We love a good list. It is a way to incorporate plenty of great bars or restaurants in a concise manner with added blurbs to highlight the very best a city has to offer. Dallas has been included on a few lists of late. I just read where Smyth, the toney reservation bar that drew some ire recently. was named on such a list. Smyth does a fantastic job with cocktails and makes the evening more of an experience that merely sipping suds or another Manhattan. The interaction between barman and patron is dynamic. And it would appear that Zagat agrees with me.
On the list I spotted a few of my favorites from around the nation such as Billy Sunday in Chicago that serves up vintage spirits and plenty of Fernet. Also on the list is Austin’s new Austin Beer Garden and Brewery (ABGB) that takes you back to another Austin in the 1970’s.
Another list that made the rounds this week gave Dallas a huge nod. Esquire noted that Spoon (John Tesar) and Stampede 66 (Stephan Pyles) blazed new trails with both of these new restaurants. We definitely hold these truths to be self evident. Spoon has this lusty elegance that grabs you quickly as you pass through the door. Your intrigue is held fast with dish after dish of perfectly prepared and perfectly paired courses like none other found in the this city today.
Stampede has more of a wild and woolly take on Texas cuisine that has been absent for many years. These are dishes that Pyles grew up on, yet speak to a higher calling. Entrees such as his fried chicken or Texas-style chili are to be enjoyed in a over-the-top atmosphere that screams Texas. Just for fun, examine the wall of brands that are both the names of real Texas cities and also germane to Pyle’s life. They are arranged in a manner that if you read three connected brands it will make some sort of sense.
Now might be a good time to make those reservations to each of these hot spots.