*The Following Blog Post was originally posted to the Dallasites101 Blog on June 10, 2019: click here to see the full article*
BY KELSEY ANDRIOT
There has always been a part of the Dallas Culture that has always enjoyed luxurious fine dining, and there is also a lot of French history engrained in Dallas, or more specifically Bishop Arts, because of a colony of migrants who populated the area back in the 1850’s. Combine both of those aspects and you get a city with many top-notch French restaurants around town! With Bastille Day on the horizon this coming weekend, we have put together a list of some of our favorites!
Whisk Crepes Cafe is a quaint little eatery nestled away in Sylvan Thirty. Living up to the name, there is only one type of French food you’ll find inside: crepes. And boy do they sell the best crepes in town! You have the option to make your own or the option to order a specialty, and you can’t go wrong with either option. Owner Julien, who hails from France uses authentic buckwheat flour for his crepes, but also offers the more “American” flour too! And because Whisk is owned by a Frenchman, you know it’s authentic! He even has a list of amazing wines to go along with too! Whisk is seriously a little piece of Parisian heaven right in Dallas, and he has an outpost in Legacy Hall too!
If you are looking for a great restaurant for lunch that has the relaxed feel of the French countryside, look no further than Lavendou Bistro Provencal. Lavendou might be a bit little more on the expensive side, but they serve High Tea a-la-French-Pastry and the food is wonderful! Because of the classy atmosphere of Lavendou Bistro Provencal, it is the perfect location for anyone looking to host a bridal shower, baby shower, or a tea party with your girlfriends.
Rise and it’s adorable French country atmosphere is known as a place for the best soufflés in town. They serve two main types: Sweet and Savory, and wow, you’ll never again question how you can make a meal out of a soufflé again! Flavors include Jambon & Gruyere, Truffle-Infused Mushroom, and Corn and Serrano, to name a few of our favorites. But seriously don’t miss out on the sweet soufflés too, because back-to-back soufflés are acceptable when you can order Reese’s or Apricot or Grand Marnier to name a few! Lastly, make sure you start with their “Marshmallow Soup” – a tomato soup with fluffy marshmallow like balls of goat cheese. It’s their most popular menu item!
Located in the Lower Greenville Neighborhood, St. Martin’s is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) establishment on this list. Since opening for business in 1977, St. Martin’s has been deemed the “Most Romantic Restaurant in Dallas,” by Dallas Eater. In 2013, St. Martins Wine Bistro was awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and still stands as a Dallas institution today with its old wood bar to the live pianist that entertains at night to the famous champagne and brie soup. If you want traditional, old-school French, look no further!
Located in the Oak Lawn Neighborhood, this modern French bistro has been in business for 30 years. In fact, you’ve probably passed it dozens of times without every noticing it. Once you find it though, you’ll realize you discovered a little treat in the Dallas dining scene. The female chef, Janie Provost, works very hard to change the menu every two weeks so you can always count on a new experience when you return. The food is fresh, local and sustainable, and the one item that always seems to remain on? The pappardelle which is seriously to die for!
If you want an inexpensive way to take a trip to Paris, look no further than stepping inside of Harwood’s Mercat Bistro! This charming restaurant offers a quintessential homey and quaint French atmosphere. Seriously, one of us lived in Paris for a summer so can vouch that Mercat has the real-deal look! It’s open the entire day so drop by for “petit déjeuner” aka breakfast for croissants and coffee, or for “déjeuner” aka lunch for quiche and salade, or go for a romantic “dïner” and taste traditional dishes like Coq Au Vin and Bourguignon. Also, make sure to go on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to experience the table side tagliatelle pasta cooked by flame right in front of you!
Bullion made a big splash upon its entry into the Dallas restaurant scene with its gold exterior, extravagant art, and fine dining environment. It’s owned by Michelin-Starred chef, Bruno Davaillon, who was just nominated for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest. The restaurant is exquisitely furnished with a beautiful combination of blue and gold contemporary furniture and masterfully designed modern art. Bullion serves a unique combination of classic and contemporary French cuisine. Chef Bruno has incorporated an urban vertical farm in his kitchen, so you can be assured that you are being served the freshest of the fresh vegetables, leafy greens, and herbs with your meal.
By far the most illusive and interesting on the list, this Lake Highlands adults-only restaurant for starts, has an unusual name. Inspired by the Bible Verse, Romans 12:20, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink,” RM 12:20 Bistro was founded in 2018. The Bistro describes itself as “a French Kitchen with a Southern Touch,” and yes they are very serious about no kids at their restaurant! The idea was to create a place for neighborhood residents to come for craft cocktails and good conversation, and given the older crowd, could be a great place for a date!
We could name certain places that true born-and-bred Dallasites like to dine, MiCocina, Javier’s, Taverna, etc, and Toulouse would certainly make the list too! And that’s not a bad thing. There is a reason why the Knox restaurant situated right off the Katy Trail is so consistently popular: it’s adorable and good. We love the authentic French bistro look from the decor to the chairs, it’s set up just like a cafe you’d come across wandering Paris. And the food is your classic traditional bistro food too! And if you’re feeling adventurous and not French, make sure to try their cocktails including the Hibiscus Margarita or Toulouse Old Fashioned