Lucia, Dallas, 10/31/18 and 11/24/18

exterior
exterior

Lucia is in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, a small chef owned Italian restaurant.   It was opened in 2010 by Chef David Uygur and his wife Jennifer, who also serves as wine coordinator.    There are just 32 seats in the place and is still a hard reservation to come by but there are 4 seats at the counter that are reserved for walk-ins, on a first come first served basis.  Parking is another issue, as there is no valet, only street parking and a few spaces in a lot to the side of the building.  If you don’t get dropped off make sure and allow time to circle around looking for a place to leave your car.  Inside you’ll find a cozy place with benches and pillows lining the walls and small bar wood tables fairly close together.  A couple of windows are on one wall that look out onto the busy street.  Lights are lowered and there is no music but the hum of a full house provides plenty of background noise to keep table conversations private.  Memorabilia line the walls along with jars of preserved foods.  The counter seats look at the salad and cold appetizer preparation are and workers there are friendly when they have a minute.  Service is efficient and helpful with fairly quick pacing.  We have visited many times but for the purposes of this entry we visited twice. Continue reading

Macellaio, Dallas, 9/23/18

building
building

Macellaio was opened in the end of June 2018 by David and Jennifer Uygur, the owners of the ultra popular Lucia.  It is also in the Bishop Arts district but a more casual place with lots of small plates to share.  There are a limited number of tables available for reservations and a large bar and patio seating available for walk-ins.  Bare wood tables are set with a nice cloth napkin and the ceiling is open to expose the ductwork.  Lots of hard surfaces are ready to create a significant noise level but it was not a problem when we were there as the place wasn’t full yet.  The menu is printed daily with a good number of choices, half of which are the salumi offerings.  They do offer a family style dinner for the table where the chef will make your selections for you but we opted to pick our plates and utilized some advice from our friendly server.   Continue reading

Petra and the Beast, Dallas, 9/1/18

entrance
entrance

Petra and the Beast opened last April and is two restaurants in one.  During the week (closed Monday and Tuesday)  they have a chalkboard menu where everything is a la carte for lunch and dinner but on Saturday night they produce a tasting menu for 18 lucky people.   This menu included things not on the regular menu and changes every week.  Seating was communal with 3 tables each seating 6.  It is BYOB at all times.  We were there for the Saturday evening tasting.  The building used to be a service station but chef Misti Norris has transformed the space into a pleasant space decorated with dried herbs and flowers and lots of jars of ingredients.  A high tin ceiling was above the exposed ductwork and the bare wood tables, set with metal chairs, were all slightly different.   It was a setting full of hard surfaces and so the noise level could be a bit high.  Seating was not assigned so it’s a fun opportunity to meet some new people also interested in food.  Arrival time was 7:00 but then there was a period for you to look around and enjoy a welcome cocktail, which is given to you after you’d taken care of the evening’s payment.   Continue reading

Two Doors Down (Urbano Cafe), Dallas, 8/9/18

exterior
exterior

Urbano Cafe has been around for 9 years, located in the shopping center that has Jimmy’s Food Store.  Owner Mitch Kauffman had tried several other locations before settling here.  It is a small BYOB restaurant with fun choices but early this year they opened Two Doors Down (2DD) next door.  It serves the same menu but also offers wine by the glass and bottle.  It is nice to have the choice if you forgot to bring wine and are there too late to swing into Jimmy’s and pick up something.  They serve lunch and dinner with a small menu and a menu of specials that changes regularly.  The small bare wood tables are fairly closely spaced and a small bar is at one end of the room.  The opposite end looks out to the street but the blinds were closed when we were there as you entered through Urbano Cafe.  The lights are dimmed and there is a hum of people talking softly and having fun.  Service was efficient and reasonably helpful.   Continue reading

frank. (Underground) Dinner, Dallas, 7/29/18

art
art

frank. is an underground dinner party whose catch phrase is “food, to the point.”  You submit your interest in attending via their website <https://frankunderground.com&gt; and then 20 attendees were chosen by lottery ( or possibly by one of the cute dogs named Frank).  Chefs Jennie Kelley and Ben Starr met at the MasterChef competition when they were finalists and later Jennie came up with the idea of hosting private, or underground, dinner parties where all would sit around one table and enjoy a meal of the freshest and finest local ingredients they could source and recruited Ben to help her bring the idea to reality. The concept has flourished over many years and now it make take some time to have your name drawn to participate.  However, you can also watch their Facebook page where they post opening from last minute cancellations.  It was a multi course meal that included generous alcoholic beverages, amuse bouche and lots of food talk. It took about three hours.  After being accepted they will email a menu and location of the dinner which is generally close to downtown.   Continue reading

The Charles, Dallas, 6/12/18

exterior
exterior

The Charles had just been open 5 weeks when we visited.  It is a good sized place with their own parking lot and a valet.  The room is divided by a low wall with a variety of dining table options on both sides.  Some are booth seating and the table sizes and materials (stone, metal, wood)  vary.  The ones in the middle of the room have clothes but others don’t and are reasonably close together.  One side of the room is a long bar that also has some stools but across from it are dining tables.  At the end of the room is the open portion of the kitchen.  There is music in the background but the noise in the room is from the people that packed the place while we were there.  Service is helpful, friendly and efficient.  The menu is set up with sections of dining options and most plates are made to be shared.  The food is really tasty and nicely packed with flavor.  I give this place 2 thumbs up.  Continue reading

Fachini, Dallas, 5/17/18

exterior
exterior

Fachini is a large second floor place in an upscale shopping village. I would advise using the valet parker near the entrance as parking in the u shaped lot is a nightmare.  There didn’t seem to be a charge for this service.  As you enter you find yourself in a good sized well lit bar area with the dining room across the long hallway.  On the way in you pass by the wood fired oven and grill where the chef had the fire stoked to a red flame.  The room is finished to resemble places of times past with a tin ceiling, tile floor, lowered lighting and formally dressed male waitstaff.  White table clothes and napkins are set at each of the widely spaced large tables or booth seats.  Large photos cover one wall and part of one wall is a glassed in wine area.  The guests are a range of ages and fairly casual.  Service is efficient, friendly and helpful and there is a significant noise level to deal with.   Continue reading