Dallas' Top 10 Restaurants of 2009

In a time when consumers are pinching their pennies, restaurants that manage to thrive during this recession are true survivors. People don't have to dine out unless there's a very compelling draw to lure them there. These restaurants lived up to their buzz and better yet, sustained it. Now, in no particular order, find the 10 best restaurants in Dallas this year. (Photo courtesy of Charlie Palmer at The Joule)

Updated: December 11, 2009

The Top 10


Charlie Palmer at The Joule

1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201

Who says living in excess is passe? This newbie treated well-heeled foodies to superior service and bison-ribeyes. The celebrity chef didn't hurt either.


Bliss Raw Cafe

6855 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75231

Limited seating and an unusual menu are the makings of a cult venue. The uninitiated may wonder at cashew cheese on vegetarian lasagna. Salads are more conventional. Nothing is heated above 118 degrees because it sucks valuable enzymes from the vegetarian ingredients.


Park

1921 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

Chef Marc Cassel wows regulars with his hip dishes made with extra TLC--for example, mussels bathed in champagne. Throw in a pretty crowd and chic surroundings and you have a winner.


Maple & Motor

4810 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

Burger and beer joint celebrates grease with bacon-cheese tots, onion rings and fried boloney sandwiches.


Bolsa

614 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208

This casual Oak Cliff spot is the brainchild of two former bartenders. Drinks reflect the owners? background with cleaver cocktails such as The Recession and a carefully selected wine list. The seasonal menu is a tribute to farm-fresh ingredients such as local Windy Meadows chicken.


DISH Restaurant & Lounge

4123 Cedar Springs Rd Ste 110, Dallas, TX 75219

Dallas fixture Doug Brown recreates his classic American fare in Ilume apartment complex storefront. Dishes use local ingredients such as Paula Lambert's mozzarella. Winning sides are cheese orecchiette and Lucky Layla buttery mashed potatoes.


Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck

300 Reunion Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207

A remodel of Dallas landmark turns Reunion Tower restaurant into a sleek Asian hot spot with panoramic city views. Along with a full sushi bar, diners find inventive entrees such as green Thai curry with prawns, sea bass, scallops, and coconut chutney.


Samar

2100 Ross Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

The intimate, 70-seat restaurant from celebrity chef Stephen Pyles features Spanish, Eastern Mediterranean and Indian small plates. Dishes include lamb pizza, roasted small chilies with sea salt, and fried squash blossoms. Hookahs and an outdoor fire pit add to the exotic experience.


Smoke

901 Fort Worth Ave, Dallas, TX 75208

Next to historic Belmont Hotel, this southern-style smokehouse serves upscale comfort food. The field pea and ham bone soup is a hearty starter. Follow with a plate of brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey or sausage. Meat-shy patrons check the vegetarian menu.


Ocean Prime

2101 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, TX 75201

National chain opens steak and seafood supper club in the heart of Uptown. Expect luxury dishes such as white truffle caviar deviled eggs and Oysters Rockefeller. A piano bar and classic cocktail menu offer a cozy place to wile away the evening.