s Thai roots put an Asian-American spin on classic seafood dishes like mussels in lemongrass broth, and smoked salmon appetizer with capers, caviar, dill, horseradish, and toasted pumpernickel. At night, with soft lighting, Harry Connick Jr. in the background, and a bottle from the nicely priced wine list, you might even forget you’re next door to a Fuddrucker’s and a Ming Garden. 2205 N. Central Expy., Piano, 214-509-5542. Moderate.

Yoli’s Seafood & Grill. We came away from Yoli’s doing the comic’s line about “buttah,” which remains the universal seasoning here. We followed buttery crab claws with Yoli’s Platter, a favorite, featuring a choice of blackened fish and sautéed shrimp on a robust tangle of linguini- drenched in butter. Alsogood: a special of Atlantic salmon with shrimp and vegetables-and plenty of butter. This is filling, cheap fare (half-priced appetizers and drinks from 5 to 7 Sun.-Mon.) but it’s not for the cholesterol-conscious. 9220 Skillman, 214-3341-3533. Inexpensive.

Banno’s Oyster Bar. 13020 Preston Rd., 214-991-2001. Inexpensive.

Dinger’s Catfish Cafe. 8989 Forest Ln., 214-235-3251. Inexpensive.

Duck Inn. 503 Main St., Lake Dallas, 817-497-2412. Inexpensive.

Fishmonger’s Restaurant. 1901 N. Central Expwy., Ste. 600, Piano, 214-423-3699. Inexpensive,

Galveston Island Seafood. 9901 Royal Ln., Ste. 102,214-348-8844. Inexpensive to moderate.

Jaxx Cafe. 14925 Midway Rd? Addison, 214-458-7888. Moderate.

Lone Star Oyster Bar. 3707 Greenville Ave., 214-827-3013. Inexpensive.

Remington’s Seafood Grill. 4580 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-386-0122. Moderate.

Royal 88. 400 N. Greenville Ave., Ste. 11, Richardson, 214-907 8868. Moderate.

Seashells & Stuff. 9205 Skillman St., 214-348-3082. Inexpensive to moderate.



Southweste

Blue Mesa Grill. This popular restaurant marries the flavors of Mexico and New Mexico, and does both well. The understated decor, with white stucco walls simply accented with brick, wood, and colorful primitive art, matches the pared-down, understated menu that delivers even more than it promises. The many sampler platters, whether of appetizers, desserts, or entrees, showcase the kitchen’s range, which even offers food for dieters. Guacamole, made tableside, can’t be beat, and anything smoked or grilled is outstanding. Skip dessert in favor of an icy blue mar-garita, and contemplate a visit for the renowned Sunday brunch or the made-to-order quesadilla happy hour. Village on the Parkwav, 5100 Belt Line Rd., Addison. 214-934-0165. Moderate.

Lavaca Cantina. The Cantina sits with three other restaurants in the entertainment-restaurant-bar complex known as Pepper Square. The menu offers cowboy chow–grilled food, Mexican specialties, and lots of stuff for snacking. The best thing we tried was the jerk chicken and Key lime mustard slaw sandwich. The Cantina steals the show at happy hour, when 26 types of tequila draw some serious attention and the appetizer list gets a workout. If you’re going just for the food, lunch is a better deal. 14902 Preston Rd., Suite 700 in Pepper Square, 214-458-0458. Moderate.

25 Star Canyon. Chef Stephan Pyles, one of the founders of Southwestern cuisine, is now in his “new Texas” phase: Amado Pena door handles, rawhide banquettes, hook ’em horns sconces, chuck wagon murals-and dish after beautiful, bountiful, awe-inspiring dish combining native Texas fare with intricate, unexpected, and exotic flavors: Tamale tart, much like a quiche, mildly seasoned with garlic and lump crabmeat; lean, cilantro-cured venison sliced thin, arranged in a fan; and the ever-popular Cowboy ribeye steak, bone-in Angus beef delectably singed over hickory flames. 3102 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-520-7827. Moderate to expensive.

Benton’s. Harvey Hotel, 4545 W. John Carpenter Fwy., Irving, 214-929-4500. Moderate.

