Barbecue is a lot of things, but it is not an especially sexy food. Sure, the glistening fat on a slab of impeccably smoked brisket has its own sort of carnal appeal — but gnawing savagely on ribs and wiping your sauce-smeared chin with a paper napkin is hardly the ideal way to impress a date. A new addition to the Dallas 'cue scene is making barbecue seem downright date-night appropriate, though: Maple Avenue's Kansas City-inspired 18th & Vine is dimly lit, with an abundance of cozy two-tops and more than its fair share of booze (not to mention valet parking).
A glass of prosecco with your burnt ends? Sure, why not. It's also almost certainly the only barbecue spot in town that's churning out handmade pappardelle for a surprisingly refined brisket stroganoff. After dinner, head upstairs to The Roost for live music and another bourbon cocktail or two.