Best Restaurants 2008

Edited by Nancy Nichols, reported by Sarah Eveans, Teresa Gubbins, Kristin Hart, and Todd Johnson

Some say it’s been a turbulent year in the Dallas dining community, what with high-profile restaurant closings, lagging sales, and a seesaw economy. But we prefer to see the wine glass half full and declare 2008 one of the city’s most savory years yet. We’ve devoured memorable meals from Frisco to Oak Cliff and watched much of our homegrown talent nab national accolades. So put down the 401(k) statement for a bit and dig into …

On Our Top 10 Because: There are seven different dining areas, one for each of our moods.
Ladies and gentlemen, step right up to Fearing’s, home of Dean Fearing, the quintessential Dallas chef and the greatest dining show in town. Like Big Tex at the State Fair, Fearing’s presence in the seven-area dining room is the main attraction. You can’t miss him—he’s the spiky-haired dude in chef whites struttin’ his custom-made-Lucchese-clad feet through the dining room like he owns the joint. Watch yourself, pardner, and don’t let that goofy grin fool ya. He can break your knuckles with a handshake and knock your teeth out with a swift backslap. That’s just his way of saying howdy to a uniquely Dallas breakfast, lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch.The ever-changing menu is beefy—there’s buffalo, antelope, veal, and rib-eye steaks, plus a few fabulous fish items for wimps. All entrees come with accompaniments like the Gulf lump crab “succotash” covered with spicy Tabasco-bacon syrup and barbecued clams. Fearing’s is not your average upscale eatery. It’s truly Dallas—bold, brash, and sassy.

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