Abacus: A User’s Guide
Award-Winning International Cuisine | Celebrity Chef | Steak and Seafood | Extensive Wine List
Appetizer: lobster-scallion shooters in a chili-coconut-sake sauce
Entree: grilled Cervena venison
Side: black-truffle risotto
Dessert: raspberry-brown-butter tart with lemon-cardamom ice cream
Inside the Kitchen: Chef Kent Rathbun began his lifelong love affair with food at the tender age of 9, eventually earning an apprenticeship at a five-star French restaurant in Kansas City a few years later. When he finally became a full-blown chef, he honed his skills at a number of acclaimed restaurants in the United States and began traveling to Thailand every year to research ingredients and study new cooking techniques. He would later draw upon this eclectic, globe-spanning education when crafting Abacus's international-style cuisine, which takes influences from the American Southwest, Louisiana, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific Rim. Since beginning his celebrated career, he's been nominated several times for a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest, defeated Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, and cooked at President George W. Bush's 2001 inaugural ball.
D Magazine lists eating the lobster shooters as something you must do in Dallas, saying "no meal at Abacus is complete without an order." The magazine also lists Abacus as one of Dallas's best 100 restaurants.
The Pegasus News blog praises the seasonal burrata-mozzarella salad, saying "the mozzarella melted in your mouth, and the balsamic caviar had an unexpected sweet flavor."
The restaurant's Asian influence is noted by Fodor's, which says "people come back for the sushi."
Zagat ranks it as having the Best Food and the Best Service in Dallas in 2013.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Browse local artists' contemporary pieces, as well as vintage furniture and handmade jewelry, at consignment shop Art Is Art (2811 N. Henderson Avenue).
After: Grab an afterdinner drink at Terreli's (2815 Greenville Avenue) and enjoy the live music that spans jazz, piano, and latin genres.
If You Can't Make It, Try This: Chef Rathburn operates a few other restaurants, including Rathburn's Blue Plate Kitchen, which serves upscale comfort food.