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Leslie Brenner Hands The Mansion Restaurant a Serious Downgrade in New Review

The five best lines from the takedown

Drab and stodgy, says Brenner.
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

According to Dallas Morning News dining critic Leslie Brenner, things aren’t going so well at The Mansion Restaurant. In a new review filed by the critic earlier today, Brenner gave the hallowed Dallas dining institution a serious downgrade. Once one of the city’s most critically-acclaimed restaurants, the pricey eatery boasts just two stars.

When Chef Bruno Davaillon was in the kitchen, Brenner awarded The Mansion Restaurant five stars in its first review, and four in a follow-up review later. Chef John Tesar also earned five stars when current Eater critic Bill Addison was at the Dallas Morning News, but current Mansion exec Tom Parlo has clearly failed to impress since being hired in October of last year.

The full review is definitely worth a read, but these six lines pretty well sum up the lackluster experience that apparently awaits at The Mansion.

On the food: “Much of what I sampled over the course of three subsequent visits, two dinners and a lunch, was fine, if not terribly interesting – decent, generic fancy hotel food, with fancy price tags.”

On the wine: “By-the-glass wine pairings for both were correct, if pedestrian.”

On the service: “I was surprised, as the hotel famously dropped its dress code in 2007 and began allowing jeans. But it was most enlightening to see how haughtily diners not known to the management might be treated.”

On the chef: “Parlo makes the rounds to the tables, not looking very happy about it. Does management insist he does this?”

On the redeeming qualities: “Diving into his strawberry panna cotta – a layered parfait with limoncello granité, intensely flavorful poached berries, almond streusel and strawberry foam – or a devilishly rich hazelnut bar (a triumph of crackly dacquoise and silky chocolate, served with mandarin sorbet), I remembered how wonderful the place can be.”

Overall: “The Mansion is falling down on the job.”