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The Hottest Restaurants in Dallas Right Now, December 2014

Where to eat today, tonight, this weekend.

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It's time once again for a fresh update of the Eater Dallas Heatmap, a monthly guide intended to answer the age-old question: "Where should I eat tonight?"

November additions to the map include a colorful North Dallas restaurant with modern Mediterranean flavors, a recently relocated seafood destination, and the newest outpost of Nick Badovinus's neighborhood favorite. (Meanwhile, smoked meat mecca Pecan Lodge has come off the Heatmap to make way for newer openings, but it remains a fixture on the Eater 38.)

IN: Neighborhood Services, OSO Food & Wine, TJ's Seafood Market

OUT: C. Señor, Pecan Lodge

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Blind Butcher

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This dark Lower Greenville bar from Goodfriend owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling and chef Oliver Sitrin is a carnivore's dream, especially if you like craft beer and/or whiskey. Get the ever-changing charcuterie plate and/or "big meat board" if it's available, which could include anything from five-animal terrine to bone marrow to osso buco. Housemade sausages are a must, particularly the rotating chicken version. Vegetables are worthwhile, too, particularly the very bacon-y Brussels sprouts.
If you're looking to impress a date or out-of-town visitors, Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder's cozy, intimate Henderson Avenue restaurant is a natural choice. Thoughtfully executed dishes like crispy sweetbreads with grainy mustard or duck two ways with barley fried rice are complemented by warm and attentive service. Do not skip dessert by pastry chef Stephanie Childress. Major bonus: Gemma is open till 1 a.m. for night owls who want to eat well.
Attention carnivores: John Tesar's modern take on the steakhouse at the Hotel Palomar is where you want to be. Start off with a bacon tasting and ground-to-order steak tartare before moving on to a "new school" cut of prime Texas beef like the tri-tip, downright affordable at a mere $26; or simply grab a spot at the bar and order up a cocktail and the $12 Ozersky burger, which comes with a side of awesome onion rings or super-crispy salsa verde fries.

Proof + Pantry

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Misery Loves Co. (that's Driftwood partners Michael Martensen and Sal Jafar II) and chef Kyle McClelland are giving One Arts Plaza a much-needed injection of something new and exciting with a well-edited cocktail menu and shareable plates like roast chicken and a fancy ham tasting. Bone marrow with onion marshmallows sounds strange but tastes delicious, and so far, the local critics' reviews have been very favorable.

Shiva's Bar and Grill

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Indian food on Lower Greenville? It's practically a dream come true. Excellent pappadum, samosas and naan make the perfect precursor to entrees, whether you choose to play it super-safe with the old standby tikka masala or get a bit more adventurous. Biryanis are awesome, and vegetarians will be delighted with the many meatless options. Bonus: Unlike most of the city's Indian restaurants, Shiva's has a full bar.

So&So's

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So & So's is serving thoughtfully executed plates like confit pork belly with kimchi sauce, flawlessly cooked fish and a fantastic charcuterie plate in an unlikely location -- right in the midst of McKinney Avenue's bar scene. There are pizzas and wings, too, but it pays to be adventurous here. Cocktails are well-balanced and delivered quickly.

Stock & Barrel

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Former Nosh chef Jon Stevens' first venture is shaking up the Bishop Arts District with a sleek industrial interior and a menu that manages to be simultaneously approachable and adventurous: Think braised pork cheeks with cheese grits, chickpea fries with harissa cream and grilled octopus with green grapes and Marcona almonds, plus one of the more imaginative brunch menus in town.

VH Oak Cliff

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Former Bistro 31 general manager Victor Hugo and chef Eric Brandt clearly know their way around the hospitality industry. With a moderately priced menu (think $9 duck taquitos and $24 filet mignon), a welcoming atmosphere, and well-priced cocktails, they're certainly on the right track to succeeding where previous tenants have faltered.

Clark Food & Wine Co.

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Craft cocktails, wine on tap, and smoked proteins galore await at this newest addition to Lower Greenville's ever-expanding dining scene. Expect trendy items like avocado toast, bone marrow, and things in jars (e.g. smoked fish dip and pork rillettes) in a rustic-but-sleek, laid-back setting. Even "BBQ Snob" Daniel Vaughn was impressed by the smoked shrimp and Arctic char.

Henry's Majestic

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Fantastic cocktails from barman Alex Fletcher (including tasty draft options like the Vietnamese coffee-inspired 8AM) and a great patio make this Acme F&B replacement worth a visit. On the food side of things, expect housemade potato chips with creamy onion dip, oysters with pancetta and kimchi butter, and a burger dialed up with bone marrow from chef — and current Hell's Kitchen contestant — Roe DiLeo.

Neighborhood Services

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Nick Badovinus has brought his beloved concept northward to the Village on the Parkway. Expect the same NHS flavors you've known and loved with some new twists, including dishes like buffalo quail legs, chicken fricassee pot pie, and dry-aged steaks alongside fantastic cocktails.

OSO Food & Wine

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Industry vets Michael Cox and Kelly Hightower are dazzling diners with a modern spin on Mediterranean flavors in a chic, colorful dining room. A giant pork chop milanese gets fresh with an herbal salsa verde, bacon-wrapped dates are stuffed with spicy pork chorizo, and a luscious braised lamb shank rests on a bed of fluffy apricot-studded couscous.