Kokopelli. 9090 Skillman St., Ste. 158A, 214-503-0242. Moderate.

Loma Luna Cafe. 8201 Preston Rd., 214-691-1552. Inexpensive.

Sam’s Cale. 100 Crescent Court, Ste. 140,214-855-2233; 8411 Preston Rd? Ste. 112, 214-739-2288. Inexpensive to moderate.

Via Real. 4020 N. MacArthur Blvd., Ste. 100, Irving, 214-255-0064. Moderate.



Spanish

Cafe Madrid. 4501 Travis St., Ste. 133,214-528: 1731. Inexpensive.



Steakhouses

Bob’s Steak & Chop House. Bob’s is a classic steak-house, complete with dark paneled walls, Sinatra crooning in the background, and a pot of fat pickles on each table. The Caesar is superb, with a nicely balanced, creamy dressing and lots of crunchy croutons, served on a chilled plate. The ribeye steaks are especially good, with tender, juicy meat and a properly crusted surface. Meals are served with a choice of potatoes and a wealth of vegetables, including an outstanding steamed, honey-brushed, whole carrot.The wines have been carefully chosen and are reasonably priced, whether by the bottle or glass, and the service is attentive while never fawning. 4300 Lemmon Ave., 214-528-9446. Expensive.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House. This is a “he-man” of a restaurant, complete with a bustling bar of regulars slapping each other on the back. The wine list is huge, filled mainly with lots of expense account bottles, but bargains can be found among them. (The wines available by the glass seem to be a pitiful afterthought.) The menu is just what you’d expect, with lots of meat and side dishes, lobster, and a token fish of the day. The two prime cuts, a ribeye and a strip, are the best steaks on the menu, and they’re rich in flavor and perfectly cooked. Service is fast-paced unless you request otherwise. 5251 Spring Valley Rd., 214-490-9000. Expensive.

Kirby’s Steakhouse. The return of the old Greenville favorite is apparently pleasing a wide range of diners: Clientele include dating teenagers, families with kids, and nostalgic past patrons. While the born-again Kirby’s is under new ownership, the clubby, comfortable restaurant relies heavily on recipes from the past: Steaks are cooked to perfection and have a hint of the forbidden flavor of fat. The new menu reflects ’90s notions with pastas, chicken, and seafood. The fried okra appetizer just may be the best in town. 3525 Greenville Ave., 214-821-2122, Moderate to expensive.

25 Morton’s of Chicago. If you’re an unrepentant carnivore who just doesn’t care that huge slabs of juicy red ribeye steak and chops of veal aren’t chic any more, Morton’s is for you-and your more nutritionally correct family and friends can enjoy lobster, shrimp, or chicken as well as simply prepared fresh fish. Understatement reigns here, from dark wood to etched glass, starched white linens, and muted Sinatra, and there are more than 30varieties of martini. 501 Elm St.,214-741-2277; 14831 Midway Rd., Addison, 214-233-5858. Expensive.

25 The Palm. The Palm’s insouciant service and lack of cushiony frills bespeak a brawling, brassy, particularly Texan attitude, and the food, from lamb to linguini, veal to seafood, vegetable sides and salads-and unforgettable steaks and lobster-is superb. This New York import flatters its clientele-political figures, business executives, and VIPs-by splashing their colorful caricatures all over its walls. The Palm came here during Dallas’ roaring ’80s and, to its credit, has handily held its own during lean times as well. 701 Ross Ave., 214-598-0470. Expensive.

Butcher Shop Steak House. 808 Munger St., 214-720-1032. Moderate.

Chamberlain’s Prime Chop House. 5330 Belt Line Rd., Addison, 214-934-2467. Moderate to expensive.

Dunston’s Steak House. 5423 W. Lovers La,, 214-352-8320; and other locations. Inexpensive to moderate.

Laredo Grill. 601 E. Piano Pkwy., Piano, 214-422-6201. Inexpensive to moderate.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib. 3008 Maple Ave., 214-521-7777. Moderate to expensive.

Outback Steakhouse. 9049 Vantage Point Dr., 214-783-0397, and other locations. Inexpensive.

