1. Flora Street Cafe, serving eclectic modern Texan: Stephan Pyles' new high-end restaurant in a stylish location. Get the tasting menu for the best experience.
2. Fearing's, serving new American: Dean Fearing was a pioneer in the 1980s as one of the 'quadumvirate' who created New Southwestern Cuisine. Now his spectacular eponymous restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel offers five 'halles' depending on what kind of environment you want to eat in. He still turns out great food and is one of the best in town for game meat.
3. Junction Craft and Kitchen, serving Southern, New American, Asian, and more: This restaurant is the lineal descendent of perma-popup Kitchen LTO. Josh Harmon and his team continue at the stoves but he and his sous are now co-owners. My description of the style of food reflects his inventive 'No Fear' approach to the culinary arts. Thing is, it works. Beverage list is strong with local wine and beer.
4. Gemma, serving New American: The husband-and-wife team of Stephen Rogers, as chef, and Allison Yoder, general manager, earned high praise at PRESS in Napa but found the cost of living too high to raise a family. So they moved back to where Rogers grew up, Dallas. They make elegant, sophisticated food and offer a well-chosen wine list.
5. Sprezza, serving Italian: Julian Barsotti proves he can manage multiple sites without loss of focus. Sprezza is his mid-priced, casual, large, and loud eatery that nonetheless serves up great food.
6. Tei-An, serving Japanese: Go for the omakase but specify that you want something adventurous.
7. Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse, serving steak and game: Odd that in a state so fond of hunting the results should be so hard to find on Dallas menus. Y.O. Ranch sets the pace with bison, wild boar, venison, and quail. Steak-lovers aren’t neglected. Check out the 44 Farms prime selection.
8. Mesa, serving Mexican (Veracruz): Charming small family-owned and -run piece of Veracruz.
9. Pecan Lodge, serving barbecue: Should a barbecue joint be in a city's top 10? If it is also one of the acknowledged best in a state where 'best barbecue' is a religious issue, then yes.
10. Lavendou, serving Provencal French: Favorites prepared with Gallic flair alongside an authentic wine list. The choucroute and cassoulet seasons are a special treat.