2019 is rapidly throttling toward a close, which means that it’s time to look back at the year’s best new establishments for drinking and dining. It’s been a great year to be a diner in Dallas, thanks to a slew of exciting new restaurants and bars that are pushing the city’s reputation as a land of boring steakhouses into the past where it belongs.
Over the past several months, Eater editors have deliberated tirelessly over which restaurants, bars, and aesthetics made the biggest impact in 2019. Without further ado, feast your eyes on the 2019 Eater Awards winners for Restaurant of the Year, Bar of the Year, and Most Gorgeous Restaurant of the Year.
Restaurant of the Year: Homewood
When Matt McCallister closed his much-lauded restaurant FT33 in 2018, everyone in Dallas dining wondered what was next. McCallister answered in a truly spectacular way with Homewood, his Oak Lawn restaurant that gracefully walks the line between a cozy neighborhood restaurant and a forward-thinking modern eatery. Here, McCallister continues his role as a champion for local and fermented ingredients at Homewood with dishes like luscious barbecue short rib from Ennis’s Rosewood Ranch, and cestini (basket-shaped pasta) served with coppa di testa (head cheese).
At the same time, Homewood also excels at the basics, making simple-seeming dishes truly riveting. The restaurant’s Parker House rolls, served over rich mornay sauce, are already an iconic Dallas dish. With a crack team in place, including genius pastry chef Maggie Huff, and a menu that just keeps getting better, it’s safe to say that McCallister has re-assumed his place at the apex of Dallas dining with Homewood.
Bar of the Year: 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge
It’s a hard sell to encourage someone who wants a cocktail to drive all the way to Arlington, but 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge is absolutely worth the haul. It’s a tiny oasis crammed into an up-and-coming development on Division Street, complete with blue ocean waves projected onto the walls and island-themed decor. Kitschy atmosphere aside, the cocktails at 4 Kahunas are serious — and seriously strong.
Taking inspiration from tiki icons like Donn The Beachcomber and “Trader” Vic Bergeron, 4 Kahunas mixes up iconic libations like the Mai Tai and Three Dots and a Dash while using the genre’s tentpoles as inspiration for some truly creative drinks. Try the Lady Angelica, a sherry-based cocktail with citrus, sherry, and passionfruit that serves as a beautiful entree into the vibrant world of tiki drinks.
Design of the Year: Georgie
Chef Curtis Stone’s Knox Avenue restaurant has only been open for a couple of weeks, but the space it occupies is already turning heads. Designed by GRT Architects, its dramatic vaulted ceilings, midcentury modern fixtures, mixed marble floors, and plush velvet seating come together to create a space that’s luxe without being ostentatious and comfortable without being casual.
Whether or not the food at Georgie will live up to the expectations that its beautiful home has established for the restaurant, there’s no denying that this is one of Dallas’s most beautiful new places to dine.