Dallas: Stylish Simplicity Abounds At Gemma

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Gemma can best be described as stylish simplicity with its Down East inspired decor.
Gemma can best be described as stylish simplicity with its Down East inspired decor.

Photo Credit: Gemma

Over the past decade the Dallas restaurant scene has come into its own – and there is nowhere that it’s more apparent than Gemma.

The restaurant, located on trendy Henderson Avenue, snagged the title of Dallas’ Best Restaurant in 2014 for good reason. The plates are imaginative, beautiful, and absolutely delicious without being pretentious or overdone. Simplicity is the byword for Gemma from the Down East blue and white décor to the rustic Rabbit Parpadelle.

Warm hospitality reigns in the comfortable dining room where everyone seems determined to make this meal one of the most memorable of your entire life. In fact, when you make reservations (and you really must make reservations) you’ll quite possibly be asked if this is a special occasion so that the staff at Gemma can plan accordingly. It’s also important to let them know of any allergies at this time. They try to accommodate all diners admirably. This welcoming ambiance is largely due to the efforts of Allison Yoder, who runs the front of the house so seamlessly that she makes it look deceptively effortless.

If you'll be out late you can stop by Gemma for their late night menu, served until 1 AM.
If you’ll be out late you can stop by Gemma for their late night menu, served until 1 AM.

Photo Credit: Gemma

Her husband, Chef Stephan Rogers, crafts plates of perfection from the first bite of mussels in a light coconut lemongrass broth to those butter-tender veal cheeks. The menu changes with the seasons but we suspect that each item is chosen with Chef’s careful consideration to detail.

We’ve been to amazing eateries that stop short when it comes to dessert but not so at Gemma. The pastry chef has obviously been blessed with a dusting of something magical because the sweets are enchanted – no mere mortal could create such delights as the peach blackberry buckle with hard bourbon caramel.

The sophisticated wine list and craft cocktails keep pace with the food. Our personal favorite is the Peach Thyme, a concoction of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Texas peaches, lemon, and thyme. It goes down perhaps a little too easily and, like many a Dallas matriarch, is packing an iron fist beneath that gentle velvet glove. For more adventurous palates the Texas heat boasts real Texas flavor with Jalapeño infused tequila, lemon, lime, and cilantro.

Desserts at Gemma are every bit as inspired as the main courses.
Desserts at Gemma are every bit as inspired as the main courses.

Photo Credit: Gemma

Don’t you hate how, when leaving a charity event or concert, your choices for your after-event nosh are either a lounge or fast food? Well, no more. Gemma has a late night menu, served from 10 PM to 1 AM just for those types of circumstances. Smaller plates include the same cutting edge creativity as the dinner menus. Choose from things like citrusy Kampachi Crudo with fingerlimes, radish, yuzu, and sea beans or fried Castelvetrano olives and Texas pecans — you can’t go wrong with any of it.

Complimentary valet parking is the icing on the proverbial Gemma cake. If you’re still wondering if you should go the answer is a resounding yes.

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