Oak Lawn mainstay Al Biernat’s celebrated their 25th anniversary this year, cementing the restaurant as a classic in the Park Cities. But Director of Operations Brad Fuller prefers to describe his uncle’s restaurant, considered by many to be Dallas’ premiere steakhouse, as a “hot spot.” Over the years, the restaurant has evolved to stay relevant with current trends while offering a trusted venue for customers to relax, celebrate, and enjoy life through good food. Brad states that “relationships and listening to our customers has been our greatest success, along with building a team and culture that truly understands and buys into how important each and every guest is that dines at our restaurants.” The upscale dining institution, led by Executive Chef Miguel Cauich, offers a wide selection of meats from land and sea, as well as several vegan options, that pair beautifully with an array of delectable side dishes. Al Biernat’s continues to celebrate their tried-and-true menu throughout this anniversary year, and they invite you to join in the celebrations by signing a memory book, shopping for anniversary hats, aprons, and tumblers, and partaking in the food and atmosphere that has drawn much acclaim from Dallas residents over the past 25 years.
Dive Coastal Cuisine
For 13 years, Dive Coastal Cuisine has brought Dallas closer to the ocean. Situated in vibrant Snider Plaza, Dive serves fresh seafood and organic ingredients in a fast and casual setting, a groundbreaking idea when they opened. Led by chef and owner Franchesca Nor, Dive’s flavorful dishes include their Ahi Tuna Burger and classic Dive Surf and Turf. The menu also boasts different specials each month, and this fall, they feature dishes like dairy-free butternut soup, pozole, and seasonal veggies (they have extensive holiday catering, too). Hearty vegetable dishes can be enjoyed all year, including grilled artichokes, from the “Artichoke Mama” herself. When Nor’s son, Archer, was little, the restaurant staff called him “artichoke” instead, and the name stuck. “I also feel like it works for me,” Nor says. “Like an artichoke, I have a lot of layers that I love fiercely—food, people, family, travel, happiness.”
These passions strengthen Dive’s commitment to sustainability, as they join 4DWN, a local skate park with an inspiring mission of service, to create the DiveDWN Future Farm, a high-tech container garden. The garden helps the restaurant use sustainably sourced produce as they continue to educate, cultivate, and conserve. They’ve also partnered with Turn Compost for several years to reduce food waste, and they composted nearly 14 tons of waste last year alone. For the family-friendly Park Cities staple, this initiative is “just another way Dive is good for you, good for your family, and good for the environment.” These efforts, coupled with Dive’s healthy, delicious food, demonstrate their commitment to being a positive force in their beloved Dallas community: “Our goal at Dive is to ultimately make the world a better place, and I hope that’s what people think of when they think of our restaurant—constantly evolving, growing, and striving to be better.”
In a city that boasts no shortage of good Mexican food, Park Cities staple Javier’s has been serving up continental Mexico City cuisine for over four decades. Located in the heart of Highland Park near the Knox/Henderson district, the classic restaurant has focused on consistency in its service of food and drink to new and repeat customers, as well as tourists from all over the country. When Javier Gutierrez opened his namesake restaurant in 1977, he had no prior experience in the restaurant industry but knew he wanted to introduce Dallas diners to authentic Mexico City cuisine, in contrast to already popular Tex-Mex eats. “We rely more on fresh seafood, tenderloin beef, chicken, and shrimp dishes. It was a little different at first, but it took off.”
As more Mexican restaurants in Dallas have followed suit, his investment in bringing his hometown cuisine to Dallas has proven to be both a rousing success and an agent of change in the Dallas food scene. Their dedication to excellent service, reasonable prices, and ambiance, as well as a restaurant expansion when demand increased, certainly hasn’t hurt. Consistency is also key with executive chef Ruben Jimenez, who has been with the restaurant since 1989. So, whether you’re feasting on fresh ceviche, garlic shrimp guaymas, and cajeta crêpes, or relaxing with a drink and cigar in the lounge, your taste buds are certain to be satisfied while you enjoy the company of family and friends. Forever an astute restaurateur, Javier’s mission remains clear: “The restaurant has become a staple in hosting special moments in people’s lives. Whether it is a birthday, graduation, anniversary, promotion, or business transaction closing, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to make peoples’ special moments even more special.”
Since their opening in November 2016, Honor Bar has become a classic restaurant in the Park Cities. Executive chef Julian Leal says the restaurant, which is part of the Hillstone group, focuses on “doing a few things very well. Classic ideas have a sense of timelessness about them.” Situated in historic Highland Park Village, Honor Bar is now a go-to eatery for Park Cities clientele, where customers enjoy their meals in a welcoming and fun environment. In a city with so much good food, Honor Bar stands out for their delicious favorites such as Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, as well as their Ahi Tuna Tartare, Macho Salad, and deviled eggs. To round out a memorable evening, Honor Bar’s drink menu boasts stalwart cocktails with their own unique twist, cementing the eatery’s success as a classic in a modern, energetic Dallas restaurant scene. Even more than the delicious food, Julian Leal attributes the success of Honor Bar to the staff’s friendliness and excellent service, which helps keep repeat clients and build community: “Knowing people helps create a sense of belonging and it gives the restaurant a personality.”
With its warm ambiance, humble sophistication, and outstanding culinary fare, Café Pacific’s label as a Park Cities classic is hardly a surprise. The neighborhood seafood and steak restaurant, located in iconic Highland Park Village, has delighted Dallas customers for over 40 years. The café is helmed by Owner Jack Knox, Executive Chef Terry Cook, and General Manager Dieter Krappl, who believe that the high quality of food and service has kept customers coming back all these years. As the weather cools down, the restaurant features their signature braised short ribs and seasonal soups, as they grow their exclusive Wagyu beef program of domestic and international cuts (join their VIP program for insider information). Considering the restaurant’s age, it’s clear to Krappl why their multi-generational clientele continually returns: “We consistently offer the best experience available in the Park Cities for the price you spend.” He also notes that what makes Café Pacific successful is its focus on great quality and service over the latest trends. “Our place is a classic and consistent experience in an upscale dining atmosphere.” Whether you enjoy Crab Remoulade, a signature steak, or Ora King Salmon (don’t forget about the Nova Scotia Lobster Omelet at Sunday brunch), you are sure to feel welcomed—and be well-fed—at the classic Café Pacific.
Spread 1: “Our goal at Dive is to ultimately make the world a better place, and I hope that’s what people think of when they think of our restaurant—constantly evolving, growing, and striving to be better.” - Franchesca Nor
Spread 2: “The restaurant has become a staple in hosting special moments in people’s lives. Whether it is a birthday, graduation, anniversary, promotion, or business transaction closing, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to make peoples’ special moments even more special.” - Javier Gutierrez