A staple in the Dallas eating scene since before the first location in Oak Cliff was cool, La Calle Doce opened in 1981, just ten minutes from downtown. Set inside a renovated former home, the original location on 12th Street is near to bursting with relaxed charm. Each cozy, wood-floored room offers up a couple of white tablecloth spots for simple dining, while sunlight pours in and homey touches – think hutches filled with china, decorative wallpaper – round out the experience. Offering some of the best Tex¬-Mex food in town, La Calle Doce pushes plates of saucy seafood and fresh ingredients, served in tacos, sopas, cocteles or as standalone plates.
Ruggeri’s Italian Kitchen’s experienced culinary crafters whip together an expansive lunch and dinner menu brimming with homemade Italian dishes. A plate of thin spaghetti ties tongues in a web of noodles and slow cooked bolognese sauce ($16) while a meal of italian sausage and peppers serenade mouths with a harmonizing trio of bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes ($18.95). The pescatore diavalo ($19.95), a savory blend of shrimp, calamari, mussels, scallops, and artichoke hearts, bobs in a pool of marinara sauce to give land-locked tongues a more authentic taste of the sea than a fricasseed ship hull. Though Ruggeri's offers an array of meat options, including chicken, veal, and beef, plantivores can sink their bicuspids into a tomato & blue cheese salad bedecked with fresh basil vinaigrette and shallots ($8).
Shellfish and butter-brushed steaks served in an elegant atmosphere permeated by live jazz.
While You’re Waiting
Steak oscar: steak topped with crab, asparagus, and hollandaise or béarnaise sauce.
Steak au poivre: steak seared in a crust of cracked peppercorns, leaving it rare to medium-rare inside.
In the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, one of the title character's best pals, Bubba, lists more than 20 ways one can cook shrimp. Though the chefs at Fish Bone Grill—which is now celebrating 30 years in business—don’t cover them all, they come pretty close. The Fish Bone team tends to stick to a few staples—crab legs, catfish, and oysters in addition to shrimp—but there’s hardly a lack of variety on their menu. Patrons can order the fresh seafood in any number of ways, including golden fried, blackened, sautéed in a New Orleans–style stir-fry, mixed in an étouffée, or hidden inside a piñata. The chefs also incorporate additional fresh seafood, such as salmon, mahi-mahi, tilapia, sea scallops, and alaskan snow-crab legs into a few of their specialties, and they even throw in a few land-faring meals such as chicken-breast sandwiches and chicken tenders. Regardless of your order, the portions are always generous, encouraging you to grab a beer and stick around to enjoy the fun, vibrant atmosphere of this modern throwback to an old oyster bar.
Chef and owner Franchesca Nor caters to health-conscious Park Cities crowds at stylish Dive Coastal Cuisine in Snider Plaza. Order at the counter, then grab a sleek white or metal table in the bright, airy dining room and await your food. As the restaurant’s name indicates, the menu is heavy on seafood, and decidedly fancier than you might expect from a fast-casual space. Starters include striped bass ceviche with housemade plantain chips and fried calamari with spicy Sriracha aïoli. A selection of sandwiches and wraps includes the popular ahi tuna wrap, a colorful arrangement of seared fish, coconut rice, avocado and ginger slaw tucked into a spinach tortilla; there’s also simple grilled fish with lemon, or shrimp tacos with jicama slaw and spicy lime ranch. Surprisingly, seafood haters will find plenty to like here too, including a pulled pork sandwich, turkey burger or white bean hummus with pita.
Uptown’s The Place at Perry’s serves up all the classic, carnivorous fare steakhouses are known for, in a dining room that’s decidedly more modern than most, thanks to high ceilings, clean lines, sleek booths and abstract art. Prime beef from Niman Ranch is the name of the game here, with menu standouts including a massive bone-in “cowboy” rib-eye and a prime t-bone. Any steak can be fancified with accoutrements such as brandied mushroom bordelaise or Maytag blue cheese. And although beef is the main event, there’s plenty of other stuff to play supporting roles, ahi tuna cones, truffled beef carpaccio, scallop sashimi or caprese salad with fresh mozzarella. An impressive sides lineup includes crispy Brussels sprouts, grilled asparagus, “colossal” onion rings and of course the requisite potato preparations; here, they’re available baked, whipped, or fried and adorned with truffle oil.