Dean Fearing made a name for himself -- perhaps the most famous name among Dallas chefs -- in 21 years at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, where he was one of the kingpins of haute Southwestern cooking. When he left that comfortable home for his own, eponymous and exceedingly elegant restaurant ensconced within the sparkling new Ritz-Carlton hotel, it was obvious he was aiming high. His aim has proved sharper than ever, and Fearing's is the most talked-about restaurant in town, with plenty of expected Texan swagger. Two bars have become destinations: Rattlesnake Bar, the more old-money watering hole, and the outdoor Live Oak bar, a magnet for younger movers and shakers. There are four distinct dining areas, each with its own flavor and flair: the bustling Dean's Kitchen; the more refined Gallery; the charming, glass-walled Sendero, beneath a gorgeous Murano chandelier; and the outdoor Ocaso patio (diners' wishes are generally accommodated). Some of Fearing's southwestern standards made the trip, including his famed tortilla soup. But there are Asian-inflected menu items, including a scrumptious soy-glazed black cod, and inventive ones, like Nilgai antelope on a sauté of black truffles, cabbage, and wild boar sausage, that signal that Fearing's isn't about the past. It's about one of the most spectacular dining experiences one can have in Big D, even if only part of that is about the food.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010