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The Front Room's wedge salad

A visit just to see the newly renovated Hotel Lumen was tempting enough. But after enjoying one of the best classic American lunches in recent memory there, we’re seriously considering enrolling at SMU just to have easy access to The Front Room.

The food is that good at this spot, located across Hillcrest Avenue from the campus. Inside the stark-white mid-century hotel is a revelation of an upscale diner, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner in a serenely beautiful, California-esque setting.

There’s no need to be a co-ed to enjoy the lunch fare (although we’d welcome the faster metabolism of our youth): From onion soup gratin ($6) to salad Niçoise ($17) to mac and cheese ($14), simple tweaks (like using orecchiette in the latter) render the food wow-worthy.

Take the wedge salad ($8), a seemingly ordinary starter that fittingly had its start in the mid-century. Here, it’s not your typical quarter of iceberg: The salad is a small mound of shredded lettuce and carrots on top of a lettuce cup. Cherry tomatoes, large chunks of blue cheese and amazing bacon lardons conspire to send the dish into decadent territory.

It’s the kind of food you’ll reminisce about minutes after it’s gone.

The Front Room, Hotel Lumen, 6101 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas; 214-219-8282 or thefrontroomdallas.com

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