Restaurant Review: The Green Room in Dallas

Texas quail by Kevin Hunter.

Below is part of the review I wrote on the Green Room for the November issue of D Magazine. Since this was written, I’ve read a few other critics’ opinions of the restaurant. No matter how much I read–good or bad—I still don’t hear much buzz on the place. And you? What do you think? Grab a Snuggie and read the day away.

I was skeptical when I heard the Green Room was reopening. For me, the restaurant was a sexy, lovable place that ran on spontaneity and free spirit. Each meal I shared with family and friends was magical. Customers entered the grungy-from-the-outside spot with low expectations and emerged like religious converts. I can’t think of another restaurant in Dallas that gripped the souls of Dallas diners like the Green Room did. But I don’t care how many times you click your heels together; you can never go home.

So, there I was, sitting in the new Green Room, scrutinizing every inch with a scowl. “Those hand-carved guitars were not there before,” I said to my friends. “And the kitchen window is bigger. Those florescent lights are horrible. It’s supposed to be dark in here.” Yes, the chandeliers made from cymbals hang overhead, but the hundreds of plates and guitars autographed by famous clientele are gone.

One look around revealed I wasn’t the only aging Green Room groupie who had returned. Gray-haired fiftysomethings filled the room. I covered my face with my hands when a group of women in their late 20s wearing shorts and high-heeled sandals click-clacked across the cement floor and took 10 minutes to stow their expensive handbags and get settled at their table. In my foul mood, I figured the old people only wanted to relive the past, and the young ones were too young to appreciate how short of my memories this new place would fall. “Serve them the Gag Me,” I snarled.

Read the whole thing.

10 comments on “Restaurant Review: The Green Room in Dallas

  1. It just didn’t come out swinging. Opened six months late, then an extended “soft” opening, then open but no liquor license, now fully open but the chef even admits on the Critic’s Guide review that he hasn’t really let loose yet in the kitchen. The attention and support from the local media’s certainly been there, but they just haven’t seemed to have reciprocated.
    Like Nancy I have many fond memories of the original. I actually laughed when they trotted some of the dishes out of the kitchen for a Feed me Wine Me. Raw Oysters with Fennel Granita?! Exploded Wonton salad?!
    I want to give this a spin but it still sounds too restrained and refined, and the heavily mixed reviews are keeping me at bay.

  2. I fear that even more telling is the fact that on such a widely read food blog, this topic has managed to attract two comments in the space of three hours.

  3. A once Green Room regular I too was eager to try the re-opening of the “new” Green Room. My husband and I went a couple of weeks back, arriving early on a Saturday evening. We were told initially that with out a reservation we would have to wait till 9 to get seated although there was a near to empty dining room. When we were about to walk out when the hostess told us that there was a “chefs” table and she could see if it was open for dinning. After a few minutes she came back and told us that we could indeed sit there and proceeded to take us through the main dining area, pass the kitchen, down some steps to a sorta basement type room. I didn’t mind as we both just wanted to eat and was not impressed at all at the “new” look of the main dining room, it appeared “unfinished”. We were promptly waited on, ordered and wine and food arrived on schedule. My husband had the halibut which he claimed was out of this world and I enjoyed the vegetable risotto which was very delicious. Both dishes were balanced in portion, flavor, temperature, and overall executed well. For the most of our diner we were the only one’s dining in the basement but a group of six came in and things became more lively. Prior to that my husband and I enjoyed a quiet, intimate dining experience with exceptional unshared service. A rare treat! We will definitely go back, make reservations this time to ensure the main dining room, and look forward to venturing out to the other menu options.

  4. My wife, and a couple of friends had a great experience, three of us had the feed me, wine me; this was after the license was in place. All of the courses, were delicious, and a great variety, appts- scallops, salads – fresh, spinach, entrees- skate, filet, halibut, salmon, and desserts to share- creme brulee, chocolate cake. And, the server was perfectly times, attentive but not intrusive, and informative. Owner manager Taylor came by to check in and ask for suggestions. Will definitely be back. And, you are right, I would recommend reservations, especially on weekends.

  5. Marcus, somewhat…definitely more than when we arrived but not the buzz that existed in the former life.