Where to Eat
Non-Valentine's Day Edition

Where to eat in Dallas right now: 10 hot restaurants for February

Where to eat in Dallas right now: 10 hot restaurants for February

Dining room of Samar restaurant in Dallas
The small plates menu at Samar is now half-price on Monday and Tuesday, and there are happy hour specials 4 to 7 pm on weekdays. Photo by Terri Glanger
Grilled taco at Lazaranda restaurant in Dallas
Lazaranda does a unique style of coastal Mexican seafood by grilling it over charcoal. Lazaranda/Facebook
Dining room at Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar in Dallas
Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar does lunchtime dishes such as ham and mortadella salad with biscuits and pimento cheese, muffaletta sandwich, and pickled shrimp salad. Photo courtesy of Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar
Pop Diner bar
Pop Diner in West Village is open 24 hours. Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Peak and Elm, restaurant
Peak & Elm starts turning out a modest brand of Mexican food February 8. Photo by Robert Bostick
Dining room of Samar restaurant in Dallas
Grilled taco at Lazaranda restaurant in Dallas
Dining room at Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar in Dallas
Pop Diner bar
Peak and Elm, restaurant

With all that January asceticism behind us and Valentine's Day looming ahead, February is about romance, excess, and lots and lots of chocolate. March forward.

Samar
Lately, the Stephan Pyles restaurant getting all the attention is Stampede 66. Stampede 66 this and Stampede 66 that. Well, Stephan Pyles has other restaurants too, you know! Like Samar — where, hello, it's suddenly Deals Central. The small plates menu is now half-price on Monday and Tuesday, and there are happy hour specials 4 to 7 pm on weekdays, including bottles of wine and carafes of sangria for $15.

Lazaranda
God bless Lazaranda for bringing to Dallas the unusual Zarandeado style of grilling fish over charcoal — before learning the hard lesson that Dallas will pout until it gets its meat. Segue the menu update with steaks, rib-eye tacos and osso buco. But, come on: Here's your chance to sample a unique style of coastal Mexican seafood without having to leave town.

Peak & Elm
This sincere father-son venture opens on February 8 in the up-and-coming New East Elm neighborhood. Jesse Moreno Jr. and his dad, Jesse Sr., of La Popular Tamale House, are banking on a new kind of foodie to appreciate their modest brand of Mexican food. It's a gamble, but they've hedged their bets: P&E has a full bar.

Omni Dallas
Omni Dallas joins an Omni Hotel-wide initiative with a menu of six street foods from different regions: braised lamb tostado, char kway teow (stir-fried noodle dish), a Palestinian chicken musakhan sandwich, duck empanadas and a short rib sandwich. Do not dawdle; it's a limited-edition thing that's available only until the end of March.

20 Feet Seafood Joint
After more than a year in the making, it has arrived: 20 Feet Seafood Joint, the casual fish shack in East Dallas, next-door to Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House. Co-owners Marc and Sue Cassel worked together at the Green Room, and — voila — the menu includes Green Room mussels, along with clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fish and chips.

Pop Diner
The Pop Diner mystery is about to be solved. For a year it sat in the West Village, elusive and inscrutable. This week it finally opens with a diner-like menu of burgers, hot dogs, wings and breakfast foods. A screaming neon menu doesn't usually bode well, but should all else fail, Pop Diner is open 24 hours. That alone merits a hurrah.

Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar
There's more here than fried chicken, including a lunch menu of Southern dishes such as ham and mortadella salad with biscuits and pimento cheese, catfish and oyster po' boys, muffaletta sandwich, and pickled shrimp salad. A seasonal dessert introduced in January was bananas Foster pudding, layered in a tall, glass-like a parfait.

Campisi's in downtown Dallas
Who has the best pizza? The topic never gets old. If you're classic Dallas, Campisi's thin-crust oblong is your go-to pie. The recipes are solid; they've been making them since 1946. But what's cool about Campisi's now is where it's showing up: Rockwall, Fort Worth and downtown Dallas, where it serves workers and residents with long, reliable hours — Sundays too.

Asador
The menu at this Renaissance Hotel restaurant has received lots of TLC. Chef Brad Phillips consulted with chef-proprietor Dean James Max to introduce a slate of new, seasonal menu items — Gulf oysters, tempura tuna, grilled flat-iron steak — plus cocktails by in-house mixologist Tyler Lott.

Green Grocer
The Greenville Avenue hipster grocery specializes in local, pasture-raised, organic, etc., and the goodies coming out of the prepared case/sandwich station are amazing. One day they might re-create "The Combo" from Portillo's in Chicago, but with grass-fed beef and Brian Luscher's pasture-raised pork sausage; another day, they'll do a vegan banh mi sandwich (and sell out in 10 minutes). Then, maybe a sweet potato-red lentil-white bean curry. It's always creative and never the same.

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