The French Room
The French Room is consistently ranked among the best restaurants in Dallas, but you have to experience the exceptional food and service first-hand to see why it deserves its five-star rating. Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations–this is definitely a “for a special occasion” kind of place. The dining room is very photogenic (it has been called the most romantic restaurant in Texas), and the food is stellar. We recommend the crab cake served with tomato jam, mango and curry (some diners have called it “legendary”), and the beef tenderloin with oxtail and wild leek ragout and Bordeaux wine sauce. And if you still have room for dessert, try the souffles. You’ll thank us.
A cozy, charming place in Fort Worth, Saint-Emilion almost looks like a quaint little country cottage–perfect for a relaxed dinner. The staff is attentive, with a sommelier assisting with wine selections. If you’re looking for a classic French menu–escargot, onion soup, steak frites–this place has it. The Dover sole, cooked whole in lemon butter with toasted almonds and deboned tableside, gets rave reviews. And for the meat lover, the roasted rack of Australian lamb is also a favorite. The dessert menu, which features creme brulee and tarte tatin, will also make you go ‘‘ooh la la.”
St. Martin’s Wine Bistro
St. Martin’s might give The French Room some competition in the romance department. With its sophisticated (yet cozy) ambience and piano player, this intimate bistro exudes old-school French charm. But let’s get to the food and drinks. The menu is extensive, with a good selection of wines. For appetizers, don’t miss the crowd-pleaser: the champagne Brie soup. Entree options include meat (sauteed scaloppini veal, roasted half duckling, grilled rack of lamb and prime beef tenderloin) and seafood (lobster tail, seared diver scallops, jumbo prawns), and the portions are sizable. Be sure to keep that in mind, in case you still want dessert. And who doesn’t?
Toulouse Cafe and Bar
The charm of the Parisian sidewalk cafe is transported into this casual bistro, which doubles as a great spot for people watching. Mussels (served with pomme frites, of course) get special treatment in Toulouse’s menu, with a selection of five different sauces. But the Bouillabaisse should get top billing. It’s chock-full of mixed seafood–delicious mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops. Many would say it’s the real deal. The duck confit, with sauteed peas, bacon and poached prunes, also gets raves. The place tends to get busy on Friday and weekends, though, and parking can be a pain, so be sure to get there early.
A restaurant dedicated to a light baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites? Oui, si’l vous plait! The souffle is the star of this little bistro, bringing the French classic to Dallasites in the heart of Inwood Village. Here, you can enjoy the souffle as a savory main dish (choose from ham and Gruyere, truffle-infused mushroom, goat cheese, creamed spinach and even escargot), and as a dessert (we love the hazelnut, chocolate and raspberry). And our vote for the “cutest” dish ever has to go Rise’s “marshmallow” soup– a tomato basil soup with puffed-up goat cheese “marshmallows.” The restaurant is even a favorite of former President George W. Bush, who lives nearby.