Everyone has their standby, no-brainer list of good restaurants. They are always a safe bet and while you may not be surprised, you know you won't be disappointed.
Soon after moving to Dallas, I discovered that my friend CC had a list, multiple pages long, of restaurants to try on her Mac, complete with recommendations, how she had heard of the place, price ranges and ambiance. This was not really a surprise, coming from the same friend who gave me my quote book and who is a master of all things organizational.
Her list has yet to produce a bad evening of dining out, so this weekend should not have been a surprise. CC's recommendation for Saturday night was a restaurant called Rise No. 1, in Inwood Village. I had read about it before, and then in one ear out the other, I forgot about it until she mentioned the name.
I should start keeping a list or something.
Our other friends KS, MG and BF were all game to try it, and after piling in MG's car together we found ourselves in Inwood Village... decked out for Christmas. Evidently retailers order all of their Christmas decor early in the year, which was prior to the crumbling of the economy, so they're now in a panic to get rid of it. Anyway, we meandered around outside for a while; waiting for the one table of five in the restaurant to vacate, and managed to squeeze onto the same bench in front while we chatted.
Once seated, we decided to try a French, pear-flavored cider that the waiter recommended. Not Ace Pear, for the record. It was less acidic and there were no playing cards on the label (aka totally classy). He brought water to our table in old, label-less wine bottles, which we drank like camels, and also freshly baked baguette and butter, which didn't last long either.
The restaurant, we had heard, was known for their souffles, so we each ordered salads to start and three souffles to share- creamed spinach, jambon and gruyere (ham and cheese, but so much fancier) and a sun-dried tomato and pesto chevre. They were all delicious, but none compared to dessert.
The chocolate souffle. Oh the chocolate souffle. We were a captivated audience as a waitress set the dish squarely in the middle of our table, a puffy cloud covered in powdered sugar. She wielded, in her other hand, a pot of melted dark chocolate to pour over the top. I don't think we even heard her say "enjoy" because we were too busy killing it. It was like sword-fighting with spoons.
The restaurant itself was comfortable; warm and inviting with bookshelves and wine racks lining the walls. It seems like an aspiring writer influenced the details; there were novels on the shelves, Scrabble pieces on the table and when we left, we discovered a Bingo-looking wheel that held not mints, not matches but quotes. Like a fortune cookie, but better.
And who needs a cookie when there's chocolate syrup to be finished?
"You will wait on your souffle, but your souffle will not wait on you."
-Rise No. 1 menu