1. Da Mario
In the mood for indulgent Italian? The Star in Frisco is the big-time setting for this glam, modern venue bedecked in emerald and wood tones where executive chef Luigi Iannuario oversees a staff turning out all things luscious and Italian. House specialties here include Negroni cocktails custom mixed tableside, platters of unique imported charcuterie, wet- and dry-aged prime Black Angus beef steaks, flatbreads and to-die-for focaccia fired in a centerstage wood-fired oven, and heavenly pastas made in-house minutes before service. Not to be missed is the veal osso buco-filled agnolotti with bone marrow sage shallot butter sauce, a pasta dish you'll remember long after the meal. 6655 Winning Drive, Ste. 605, Frisco, 972.324.3055, damariorestaurant.com
Deep in the heart of the Arts District lies the culinary atelier of revered chef and soba noodle master Teiichi Sakurai, the trailblazer of authentic Japanese cuisine in Dallas. The ultimate experience in this chic Zen-like venue is the omakase menu, which showcases the very best seasonal fish and beef available, paired with premium sake (and periodically Opus One wine or Krug Champagne). Allow at least two hours for a six-course (or more) meal that begins with caviar, proceeds to sashimi, then to uber special Miyazaki beef cooked on hot rocks, followed by grilled fish. The ritual ends with a soba noodle finale, as is customary in Japan. 1722 Routh St., Ste. 110, 214.220.2828, tei-an.com
3. The Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Call it “The Mansion” and locals will know exactly what you mean. French-trained native Texan Sebastien Archambault now helms the kitchen of this icon of Texas hospitality set in a luxury Rosewood hotel in Uptown. Once a posh 1925-era estate, the magnificent residential-style building has never lost its luster and offers an array of charming seating spaces. Archambault's eight-course tasting menu showcases his creativity and the finest seasonal local ingredients to be found. Bookend your meal with signature cocktails at the legendary bar (The Mansion G & T with housemade tonic, or the Texas Margarita with tequila, Cointreau, jalapeno agave and tajin) and pastry chef Jacquelynn Beckman's exquisite desserts for a night you'll never forget. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214.443.4747, rosewoodhotels.com/mansion
Fauna, expected to be open by press time, is a restaurant within a restaurant—more specifically, the former private dining room inside Stephan Pyles' Flora Street Café. Now the artistic canvas of Mexico City-born chef Diego Fernandez—a wunderkind whose résumé includes opening his own San Antonio restaurant, Starfish, at 28; a stint at Michelin-starred Quince in San Francisco; and, most recently, working under Grant Achatz at Alinea in Chicago— Fauna is a three-hour intimate (only 5 tables), multisensory culinary experience that reflects the chef's Mexican and Texan heritage. 2330 Flora St., Ste. 150, 214.580.7000, florastreet.com
5. The French Room
Since 1918, the flagship restaurant of the historic Adolphus Hotel downtown has been a dining destination like no other. Kick off your evening with Champagne in the sultry French Room Bar or amid the curated collection of works by contemporary Texas artists in the adjacent Salon. Allow a good two hours to experience the Dégustation Menu paired with wine: five courses of contemporary French fare with options for caviar and truffle supplements, signature Sazeracs made tableside and an artisan cheese cart, delivered in the splendor of the main dining room's romantic European design, newly renovated in white and gold. 1321 Commerce St., 214.651.3615, thefrenchroom.com
Tucked in the second-floor space in the 400 Record building downtown is a shining monument to the French brasserie. Start with an aperitif in the elegant blue- and gold-toned bar, the proceed to the plush seating and feast. Chef Bruno Davaillon, who garnered a Michelin star at Alain Ducasse's Mix in Las Vegas, sets the standard for contemporary French cuisine in Dallas. Suggested dishes gougères au Gruyère, steak tartare, canard à l'orange and mille-feuille for dessert knock it out of the park. End the night with Champagne while you enjoy the bar view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Calatrava-designed bridge. 400 S. Record St., 972.698.4250, bullionrestaurant.com
At Da Mario, an extravagant take on classic Italian cuisine reigns supreme;
The Mansion Restaurant's opulent entry foyer;
helmed by esteemed Japanese chef Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An's multicourse menu is served over two hours or more.
Stephan Pyles tapped chef Diego Fernandez to run Fauna, a multisensory culinary experience in Flora Street Café's former private dining room;
côte de boeuf at The French Room;
beet risotto from Martin Brudnizkidesigned Bullion.