Paul’s Porterhouse. 10960 Composite Dr., 214-357-0279, Expensive,

Randy’s Steakhouse. 7210 Main St., Frisco. 214-335-3066. Moderate.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 5922 Cedar Springs Rd., 214-902-8080. Expensive.

Texas Land & Cattle Company. 17390 Preston Rd., 214-248-2424. Moderate.

Walt Garrison’s Rodeo Bar & Grill. Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce St., 214-742-8200. Moderate.



Thai

Chow Thai. This striking new restaurant-with an eclectic atmosphere that includes lozenge-shaped lighting and light wooden chairs- amazes both the eyes and the mouth. The restaurant’s cooks and owner, who are from Bangkok, offer their customers authentic Thai fare with some exciting original dishes such as the Chow Thai duck, deliriously marinated in an exotic honey sauce, and yum pla muk, cala-mari served in a bed of fresh vegetables. If you choose items from the hotter side of the menu, cool off with Thai tea, a special blend with soy milk that is extremely soothing. The young waitstaff is courteous, but don’t let them steer you away from the more exotic dishes. 5290 Belt Line Rd., Suite 144, 214-960-2999. Moderate.

Toy’s Cafe. Previously known as Thai Toy, this place specializes in vegetarian and seafood dishes, and is a good spot for informal, wholesome, and inexpensive eating. Don’t miss Toy’s mee grab, pinkish rice noodles studded with scallions and cilantro, deep-fried in a non-cloying sweet-and-sour sauce, or the deep-fried marinated shrimp fingers wrapped in rice paper. Soups, which feed two to four, are among Toy’s strongest suits, especially gang-ga lee, a vegetable curry with mushrooms and zucchini; broken fish trap, a hot and sour soup with assorted seafood; and tom-kha, a hot and sour seafood soup with lemongrass, lime leaves, and coconut milk. Scrumptious main courses begin with broad, soft, fresh rice noodles stir-fried with tofu, shrimp, or crab. Cash only. 4422 B Lemmon Ave., 214-528-7233. Inexpensive.

Royal Thai. 5500 Greenville Ave., Ste. 802,214-691-3555. Moderate.

Thai Taste. 3101 N. Fitzhugh Ave., 214-521-3513, Inexpensive.

Thai-Thai. 1731 Greenville Ave., 214-828-9795. Inexpensive.



Traditional

The Zodiac Room. While this institution of Old Dallas atop the downtown store remains popular with ladies who attend luncheons, execs who “do” lunch, and a certain number of passers-through-town intent on getting a taste of Southern tradition, the food here fails to match the high quality synonomous with the Neiman Marcus label. One member of a trio of salads- a bland, inexplicable glob alleged to be tuna (actually chicken) hit a sour note with one of our reviewers, who refused to eat something he couldn’t name. Hamburgers were small and dry; crabcakes were better, but the accompanying fried pototoes were greasy and soggy. Service remains white-glove impeccable, but prices for the too-small portions of the notably less than stellar cuisine dished up in the Zodiac Room could be considered, perhaps appropriately, astronomical. 1618 Main, sixth floor. 214-573-5800. Moderate to expensive.



Vietnamese

Arc-En-Ciel. 3555 W Walnut St., Garland, 214-272-2188. Inexpensive.



Tarrant County

Angeto’s. (Barbecue) 2533 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth, 817-332-0357. Inexpensive.

Cafe Matthew. (Southwestern) 8251 Bedford-Euless Rd., North Richland Hills, 817-577-3463. Moderate.

Cacharel. (French/Continental) 2221 E. Lamar, Brookhollow Two, Arlington, 817-640-9981. Moderate.

Dorris House Cafe. (New American) 224 E. College St., Grapevine, 817-481-1181. Moderate.

Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano. (Mexican) 124 E. Worth St., Grapevine, 817-481-4668; 1212 William D. Tate, Grapevine, 817-481-4867.

Joe T. Garcia’s. (Mexican) 2201 N. Commerce St., Fort Worth, 817-626-4356. Inexpensive.

Michaels. (Southwestern) 3413 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3413. Moderate.

Sain-Emilion. (French/Continental) 3617 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-737-2781. Moderate.

Star Of Texas Grill. (Southwestern) Worthington Hotel, 200 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-870-1000. Moderate.

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