A bistro is defined as a small, unpretentious restaurant with modestly priced, often home-cooked food. This definition leaves a lot up for interpretation, as does the generally accepted idea of what a bistro entails. With this in mind, here is a list of some of the best bistros around Dallas, in several bistro varieties.
Nosh Euro Bistro
4701 W Park Blvd, Suite 101
Plano, TX 75093
This casual setting serves food that is anything but. Happy hour is a good time to check it out since the menu has plenty of appetizers “to nosh on” with drink specials and half price nosh items weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Share the Hummus And Pita or Crushed Avocado Crostini with a friend, or keep it all for yourself as you sip and chat. If looking for a delicious bistro sandwich, order the standard Croque Monsieur packed full of bayonne ham and gruyere and bechamel cheeses. Or go for the Grilled Pork Porterhouse served with white cheddar cauliflower mash and red grapes. Don’t forget about the original location in Oak Lawn as well if looking for a bite closer to downtown.
2912 N Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
The Porch is known for its “home-cooked” cuisine, but is also a popular happy hour destination because of its Knox/Henderson location. As you sit in a booth and nibble on the Three Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a melted combination of port salute, provolone and aged cheddar) and sip on the hot, creamy tomato soup served alongside, you will be taken back to your mama’s kitchen from childhood. A dish maybe not commonly seen on French menus but unbelievable nonetheless is the Smoked Brisket Enchiladas. The smoky inclusion makes this cultural dish a must have. The long bar and high-top tables resemble a set up frequently seen in European restaurants and provides a great social atmosphere for happy hour.
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State & Allen Restaurant and Lounge
2400 Allen St
Dallas, TX 75204
Tucked away in a neighborhood in Uptown, at the corner of State and Allen Streets, this little restaurant is busiest for brunch, but provides great food and drinks all day long. The pizza is a favorite that has thankfully remained on the menu throughout some recent changes. There is a separate bistro menu provided that includes dishes only available after 6 p.m. each day. Go for the Pork Au Poivre (a 12-ounce pork chop with sweet potato fries, brocollini and cognac pepper cream). The Love Love Chicken Bowl is another great option with a spicy mix of Sriracha butter sauce and sautéed chicken served with risotto, cilantro, tomatoes, bacon and bell peppers. This bistro is Dallas dining at its finest.
Nick & Sam’s Grill
2816 Fairmount St
Dallas, TX 75201
The casual cousin of the well-known steakhouse, Nick & Sam’s Grill has made quite a name in its own right. It strives to give off a bistro atmosphere with a reasonable price tag while maintaining the high-quality cuisine its fans expect. Trying to pick just one item off the menu filled with comfort food like soups, sandwiches, pastas and omelets can be difficult, but you can always come back to try more. Whether your first or fifth visit, sample the Pecan Crusted Trout (served with wilted spinach, green apples, feta and sweet potato vinaigrette) or the lunchtime ‘Cuban’ Reuben (pork tenderloin, ham, and corned beef piled high with sauerkraut, Russian dressing and sweet potato fries). Both make for a delightful meal.
10720 Preston Road, Suite 1101
Dallas, TX 75230
Although the name sounds odd, and maybe gives the impression of walking into a cafeteria, the warm restaurant and delicious food don’t not fit this description at all. The cozy space – with a brick wall and long, comfy booth – invites you to sample the down-home (although fancier than you remember from growing up) choices. The Devilled Egg Salad & Smoked Salmon sandwich comes smashed between two pieces of sourdough with lettuce, tomato and pickled red onion. It is one of the more unique sandwiches you will ever taste but shockingly delicious all the same. The desserts, including the insanely sweet Butterscotch Pot de Crème, are perfect examples of the fancy theme, and necessary for a complete trip.
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Emilie DesJardins currently works in Dallas television and worked with KRLD Restaurant Week for several years before that. She is always trying new places around the Metroplex to find the best food and unique things to do. See her work at Examiner.com.