Rustic charm meets opulent décor inside The Old Warsaw, where white tablecloths and burgundy drapes mingle with chandeliers and grand paintings, setting the scene for decadent plates of French continental cuisine honed over six decades. Dishes range from classic French fare such as escargot and chateaubriand to braised pheasant and roasted duck, all of which can be paired with any of 460 wines procured from regions such as Europe, North America, and South America. As diners sample rich seafood crepes and lobster bisque, live musicians tickle eardrums with soft melodies, special songs for birthdays and proposals, and occasional legal advice.
Dick Woodward found his family in the restaurant industry—literally. In the 1970s, he began managing restaurants throughout Texas and Georgia and eventually landed at The Hoffbrau, where he met his wife, Teril. By 1985, they were operating their own small chain of cafés in downtown Dallas, but their desire to return to Dick’s hometown of Cedar Hill led to a new plan. Soon they relocated there and opened Dick’s Uptown Cafe in 2009, filling plates with their return-trip-beckoning pancakes, philly cheesesteaks, and the whole mess, a breakfast hodgepodge of hash browns, onions, and a choice of breakfast meat capped with two cheesy eggs.
Dick and Teril recently expanded their menu to include dinner, lining up entrees as varied as pork tenderloin steeped in olive oil and build-your-own burgers. Patrons and owls curious about what mornings are all about are still always welcome to order from the all-day breakfast menu.
When viewing the eatery's exterior, Éclair Bistro appears to be a small, conservative dwelling. But inside, the quaint dining room bustles with bright French-inspired cuisine crafted by chefs Aaron and Lynn—a mother and son team who curate the dynamic menu of old New Orleans dishes made in house from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Among them, classics such as imported escargot simmer in a rich herbed butter, and pan-roasted duck breast mingles with poached pears and roasted potatoes in a tart raspberry gastrique.
Bacon-covered burgers, chili-cheese-soaked fries, turkey-stacked sandwiches, syrup-slathered pancakes, and meat-melded comfort food dance across the pages of Norma's breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. Welcome the sun back to its rightful place atop the sky's throne with a three-egg Spanish omelet (with onions, bell peppers, cheese, and salsa; $5.50). Or ease into the evening with chicken-fried steak ($6.95), which is "as big as the plate it’s served on, and with a good, crunchy crust," according to D magazine. But Norma's real forte is her thick slices of mile-high cream or fruit pie; some say they're the best this side of the Mason-Dixon Line (there is one better pie directly on the Mason-Dixon line, but it's covered with bees).
To diners with a well-traveled palate, the corned beef at Gio’s NY Deli might taste familiar. It, along with the pastrami, kosher dills, and half-sours, travel approximately 1,500 miles from Carnegie Deli in New York to lend authentic flavor to a Manhattan-inspired menu. In her D Magazine review, Nancy Nichols complimented the sandwich makers for layering meats into balanced portions easier to hold than their towering East Coast counterparts. Though the bagels and bialys don’t originate from the Empire State, they are baked daily onsite in the New York tradition, and all-beef hot dogs recall franks forked out by the city’s street vendors. Deli-style ingredients resurface on the breakfast menu, which boasts homemade corned-beef hash and omelets puffed up by salami, pastrami, and compliments from the chef.