It is a hard job picking the top nine restaurants in any city, and Dallas is no exception. We made sure to look outside the euro-centric bubble that tends to limit such lists and searched for establishments that seem to reach beyond the city’s borders even if it is in a technically simple genre (e.g. barbecue). It is sufficient that it stunned us. Oh, and we have to have dined there — ideally many times, so some contenders are disqualified on that score.
A word of explanation is in order about two planned inclusions that are missing. First, The Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is missing because the Michelin-starred executive chef, Bruno Davaillon, who transformed it, has just left to open his own restaurant in late 2016. We expect Rosewood to take their time to conduct a thorough search and eventually settle on an out-of-towner (that is their pattern). Davaillon is five foot six but very big shoes to fill.
Second, Hibiscus is a frequent haunt but executive chef Graham Dodds left last month to open his own restaurant as well. That should happen next month, and it will feature in next year’s list if Dodds’ cooking continues as it has. In the meantime, his sous at Hibiscus, Nick Ocando, was the instrument behind the pickled vegetables on the best charcuterie board in town so don’t write-off Hibiscus yet.