As 2016 finally — and mercifully — winds down, it’s the perfect time to look back at what’s happened in the Dallas dining scene over the last twelve months. As is tradition, we’re wrapping up 2016 by asking local critics, industry types, bloggers, and friends of Eater what they loved (and hated) about eating in Dallas in 2016.
We’ve already looked at the city’s best new restaurants, saddest closures, and biggest dining surprises of 2016. Next up? The most disappointing meals of the year. Check out these unfiltered, mostly unedited thoughts from Dallas’ most in-the-know food experts.
“Brian Reinhart, the Observer's food critic, joined me for a $350 meal at Stephan Pyles' Flora Street Cafe one night, and we were both shocked by how forgettable those flavors were. The space is beautiful, the sommelier was phenomenal and the dish presentation was over-the-top beautiful, but course after course we were greeted by flavors that just didn't make us want to come back for more. While I loathe this word, there really was nothing "craveable" on this menu, save for the desserts — pastry chef Ricardo Sanchez is doing some amazing things at Flora Street, and I love that Pyles' daringness means he and the chefs in that kitchen can really go balls to the wall. I'll definitely be giving Flora Street another shot in 2017, and I'm hoping that next time, the flavors match up to the presentation.”
Nancy Nichols, D Magazine senior editor & former dining critic
“The nachos at Mi Cocina, once served fully covered with cheese, are now almost barren. I had to order extra cheese and jalapenos, both at a price.”
Rachel Pinn, blogger & Eater contributor
“A pretty-to-look-at, yet cooked-to-death burger at Bowen House.”
Brian Reinhart, Dallas Observer food critic
“The worst thing I ate all year was at Flora Street Cafe: bone marrow custard that was so salty the undissolved salt crystals were crunchy. Totally inedible. And the second-worst thing was a crunchy-hard macaron, also from Flora Street. They had some good things, too, but...”
“Everything after the vegan brisket tacos at V-Eats Modern Vegan at Trinity Groves.”
Teresa Gubbins, CultureMap senior editor
Uchi. I brought a mucky-muck to impress, but the restaurant lost my reservation and we had to wait an hour and the food was super-dumb.
Amy McCarthy, Eater Dallas Editor
“I had a very boring, not very good dinner at Filament over the summer during its time of chef upheaval.”