Alfonso Miller believes that wine is not only a beverage, but also a work of art—an indulgence that promotes friendly conversation and warm feelings of goodwill. It certainly promoted both while he traveled through wine regions around the globe, inhaling bouquets and savoring sips in search of the finest cabernets, rieslings, and sauvignons. Now, Alfonso brings his enthusiasm for wine and years of industry experience to The Art of Wine, a wine bar and retail boutique that was credited for “changing the idea of what a wine store should be” by reporters from Advocate magazine.
The softly lit space’s wooden wine racks pack in rare and exotic wines from independent wineries across Texas, the globe, and deep-sea kingdoms. Beyond the shelves of glimmering bottles lies the cozy bar area, where savvy staffers dole out glasses and samples of featured wines from behind a marble bar. Customers here perch on cushy armchairs, clinking glasses of fine wine over plates of gourmet cheeses, artisanal flatbreads, and chocolate trifles. Occasionally, the sounds of live jazz float around the room, bouncing off walls full of paintings from local artists.
Voted one of Guidespot's Best Dallas Wine Bars, Chateau Wine Market & Bodega Bar employs discerning palates to collect a multitudinous variety of quality libations from around the world. At each monthly tasting, Chateau opens up to 20 different wines from their vast selection, selecting bottles that retail from $20 to more than $150. Each fair takes place during a late-month Saturday afternoon from 2 p.m.–6 p.m., and the wine-curious are free to come and go as they please, fitting a tasting in between errands or saving the world from spandexed supervillians.
If the chefs at Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine can’t make something in their own kitchen, they outsource the task to artisan purveyors. The restaurant and grocer enlists only the top producers, regardless of distance—some meats travel from Manhattan’s Salumeria Biellese, and olive oils come all the way from California Olive Ranch. However they were procured, the ingredients line store shelves for home cooking and games of grocery bowling, and also play a central role in Italian dishes at the restaurant. The dinnertime specialties range from grilled Italian sausages to hand-cut linguini with shrimp scampi, and on the weekend, brunch means plates of polenta ranchero with fried eggs and egg-stuffed paninis oozing with gruyere and caramelized mushrooms.
Their French grandmère instilled a love for food and drink in Brooks and Bradley Anderson at a young age, but the brothers’ culinary passions really blossomed when they studied in France. Their time in Paris spurred further travels throughout Europe, the U.S., and Central and Latin America. When the two finally settled in Dallas, they joined forces as attorneys, opening their own firm. But that’s not what earned them multiple accolades from Gayot, Travel+Leisure, and D magazine—it’s their post as owners of Veritas Wine Room.
The selection is extensive—350 constantly changing labels of wine with more than 20 available by the glass, 31 beers, and dozens of types of cheese and meat stock this self-proclaimed “VinoPub” with enough choices to stump even the most confident life coach. The majority of foods come from Texan purveyors—as do Wiseman House Chocolates—but some travel from as far as Holland, Italy, and France, where the brothers’ journey began.
Back in 1998 when Stoney's Wine Lounge first opened, it was in the meager space of an old gas station, where they packed in their carefully curated selection of quality wines. And despite a strange location and the ultra-cozy nature of the space, word quickly spread. After two moves, they ended up in their current location, which is now a full-service lounge and storefront, where live jazz frequently fills the room, and the wine is always flowing. Alongside an impressive selection of wines, the kitchen serves up plates of cheese and charcuterie to complement sips and swirls.
Chef René Peeters is no stranger to cultural diversity, and his menu follows suit. He spent his childhood between the Belgian Congo and southern France, later living in Laos and Greece before finding his throne in Dallas's restaurant scene. Though he's trained in the style of classical French cuisine, Chef René calls upon his well-traveled palate to diversify his cooking style, seasoning dishes with the flavors of passport-stamp inks from around the globe. For nearly two decades, Peeters has helmed the kitchen at Bistro Watel's, serving a menu with foie gras, Lone Star cassoulet, and "Moroccan-ish" chicken tagine. The restaurant's kitchen also hosts a handful of cooking classes that follow themes such as French countryside cooking, sauces, and how to impress a chef in the produce aisle.