TJ's Seafood Market

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Jon Alexis's ode to fine seafood is better than ever in its new Preston and Royal location. Oyster fiends will be delighted with the super-fresh options here; if you prefer your seafood cooked, look to pistachio-crusted sea bass or broiled Thai-style oysters. Thanks to the full bar, you can wash it all down with a rosemary and grapefruit-tinged gin & tonic or a smoked Dark & Stormy.

The Blind Butcher

This dark Lower Greenville bar from Goodfriend owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling and chef Oliver Sitrin is a carnivore's dream, especially if you like craft beer and/or whiskey. Get the ever-changing charcuterie plate and/or "big meat board" if it's available, which could include anything from five-animal terrine to bone marrow to osso buco. Housemade sausages are a must, particularly the rotating chicken version. Vegetables are worthwhile, too, particularly the very bacon-y Brussels sprouts.

Gemma

If you're looking to impress a date or out-of-town visitors, Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder's cozy, intimate Henderson Avenue restaurant is a natural choice. Thoughtfully executed dishes like crispy sweetbreads with grainy mustard or duck two ways with barley fried rice are complemented by warm and attentive service. Do not skip dessert by pastry chef Stephanie Childress. Major bonus: Gemma is open till 1 a.m. for night owls who want to eat well.

Knife

Attention carnivores: John Tesar's modern take on the steakhouse at the Hotel Palomar is where you want to be. Start off with a bacon tasting and ground-to-order steak tartare before moving on to a "new school" cut of prime Texas beef like the tri-tip, downright affordable at a mere $26; or simply grab a spot at the bar and order up a cocktail and the $12 Ozersky burger, which comes with a side of awesome onion rings or super-crispy salsa verde fries.

Proof + Pantry

Misery Loves Co. (that's Driftwood partners Michael Martensen and Sal Jafar II) and chef Kyle McClelland are giving One Arts Plaza a much-needed injection of something new and exciting with a well-edited cocktail menu and shareable plates like roast chicken and a fancy ham tasting. Bone marrow with onion marshmallows sounds strange but tastes delicious, and so far, the local critics' reviews have been very favorable.

Shiva's Bar and Grill

Indian food on Lower Greenville? It's practically a dream come true. Excellent pappadum, samosas and naan make the perfect precursor to entrees, whether you choose to play it super-safe with the old standby tikka masala or get a bit more adventurous. Biryanis are awesome, and vegetarians will be delighted with the many meatless options. Bonus: Unlike most of the city's Indian restaurants, Shiva's has a full bar.

So&So's

So & So's is serving thoughtfully executed plates like confit pork belly with kimchi sauce, flawlessly cooked fish and a fantastic charcuterie plate in an unlikely location -- right in the midst of McKinney Avenue's bar scene. There are pizzas and wings, too, but it pays to be adventurous here. Cocktails are well-balanced and delivered quickly.

Stock & Barrel

Former Nosh chef Jon Stevens' first venture is shaking up the Bishop Arts District with a sleek industrial interior and a menu that manages to be simultaneously approachable and adventurous: Think braised pork cheeks with cheese grits, chickpea fries with harissa cream and grilled octopus with green grapes and Marcona almonds, plus one of the more imaginative brunch menus in town.

VH Oak Cliff

Former Bistro 31 general manager Victor Hugo and chef Eric Brandt clearly know their way around the hospitality industry. With a moderately priced menu (think $9 duck taquitos and $24 filet mignon), a welcoming atmosphere, and well-priced cocktails, they're certainly on the right track to succeeding where previous tenants have faltered.

Clark Food & Wine Co.

Craft cocktails, wine on tap, and smoked proteins galore await at this newest addition to Lower Greenville's ever-expanding dining scene. Expect trendy items like avocado toast, bone marrow, and things in jars (e.g. smoked fish dip and pork rillettes) in a rustic-but-sleek, laid-back setting. Even "BBQ Snob" Daniel Vaughn was impressed by the smoked shrimp and Arctic char.

Henry's Majestic

Fantastic cocktails from barman Alex Fletcher (including tasty draft options like the Vietnamese coffee-inspired 8AM) and a great patio make this Acme F&B replacement worth a visit. On the food side of things, expect housemade potato chips with creamy onion dip, oysters with pancetta and kimchi butter, and a burger dialed up with bone marrow from chef — and current Hell's Kitchen contestant — Roe DiLeo.

Neighborhood Services

Nick Badovinus has brought his beloved concept northward to the Village on the Parkway. Expect the same NHS flavors you've known and loved with some new twists, including dishes like buffalo quail legs, chicken fricassee pot pie, and dry-aged steaks alongside fantastic cocktails.

OSO Food & Wine

Industry vets Michael Cox and Kelly Hightower are dazzling diners with a modern spin on Mediterranean flavors in a chic, colorful dining room. A giant pork chop milanese gets fresh with an herbal salsa verde, bacon-wrapped dates are stuffed with spicy pork chorizo, and a luscious braised lamb shank rests on a bed of fluffy apricot-studded couscous.

TJ's Seafood Market

Jon Alexis's ode to fine seafood is better than ever in its new Preston and Royal location. Oyster fiends will be delighted with the super-fresh options here; if you prefer your seafood cooked, look to pistachio-crusted sea bass or broiled Thai-style oysters. Thanks to the full bar, you can wash it all down with a rosemary and grapefruit-tinged gin & tonic or a smoked Dark & Stormy.

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