A Culinary Tour of Dallas

Four Seasons insiders dish on their favourite spots to grab a bite in one of Texas' biggest cities, whatever the occasion.

by Alison Miller

Dallas might be known for barbecue and tacos, but there's so much more to explore. Find out where Four Seasons insiders flock for their favourite hometown meals.

Food and drink have long been an integral part of the experience at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. Case in point: The Resort has employed a master sommelier – one of only 236 in the world – since 2002. At the new rustic-luxe LAW restaurant, Chef de Cuisine Johan Van Niekerk delivers a decidedly Texas touch – and Head Bartender Davis Rhea’s homegrown cocktails follow suit next door at OUTLAW Taproom. Moscow mule with jalapeño-infused infused Tito’s, anyone?

The Resort also plays host to several food and wine events, including the prestigious TEXSOM International Wine Awards, now in its 13th year. Chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps from the Lone Star State and beyond also gathered at the Resort in February for Cochon555, a whole-hog feast focused on sustainable farming.

But no visit to Dallas is complete without sidling up to some of the spots that make this legendary Texas town sizzle. For a proper list of where to eat and drink, we asked eight Four Seasons experts to take us to the hottest spots in their home city.

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

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ALL-DAY PATIO

Truck Yard is perfect for relaxing with family, friends or your four-legged pal. There are always two or three food trucks parked alongside the bar’s rustic backyard. If The Hot Potato truck is there, order the Naughty Tots – tater tots stuffed with cheese and topped with crispy bacon and jalapeño ranch.” —Justin Meselsohn, LAW restaurant manager

SHOPPING À LA MODE

Emporium Pies is a little house turned pie shop in the Bishop Arts District, a haven of locally owned shops and restaurants. Between the sweet smells and cottage vibe, you can’t help but feel cosy. I can’t pick a favourite pie. They’re all delicious!” —Rachel Curliss, guest experience coordinator

SOUTHERN COMFORT

Whistle Britches – order the Auntie Louann, an open-faced fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese, pickles, tomatoes and Thousand Island dressing.” —Johan Van Niekerk, Chef de Cuisine at LAW

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT

“Don’t miss Dame’s Dinner Club on Wednesday nights at The Standard Pour, a cocktail bar in Uptown. Live music and a free three-course meal!” —Curliss

POST-WORKOUT MEAL

“The Crown Jewel Smoothie from The Gem is made with bananas, cashew milk, coconut manna, spinach, blueberries, dates, cacao, cinnamon and maca. Be sure to grab a pack of Alyssa’s Cookies while you’re there – they’re a sweet, healthy snack.” —Erin Epperson, personal trainer and nutrition specialist

MUSEUM DISTRICT BRUNCH

Mercat Bistro is an authentic slice of France in downtown Dallas. The best quiche Lorraine I’ve ever had.” —Curliss

UNEXPECTED BARBECUE

“Get the Hot Mess from Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum – a baked sweet potato topped with butter, cheese, barbacoa, chipotle sour cream, bacon and green onions.” —Curliss

BREAKFAST

Ellen’s, hands down. The Pancake Pot Pie is a must-have – hash browns, pancakes, crumbled sausage, bacon – just layers upon layers of all things breakfast. I went out on a limb the first time I had it and now it’s the only thing I order.” —Courtney Murlin, Concierge

WINE & CHEESE

Veritas Wine Room. It’s low-lit and romantic, and the staff is very knowledgeable on all the cheeses and meats. You can pick your own or choose one of their curated plates.” —Murlin

LUNCH WITH KIDS

Klyde Warren Park, right around the corner from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, has a playground, a splash pad and food trucks. Ruthie’s, the grilled cheese truck, is well worth the wait.” —Murlin

MUST-EAT APPETIZER

“Lobster-scallion ‘shooters’ at Abacus. Created by local celebrity Chef Kent Rathbun, they’re a wonderful starter but can also be treated as a meal if you order enough of them.” —Kevin Alderman, Chief Concierge and Les Clefs d’Or member

OFF-MENU DISH

“The bruschetta platter and the Nutella Vanilla Mela Bela dessert pizza at Cane Rosso are amazing, but you’ll have to ask for them – they’re not on the menu.” —Alderman

DINER FARE

Maple Leaf Diner – order the classic poutine.” —Van Niekerk

UPSCALE MEXICAN

Mesero. If the weather is nice, ask for a seat by the windows. They’re often open, which allows for a nice breeze and great people watching on Henderson Avenue. Order the Queso Mesero and a Size 2 margarita to start. Tip: Ask them to make it spicy with a little Habanero syrup or muddled jalapeño. For dinner, you can’t go wrong with the Del Corazon Salad followed by the Tacos Camaron or The Chairman – braised pork with cremini mushrooms, roasted peppers and onions and jalapeño ranch.” —Katy Taylor, Director of Event Sales

NEIGHBORHOOD TEX-MEX

Mi Camino. Ask for a prime seat on the patio and order a spicy skinny margarita and their fabulous Queso Blanco with roasted corn and poblanos. You also can’t go wrong with the Yucatan chicken salad with fresh mango and chopped rotisserie chicken or the Estilo M.C.R. Tacos – grilled beef or chicken topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese and shredded cabbage. They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and you can sip a cocktail while watching the sun set over Bachman Lake.” —Taylor

TASTE OF OLD DALLAS

“Visit the original Twisted Root Burger Co. in Deep Ellum – everybody should experience Deep Ellum. James Boso, who opened it back in 2006, is a former Four Seasons Resort Dallas employee and also runs Truck Yard.” —James Tidwell, Master Sommelier

STRESS-FREE DATE NIGHT

Tei-An is a great pre-theatre date night spot. It’s a soba house, but it also has some of the best sushi in town. Chef Teiichi Sakurai has earned multiple James Beard Award nominations. It’s a beautiful restaurant in that it’s not overly adorned. It’s a very calming, Japanese atmosphere.” —Tidwell

SEE AND BE SEEN

“Chef Bruno Davaillon, former executive chef of the iconic Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, recently opened Bullion, which deserves recognition for elevating the game in Dallas. It has a high-end Parisian bistro feel, but the food is approachable.” —Tidwell

BYOB

Hello Dumpling and 20 Feet, a seafood joint, are two doors down from each other in East Dallas, and both are BYOB. A mile down the road, Le Caveau stocks a beautiful array of well-selected wines, or you can hit Goodfriend Package right across the street.” —Tidwell