Dallas in a Day
It’s tempting to dismiss Dallas as a city of big hats, bigger hair and too much barbecue, but that would be a shame. Dallas is coming into its own, with a dining scene that’s receiving national attention and a stellar shopping circuit that’s getting more eclectic and fun by the day. Dive deep into “the Big D” for a peek at the city’s particular brand of Texas cool – you’ll be surprised at what you find. Here’s how to do Dallas in a day.
Start your day at the Mansion Restaurant that serves a wonderful breakfast and a very popular weekend brunch. The restaurant, at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, is something of a Dallas institution and very popular with the locals. Weather permitting, the restaurant also has a wonderful outdoor terrace so you could enjoy breakfast al fresco under a canopy of oak trees. Fully fortified, head southeast to one of Dallas’s myriad excellent shopping experiences, Forty Five Ten. This beautiful concept store by Dallas legend Brian Bolke regularly draws celebrities for its trunk shows and exquisitely curated collection of labels like Aesop, Azzedine Alaia and Jil Sander.
From here, move to the increasingly funky Lower Greenville neighborhood to pick up a few Dallas souvenirs at the brand new Bullzerk. Owner Dan Bradley sells cheerful, American-made t-shirts with Dallas-related slogans, like “I lived on Greenville before it was cool” and “Keep Dallas Big”. Grab a couple for friends, then stop into Dude, Sweet Chocolate just up the block. Artesian chocolatier Katherine Clapner invents new flavors of chocolate every season. If it’s in stock, buy some Hanoi fudge, made with caramelized condensed milk and Ethiopian coffee to nibble on as you stroll around Greenville’s vintage shops and record stores.
Go full-on Dallas for lunch at Stampede 66 in Uptown, a high-end Western restaurant helmed by James Beard Award winner and fifth-generation Texan Stephan Pyles. This rustic chic dining room of wood and leather is the perfect place to sample modern Texan cuisine, like the blackened fish BLT with ancho tartar sauce, or the chicken-fried steak with chorizo gravy.
EMPORIUM THAT TREATS CUSTOMERS LIKE ROYALTY
Fit in a little more shopping (after all, this is how Dallas gets its cardio) by meandering over to Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District, a neighborhood booming with chic little shops and galleries.
Stop into Indigo 1745 to pick up your own cowboy outfit – perfect-fitting jeans from a great selection of premium brands, leather boots, and modern spins on the classic button-down. Properly attired for Texas, walk around the corner to Society, owned by local interior design team Jackson Vaughn. They do their own line of beautifully packaged and scented candles as well as other home wares and gifts that run the gamut from cute to downright luxurious.
Deep Ellum is a Dallas neighborhood that’s looming large on the city’s dining scene, with an increasing number of destination restaurants. One of the best of these, Pecan Lodge, does Texas BBQ the way it was meant to be done – wood smoke, homemade mac and cheese, and an emphasis on local ingredients and making everything possible in house. This is where you undo your (oversized) belt buckle and indulge, Texas-style. Order the brisket, beef or pork ribs, and pulled pork by the half-pound, add sides of fried okra and collard greens, and save room for Aunt Polly’s Banana Pudding for dessert.
Roll out the door of Pecan Lodge and around the block for a nightcap at Truth & Alibi, an elegant cocktail lounge hidden behind the façade of a sweet shop. It’s slightly tricky to get in – you have to get the latest password from their Facebook page and press the buzzer when you arrive, speakeasy-style. Inside it’s all velvet sofas and white leather benches, red-and-gold wallpaper and seductive lighting. Settle into a cosy corner with a Tax Evasion (Glenmorangie single malt, yellow chartreuse, elderflower liqueur and orange bitters) before hitting the (usually packed) dance floor.
Mansion Restaurant: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd; 214-443-4747
Forty Five Ten: 4510 McKinney Ave.;214-559-4510
Bullzerk: 1909 Greenville Ave.; 972-677-7705
Dude, Sweet Chocolate: 408 W. 8th St., Ste. #102; 214-943-5943
Stampede 66 1717 McKinney Ave., Ste. 100; 214-550-6966
Indigo 1745: 370 W. 7th St.; 214-948-1745
Society: 403 N. Bishop Ave.; 214-942-4600
Pecan Lodge: 2702 Main St.; 214-748-8900
Truth & Alibi: 2618 Elm St.; 469-417-9660