We asked Kevin Alderman, a Gold Key Concierge at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some he works with every day at the Hotel. Experience the vibrant energy of this cosmopolitan city with a Texas twang.
Dallas is a foodie hotbed, and its star chefs set innovative, savoury tables. At McKinney and Monticello, Acme F&B, a new culinary concept eatery with a rustic charm, is the first with a whole animal allocation programme, focusing on serving seasonal, local and sustainable dishes. Try braised rabbit with three onion risotto jus, or chicken and dumplings with rainbow chard gnocchi. Throughout the evening, expect the menu to vary.
Enjoy global cuisine at Oak, deep in the heart of the Dallas Design District and acclaimed by Leslie Brenner, a respected Dallas Morning News food critic. It is said that a good strategy for selecting from the menu of appealing choices is simply to close your eyes and point. Otherwise, try the berbere spiced lamb with sweetbread panzanella and tzatziki, or the wild sockeye salmon served with local field peas, salsify and mustard vinaigrette.
A league of young, mobile locals infuses the city with an enthralling late-night vibe. The hottest haunts for nightlife include Lounge 31, a Eurocentric Champagne and cocktail lounge atop Bistro 31 overlooking the exclusive Highland Park Village. Among the temptations are more than 20 varieties of bubbly and sparkling wines, unique cocktails, and exquisite caviar and foie gras. Don’t leave without trying the Dark and Bubbly, made with Goslings Rum, fresh lime juice, ginger syrup and Champagne.
If you are in the mood for some local get-up-and-boogie, hightail it to Glass Cactus Nightclub at the Gaylord Texan. Enjoy everything from Texas-style country music to 1980s cover bands to the hottest local DJs. This happening dance club offers valet parking, coat check and even a VIP membership, which allows you exclusive entry into the private lounge as well as special invitation-only events.
Hear It Here or There
The House of Blues in Dallas is one of the best live music venues in town, entertaining guests with shows by local singer-songwriters and big name rock bands. On Sunday mornings, find yourself at the House of Blues experiencing the world-famous Gospel Brunch. This Southern-style breakfast made for kings will certainly spice up your morning.
Need a heel-toe, boot scootin’ fix? Billy Bob’s Texas, in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, is the world’s largest honky-tonk. This is where cowboys and cowgirls go to two-step to country music artists like Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Mark Chesnutt, Jack Ingram and Hank Williams, Jr. Don’t forget to check out the live bull riding every Friday and Saturday night.
Give Your Spirits a Boot
In Dallas, you can separate boots into two categories: wrangling/scraping and boot-scooting/black tie. There’s probably more of the latter going down today. To join in, visit M.L. Leddy’s in the heart of Fort Worth, a legendary custom boot and saddle company providing customers with custom-made boots since 1922. At NorthPark Center, you can also pick out your finest outfit for the Dallas Cattle Baron’s Ball at Pinto Ranch, which lays claim to having the largest upscale custom boot selection outside of Aspen.
Get Your Beer Here
Slide onto a stool or plop down next to a long wooden table at the collegiate Ginger Man Pub in Uptown and you are faced with some Einsteinian challenges. Which of the 70 tap beers from throughout the world or more than 90 varieties of bottled beer will best start solving the night’s equation? Throw darts, play tunes, or watch the soundless television screen if you wish, but this old converted house is about the beer. Just ask the studious group in the Beer Garden.
A Museum Without a Roof
Settle down onto a bench at the Nasher Sculpture Center, lean in toward the water wall at the far end of the garden, and you’ll easily forget that you are in downtown Dallas. The Nasher has more than 300 sculptures together with 20th-century paintings and drawings, which are rotated in thematic installations throughout the Center’s seamless blend of indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces.
Arrange with the Concierge for a picnic lunch, then proceed to the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum at White Rock Lake. Once at the Arboretum, spread a blanket on its manicured lawn and enjoy both the amazing gardens and a dramatic skyline view.
Step Back in Time
The Highland Park Soda Fountain, located in the Knox-Henderson area bordering Uptown, transcends time. At this 1912 establishment you can grab an old-fashioned booth or snag a stool at the soda-fountain counter to savour the “Palm Beach” sandwich (grilled pimiento cheese) and the pharmacy’s classic—two slices of Sunbeam bread filled with American cheese, grilled to perfection and served with dill pickle chips—and a chocolate milkshake.