I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, York Street has to be one of the best hidden gems Dallas has to offer. Realizing it existed, and in my neck of the woods was only the beginning, as finding the unassuming structure behind a gas station in Lakewood is a whole other story altogether. Not that this matters, as critically-acclaimed York Street has the ability to fill up every weekend with locals in the know. With Chef Sharon Hage’s constantly changing gourmet menu utilizing the freshest ingredients along with a respectable wine list and a very professional crew, there’s not much room for error here.
York Street, 6047 Lewis Street, 214-826-0968, www.yorkstreetdallas.com
Taverna by Lombardi
Even the homepage on Taverna’s website admits they see mostly local clientele, given the neighborhood feel of this Italian bistro. It’s a little off the beaten path, on a little street with sunlight-dappled sidewalks. Although I hardly ever need an excuse to visit Taverna, their brunch is a perfect time to go, as long as you don’t mind a long wait for a table. Not to worry, though, as their $1 mimosas definitely help the time fly. My favorite dish is the Taverna Focaccia, a pizza-sized appetizer with mushrooms, pancetta arugula and shaved parmesan cheese. It’s easy to make this delectable item a full meal, so pace yourself.
Taverna, 3210 Armstrong Avenue, 214-520-9933, www.tavernabylombardi.com
Notorious to be absolutely overrun with guests even on Monday evenings, Jasper’s is a true local favorite. Kent Rathbun, the brains behind Uptown’s Abacus, created Jasper’s in Plano intending to create “gourmet backyard cuisine.” The menu showcases some innovative tweaks to down-home cookin’ faves, like Proscuito Wrapped Shrimp-‘n’-Grits and Texas Peach Barcecued Pork Tenderloin, which you may punctuate with a homemade Butterfinger Creme Brulee. Seriously.
Jasper’s, 7161 Bishop Road, 469-229-9111, www.kentrathbun.com/jaspers
CHIC from Barcelona
At CHIC (“chick”) from Barcelona, the age-old chicken-or-the-egg question is never mentioned. It was always about the rotisserie chicken here, and still is. Wife and husband team Magna Onandian and Rafa Vilaclara brought the unbelievable recipe stateside from famous chef Tony Botella, a secret concoction that creates a crisp, succelent chicken with a spicy, curry-like sauce. Add to that paella, roasted apples or a delicious gazpacho, and you’ll be hooked.
CHIC Barcelona, 11909 Preston Road, 972-239-CHIC, www.chicbarcelona.com
Steak joints are a dime a dozen here in cowtown. From the dives with barbecue bibs to fine dining complete with linen table cloths, candlelight and ram busts, having a good piece of meat is becoming a bit of a yawn. Luckily, locals now about Oak Cliff’s Tillman’s, which has the capacity to mix things up by adding a modern flair to the tried and tired roadhouse. Don’t be fooled by the fancy schmancy plush red furniture, chandeliers or the super-swank of their private dining room. The menu still boasts the classics with a couple extra points of interest, like the foie-gras sirloin burger or the venison frito-pie.
Tillman’s Roadhouse, 324 West 7th Street, 214-942-0988, www.tillmansroadhouse.com