CuriousDish: Exploring the Food Experience in Dallas

David Holbein. August 1990 D Magazine

I’m pleased to become one of SideDish’s new guest bloggers with a series  called CuriousDish. My goal is to explore food memories: the smell, the visual, the surroundings, and the people you dine with. No in-depth reviews on food and wine. I want to get you thinking and talking about dining in Dallas.

Almost 20 years ago I arrived in Dallas,  legendary for oil, technology, and women with big, beautiful hair. A 30-something single man, originally from elsewhere in Texas, but most recently expatriated to Europe, I was back in the U.S. and starting a new era in my life in Dallas. Strolling down the aisle at Love Field, I noticed a nice, glossy magazine with a Big “D” on the top right corner. The cover story of the August 1999 isse, written by Mary Brown Malouf and others, was “The 100 Best Restaurants.” I bought my first D Magazine.

What better way to get to know my new home town than through visiting local restaurants?  I vowed that I would work my way through the list.

My first stop was, number 28 on the list, Dakota’s, described by Mary as “seriously handsome.”  However, I would never make all 100 as some closed soon after I arrived.  I missed  Scott,s – A Seafood House (#23) on McKinney where La Duni now has a location and many more  in cursed locations and are now closed.  Of the original 100, about half are still open. Of course, that means half have closed.

Over the course of the last 20 years, I have huge memories of many of these places. For many years, I circled each of them in my old copy of D as I crossed them off of my list.  I remember the disappointment when Café America (#30), one of the sexiest on the list, burned down. And in the early 90s, many a Thursday night was spent at Arcodoro/Pomodoro (#25). I’ll bet everyone has a special memory of The Grape (#29).

I never did make it through the entire list.  Too many had shut down.  Seven years after my stroll down the Love Field aisle, when my then-fiancé found the 7-year-old D Magazine, I faced serious questioning.  What did those circles mean? Fortunately, The Mansion and The Riviera had not been circled. I had “saved” the best for her.

So what are your favorite taste memories from this list. I’d like to know. I’m curious.

Complete list below the jump.1 . The Riviera
2 . Routh Street Café
3 . The Mansion on Turtle Creek
4 . Actuelle
5 . Laurels
6 . Chaplin’s
7 . Pyramid Room
8 . Café Margaux
9 . Monte Carlo
1 0 .Adelmo’s
1 1 .The French Room
1 2 .L’Entrecote
1 3 .Hofsetter’s
1 4 .Cacharel
1 5 .Ristorante Savino
1 6 .Reflections
1 7 .Café Royal
1 8 .Brazos
1 9 .Baby Routh
2 0 .Hedary’s Lebanese Restaurant
2 1 .Deep Ellum Café
2 2 .Sam’s Café
2 3 .Scott’s—A Seafood House
2 4 .Caffé Paparazzi
2 5 .Pomodoro
2 6 .Newport’s Seafood
2 7 .Rancho Martinez
2 8 .Dakota’s
2 9 .The Grape
3 0 .Café America
3 1 .Chez Gérard
3 2 .MoMo’s Italian Specialties
3 3 .Promenade At The Mansion
3 4 .Sfuzzi
3 5 .City Café
3 6 .Spatz
3 7 .Alessio’s
3 8 .Peggy Sue BBQ
3 9 .Baker’s Ribs
4 0 .Uncle Tai’s
4 1 .Café Pacific
4 2 .Café Panda
4 3 .Thai Taste
4 4 .Nate’s Seafood and Steakhouse
4 5 .Massimo da Milano
4 6 .Gloria’s
4 7 .Mario’s Chiquita
4 8 .Del Frisco’s Double Eagle
4 9 .La Tosca
5 0 .Fishmonger’s Seafood Market and Café
5 1 .Beau Nash
5 2 .Stubbs
5 3 .The Old Warsaw
5 4 .Arcadia Bar & Grill
5 5 .Thai Toy’s
5 6 .Jennivine
5 7 .Saigon
5 8 .Safi’s Afghan Cuisine
5 9 .Landmark Café
6 0 .La Madeleine
6 1 .Hibachi-Ya Japanese Restaurant
6 2 .Saint Emilion
6 3 .York St. diff owner and chef
6 4 .India Palace Restaurant
6 5 .Shogun of Japan
6 6 .Crescent Gourmet
6 7 .City Market
6 8 .Javier’s
6 9 .Franki’s Li’l Europe
7 0 .Bishop Arts Café
7 1 .Dream Café
7 2 .First Chinese B-B-Q
7 3 .ZuZu
7 4 .Capriccio
7 5 .Taiwan Restaurant
7 6 .The Palm Restaurant
7 7 .Mr. Sushi
7 8 .Theodore’s Seafood Restaurant
7 9 .Marty’s
8 0 .Thai Lanna
8 1 .Blue Mesa Grill
8 2 .Café Madrid
8 3 .Quadrangle Grille
8 4 .Chef Wang
8 5 .Café Athenee
8 6 .La Chardonnay
8 7 .Highland Park Cafeteria
8 8 .Aw Shucks
8 9 .La Suprema Tortilleria
9 0 .Chip’s
9 1 .Szechwan Pavilion
9 2 .Primo’s
9 3 .Akbar
9 4 .Ba Le
9 5 .Esparza’s
9 6 .Celebration
9 7 .Kincaid’s Grocery
9 8 .Deli News
9 9 .Sonny Bryan’s
100.Arc-en-Ciel

13 comments on “CuriousDish: Exploring the Food Experience in Dallas

  1. Baby Routh brings back plenty of great food memories including their last night of official business, the place was rocking. Kevin Rathburns food was always the best.I noticed the absence of ANZU, a place way ahead of it’s time with an eclectic Asian menu and Paul Draper design.

  2. Trip down memory lane! Beau Nash was the best. Sexy room with great margaritas. Thanks for bringing back all the old places. Sure have lost a lot of great places.

  3. @Knox Harrington, ANZU hadn’t opened yet in 1990. I was part of the original management team. If memory serves me correctly, it would have been 1992. The Draper family was so nice, I wonder what they’re doing now…

  4. Anzu was great. Fun and beautiful. Can’t remember that sweet gal’s name who ran it.

  5. Phina and her family moved to NYC years ago. She and her sister ran a collectible and clothing shop for a while on the lower East Side. I think she’s doing some band representation now.