We've come to the final chapter in our Tastemaker Awards: Restaurant of the Year. These are the places that have stood out in the last year, with noteworthy food, service and atmosphere.
They're different from the contenders in the best new restaurant tournament, most of which have only opened in the past few months. We invited you to vote for your favorite; it's now down to two restaurants, Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. and Clark Food & Wine, and you have until May 13 to help decide the winner.
All of the champions will be announced at our grand tasting event on May 14 at the Empire Room.
Here they are, the 10 candidates for Restaurant of the Year:
AF+B, which stands for American Food and Beverage, is a chic, comfortable tavern in Fort Worth's West 7th district from Consilient Hospitality. Reflecting the finicky focus of Consilient's Tristan Simon, every element speaks of precision, from the meticulously trimmed cut-outs on the menu to the golden crispness of the French fries to the accompanying house-made ketchup, better than Heinz. The menu changes often; chef Jeff Harris has been observing seasonal cooking longer than most.
Located at The Joule hotel in the heart of the central business district, CBD Provisions is an brasserie serving American comfort food with an artisanal sensibility. Menu items range from coddled eggs with house-baked bacon bread for breakfast to seasonal salads for lunch to pan-fried organic chicken for dinner. CBD is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week. It serves Sunday brunch and a complete menu until midnight on the weekends.
CrushCraft serves spicy Thai "street food," from drunken noodles to the comforting curry noodle dish called khao soi. The level of execution is high, reflecting the four-star experience of chef Paul Singhapong, who has worked at the French Room, Beau Nash, Melrose Hotel and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. CrushCraft might be the perfect restaurant: It stays open late, and prices are incredibly low.
Critically acclaimed restaurant from husband-and-wife California transplants Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder serves American food with a fresh California sensibility and seasonal focus. Rogers is a native of Dallas; both worked at Napa Valley restaurant Press. Wine program includes boutique labels, and a glass-enclosed wine refrigerator keeps both whites and reds at the proper temperature.
Boutique restaurant in McKinney's downtown square does seasonal menus featuring organic, local and regional products that celebrate the seasonality of ingredients, food and the rich contributions of farmers. Specials include red grouper with English peas, chorizo red pepper vinaigrette and parsnips chips.
Henderson Avenue favorite features cuisine anchored in the modern chophouse genre while showcasing the best of local, regional and responsibly raised products. Wood cooking is a specialty, especially when applied to pasture-raised steaks, poultry and game from nearby ranches. Chef Graham Dodds adds his signature seasonal focus.
Hotel restaurant starring celebrity chef and Top Chef contestant John Tesar takes the steakhouse model that Dallas knows and loves and modernizes it. That means unusual cuts of meat, steak sold by the inch and a custom-built aging room where steaks are aged for 240 days. It has an equally serious commitment to vegetable side dishes and salads.
Proof + Pantry
Northeast native Kyle McClelland has helped anchor this American restaurant at One Arts Plaza. But the cocktail program is on equal footing, thanks to barman Michael Martensen. The drinks complement the progressive, yet approachable American fare priced from $10 to $30.
Stephan Pyles restaurant takes over the former Samar space with a wide range of Latin influences, from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean. Menu includes novel dishes such as the causa limeña with spicy shrimp, but Samar's festive atmosphere remains intact.
Stock & Barrel
Oak Cliff restaurant is the passion project of well-regarded chef Jon Stevens. Expect to see various fish, fowl and game from the rotisserie and custom wood-fire grill, as well as house-made pastas and dumplings. An entire section of the menu is dedicated to his favorite comfort food: fried potatoes.
Buy tickets now to the Tastemaker Awards on May 14.