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Take a Tour Through the French Room’s Gilded, Modern Renovation

To say it’s ornate is a massive understatement

Kathy Tran

After a 16-month facelift, the pastel cherubs and red velvet in the French Room at Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas are long gone. In their place is decor in brilliant white and expensive gold.

To say The French Room is ornate is a massive understatement. The facelift included all three of the restaurant’s main rooms: the salon, the bar, and the dining room, each with a modern new look.

Kathy Tran

The saying “Elegance never goes out of style” isn't really true. The old French Room was still very much elegant, with its faded coloring and pleated window curtains, but it brought a feeling of an awkward middle age, not yet old enough to be considered ‘historically cool’, but not new enough to garner the attention of a new generation. To appeal to both young and old, the renovation team had a massive project on their hands.

The salon is still most similar to its previous life. Seemingly endless works of carved dark wood trim and molding trace the room, which is decorated with artwork. A lone chandelier hangs in the center, keeping the dimly lit room to a soft iridescent glow. Smatterings of seating dot the space, with modular configurations allowing almost any size of party to be accommodated.

The bar isn’t much different, although the lighting is much more dim. It feels closer to a high-end speakeasy, complete with low lighting underneath the liquor bottles. The walls are a deep blue, and classical paintings accompany the brass ceiling. Silver trays of cocktail elixirs rest on the dark stone bar top.

The dining room, or the actual French Room as many call it, is still the main focus. The architecture of the room hasn’t changed much from its previous formation, but almost everything else has.

The crushed red velvet chairs of old have been swapped for Bergere dining chairs, upholstered in pillowy white fabric. Pure white china plates rest on the thick pleated tablecloths, along with a single glass and gold candleholder. All of the original painting is gone, replaced with clean white, or flourished gold.

The thickly ornate molding and trim is covered in semi-reflective gold paint, and filled with flourishes and classic French-style framing. A few booth seats are nestled into the room, for those looking for a bit of privacy.

Chef Michael Ehlert
Kathy Tran

Chef Michael Ehlert brings his updated take on French cuisine with traditional dishes that are plated in modern ways to reflect the spirit of the French Room. Look for snails with pommes dauphine and watercress, seared foie gras, and consommé chartreuse, but don’t expect them for long. The menu will constantly change with the seasons. Guests can finish things off by perusing The French Room’s traveling dessert cart, a sweet end to a meal in this vaunted Dallas dining room.

The Adolphus, Autograph Collection

1321 Commerce Street, , TX 75202 (214) 742-8200 Visit Website

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