It’s been fall for a bit more than a week now, and it’s slowly beginning to feel like it here in Dallas. Sure, the leaves are still green and it’s in the 80s, but there are still signs that we are moving away from the Texas summer.
For one, it’s no longer a death sentence to walk outside in pants. Pumpkin everything is popping up on menus and at farmers markets and in your dreams. And the sun is setting just a little earlier each day, bringing on crisp evenings that finally merit a light jacket.
Dallas may not get the kind of fall that Norman Rockwell mythicized, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. We thought about it and came up with what we term our “fall cozies.”
When we think of bars that scream fall, we think of the Ginger Man. Don’t let the Uptown location fool you; this is as laid-back a bar as you’ll find. Full of warm woods, a homey upstairs with couches, and a backyard beer garden that is perfect for wasting an afternoon, the Ginger Man is your antidote to the sped-up world surrounding this house just off McKinney Avenue.
Of course, if you’re going to be on the patio or out back at night, you need some outerwear. For guys, that means the Barbour Classic Beaufort Jacket from Orvis. Its classic look works as much in the city as it does on the ranch, from dress casual to duck hunting. It’s light enough for late October but strong enough to handle those two weeks in late January/early February when the weather goes to hell.
For the ladies, we like the cowl sweater from Vince. Comfort is key when it comes to dressing for cool weather, and soft and chunky knits are so on-trend. The best part of the loose look? You can slip a long-sleeved tee underneath for extra warmth — for the three days that the weather drops below 40 degrees (or feels like it, at least).
Still, you might not want to ruin such nice clothing when it comes time to go pumpkin picking and carving at Autumn at the Arboretum. You can explore the Chihuly exhibition or get lost in the Hay Bale Maze. The point is "cozy" doesn’t imply "inside." Get out and enjoy the fresh air and see the wonder of the Pumpkin Village, which is exactly what it sounds like.
All the pumpkin activity has surely worked up an appetite. Snuggle in to Medina Oven & Bar, tucked into a corner of Victory Park, the land of glass high-rises and cement. Medina's exterior is warm and cozy, with plum- and saffron-tinted walls and draped fabrics. Owner Sam Benoikken has a long history in hospitality and knows how to make guests feel at home. The food is just want you want on an autumn night: a little spicy and a little exotic, from hummus with warm pita bread to signature tagines — like a spicy casserole, baked in its own domed dish. From the cocktail list, choose the Flying Carpet Ride, with Crown Royal and apple brandy — so very, very fall.
After you’re filled up, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to crash on the couch and get comfortable with someone. In fact, we’re all for it, which is why you have to head to Inwood Theatre. The cozy seating encourages a little (hey, we said a little!) physical interaction.
If, at the end of all of this, you’re still dissatisfied with our fall cozies, then we suggest you rake up all the leaves in your yard and jump in them.