8 Dearly Departed Dallas Restaurants We Miss (and Where to Go Instead)
The Dallas restaurant scene is a brutal one. It seems for every exciting concept we gain, another one bites the dust. And while sometimes, sure, you can see the writing on the wall, some restaurant closures have downright shocked local foodies over the years. Here’s a nostalgic look back at some of our favorites that are no longer with us—and where we suggest going to try to fill the void in your (hungry) heart.
Miss Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar? Go to Street’s Fine Chicken
I think every Southern millennial with an affinity for fried chicken and shrimp and grits gasped collectively when it was revealed that Sissy’s was shutting its doors. Where else were we supposed to get dressed up and celebrate a best friend’s boozy brunch birthday if not there? And while you can’t re-create the ambience of the posh Southern parlor tucked away on Henderson Avenue (but seriously, do you think they would sell us their darling china?), Street’s Fine Chicken may even beat the similar dishes in a blind taste test. Think pimento cheese fritters, fried chicken and bourbon sriracha meatloaf. And with two locations to choose from, there’s no excuse not to give it a try.
Miss FT33? Go to Homewood
No offense to the stunning Dallas Design District restaurant, but it seems that it isn’t really FT33 that fancy Dallas foodies are missing. It’s actually just chef Matt McCallister flexing his creative culinary muscles in the kitchen to create food that looks like edible art. The good news is that he’s doing that exact thing at his new Oak Lawn restaurant Homewood. While the vibe is definitely more chill, you’ll still find farm-to-table creations, expertly prepared. Pro tip: Do not, under any circumstances, skip the Parker House rolls.
Miss Mesero? Go to Te Deseo
A go-to for many East Dallas dwellers in need of a cold margarita and a nice Tex-Mex meal, Mesero abruptly closed and broke the hearts of chips-and-queso lovers everywhere. And while it’s since opened three new locations (praise be), we grew to love Te Deseo in the meantime, with its bold flavors of Latin America spanning across 14,000 square feet in the haute Harwood District. Plus, we can’t deny Te Deseo’s beautiful rooftop bar that serves up ceviche and ice-cold mojitos.
Miss T Room at Forty Five Ten? Go to Grange Hall
They added avocado to tuna melts. I mean, that’s how insightful T Room was to the needs of the people. But seriously, the gorgeous hybrid restaurant and retail shop was always packed with posh pals looking to split a bottle of champagne over a long and luxurious lunch. When the place closed up shop to move downtown, it felt like a gut punch to all who had noshed on a soup and salad combo. Our favorite replacement? Grange Hall. It’s dark and dramatic yet chic and sophisticated and serves up the wildly popular Snob Sandwich (caviar, egg salad and Petrossian smoked salmon). So good. So Dallas.
Miss Top Knot? Go to Hungry Belly
Its big sister Uchi is one of the most esteemed restaurants in the city, so to see Top Knot unravel was a shock, to say the least. And although Uchiba immediately emerged as its rebranded replacement, are things ever quite the same as the original? Might we suggest Hungry Belly for all your casual ramen, sushi and gyoza needs? Its vibe is almost Austin-y, and we can’t resist its outdoor atmosphere that makes us feel like the cool kids in school while eating our bento boxes.
Miss Wayward Sons? Go to Paradiso
Graham Dodds gave us rustic Texas fare made with carefully sourced ingredients for as long as he possibly could until the train eventually puttered off the Greenville Avenue track. And while there isn’t much that Wayward Sons has in common with Paradiso (the new Bishop Arts beauty queen is making waves on Instagram because it’s pretty, y’all—like really pretty), I suggest it because the aesthetics for both restaurants stopped me in my tracks at their openings. Paradiso is also promising light apps pushed around on bar carts, which will surely delight the people as much as Dodds’s vegan take on charcuterie.
Miss Luscher’s Red Hots? Go to Wild About Harry's
Apparently hot dogs are polarizing. You either love them or you hate them. For those of us who can’t get enough, it was especially traumatizing when Luscher’s Red Hots shut its doors in Deep Ellum. Thankfully, there’s still Wild About Harry’s to fill the void when a Chicago dog craving hits. Yep, mustard, relish, tomatoes, pickles, sport peppers and celery salt only belong together in one scenario and it’s atop a red weenie on a big bun. Not to mention Wild About Harry’s Henderson Avenue survived its own closing scare of sorts recently, so let’s support them any chance we can.
Miss Abacus? Go to Beverley’s
We miss the old Abacus. The one where Kent Rathbun himself would come out and go through the menu with you while passing out lobster shooters. And while that Abacus has been dead and gone for a long, long time now, we’re still nostalgic for the super-sleek restaurant that seemed like a secret supper club for creative carnivores. For those in the neighborhood seeking a new after-work watering hole, Beverley’s is a strong contender. It’s nothing like Abacus, and perhaps that’s a good thing (i.e., maybe it has more staying power). Light and bright with fantastic energy, it seems to have settled into the neighborhood immediately, despite still being fairly new. Trust us when we say it’s the ideal place to sip an Aperol spritz and snack on burrata toast with an old friend.