by Deborah Wilson
In the beginning, there was Tillman’s Corner.
This was in the era B.C. — before cool — when roosters still roamed the un-gentrified land of Oak Cliff without fear of city code inspectors or the heedless, speeding wheels of a yuppie’s Trek.
It was 1992, and Ricky and Sara Tillman created Tillman’s Corner in the Bishop Arts District.
And it was good.
Chef Ricky happily cranked out New American fare that drew customers to Oak Cliff before the arrival of today’s hipsters. (Dallas food historians will appreciate that Ricky was a former sous chef at The Mansion and was related to Bill Tillman, former saxophonist for Blood, Sweat and Tears.) The Tillman’s were visionaries, developing their ideas, and real estate, to help rebuild the once-thriving North Oak Cliff neighborhood.
That was then, and now Tillman’s continues but the basics remain the same. Chicken Fried Steak, amazing. Crazy good biscuits with seasonal jams, yes please. Lots of local and seasonal veggies, a must. And that table-side S’mores, simply amazing.
Some things have not changed. Others for the better. The restaurant is run by Spice of Life Catering (Jeffrey Kollinger) who has also recently Kollinger taken over the F&B duties at Statler Hotel in downtown Dallas, and soon to open the resurrection of Primo’s.
The best parts of the menu stay the same with the changing seasons, like the tenderloin chicken fried steak, but the shrimp and crawfish risotto, which was the real winner made with ginger-lobster butter.
The tableside ‘Smores have been a traditional favorite with pillowy soft marshmallows to roast over a small flame. The restaurant has stood strong while many similar have moved on, and I think this proves they are still very relevant for today’s diners that want a beautiful cocktail and a unique dinner that’s more than just steak.