BY FARAH FLEURIMA PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRANTON ELLERBEE
We’ll confess: We dined well and often in 2012. And with a
seemingly endless stream of new restaurants opening throughout
the year, Dallas diners didn’t want for a selection of great places to
eat. Still, as always, a handful of outstanding establishments stood
apart from the pack with inventive cuisine, distinctive vibes and,
of course, prodigiously talented chefs with a flair for the dramatic.
Here, in no particular order, we bestow praise upon our five favorite
restaurants that soared into the local dining stratosphere in 2012.
From its coastal-casual décor to its savory starter of littleneck clams, this Oak Cliff destination absolutely oozes all things seafood, and that devotion is drawing fans to the small restaurant. Chef Omar Flores’s skill lies not just in the care that goes into
cooking this delicate fare to perfection, but also in the flair that makes the dishes sing. Two cases in point: the dice of house-made sausage and fennel in white-wine broth that envelops tender clams; and the halibut cheeks pan-fried to sea scallop-like
perfection awash in a chowder brimming with root vegetables. Casual small plates such as the tarragon-flecked lobster rolls
and non-seafood dishes like duck two ways with gnocchi round out the menu. Add nimble service (quick to accommodate a
nearby table that wanted only ice cream—sans accompaniments—for dessert), a smartly curated wine list, and outdoor deck
seating and it’s easy to succumb to this ocean of fine food in the Bishop Artist District.