So I get this question A LOT, and of course, it's hard for me to narrow it down because everyone is SO DIFFERENT! I've done my best to create different categories based off what you might be looking for in a way that's easy to skim through. Within these categories are different cuisines, price points, and locations within Dallas, as well for some variety. Of course, if you ever have any specific questions or concerns, feel free to reach out and I'd be happy to help :) And naturally, most of my photos from these spots are of drinks, so I've linked each website (just click on the name) to see more!
If you're looking for...
Dolce Riviera, Dolce Riviera, Beverley's (from left to right)
Saint Ann, Dolce Riviera, & Mercat Bistro: I just ADORE these 3 concepts--- all located in the Harwood District, which is super central and perfect for starting out your night. I don't know if anyone nails ambiance quite like they do-- each crafted to reflect their individual cuisine (American, Italian, and French respectively). These places are trendy, perfect for outdoor pics, AND accommodating to large groups! You are certainly in for a stellar experience at any one of them.
Beverley's: If you are looking for an adorable spot in close proximity to Knox/Henderson, Beverley's is your go-to! Think Beverly Hills Hotel meets European street café-- complete with abundant greenery and string lights hanging over its beautiful garden patio. Everything I've had there has been just absolutely wonderful, AND there's free parking, which is always a plus :) They can certainly take large group reservations, or you can even potentially take over the whole courtyard with enough people! It's chic, sophisticated, and extremely tasteful.
Vidorra: Calling all my tequila cowgirls. If you are looking for margaritas twice the size of your head, Vidorra is for you! This place SCREAMS fun, and is the perfect starting point for an eventful night out in Deep Ellum. What I love about this place though is its BEAUTIFUL courtyard (? it's not quite a patio, but semi-open air)!!! Hear me out-- you get the feeling of being somewhat outside, but your hair is in tact, you're cool, and still getting that natural lighting for photos. Perfect spot for getting the fiesta started!
Felix Culpa, Mirador, Te Deseo (from left to right)
Felix Culpa: drinks in Chanel bottles, crystal chandeliers, and cotton candy spouting out of Marilyn Monroe. This one is for my fashionistas who love everything FABULOUS! Here, you can definitely get a little more dressed up-- dare I say, clubby (lol)-- which makes it the perfect spot if you're getting bottle service later on that evening (...just saying Dallas Proper is right across the street and is SUPER adorable & fairly priced). Either way, they typically have DJ's there on weekends which is a party in and of itself if you want to stay put. In conclusion, I hate that I want to say it's fun and flirty, but ya know what, it is FUN AND FLIRTY! Great pick.
XOXO Dining Room: okay so full disclosure I haven't been able to make it here yet (it's still super new), but I have a reservation for next weekend which I'm SO pumped for because it looks SO CUTE! Like I'm talking "press for champagne" buttons at every booth, pink everything, I can't even imagine what the bathrooms look like cute. They have a pretty limited menu right now coming out of COVID, but most will have never been there which is exciting, AND you'll have access to the back speakeasy inspired lounge, Mr. X (which is typically members only). Can't wait to check it out in person and report back!
Sassetta: this is the PERFECT transition choice from XOXO to Mirador actually *pats self on back.* So Sassetta still has the feminine feel and pink accents, but it's not as over the top as XOXO. It is EXTREMELY well executed as a chic, Italian eatery and I can't get over HOW FREAKING GOOD everything is. It is the PERFECT spot if you're looking to carb-load a little (or eat the yummiest vegetables of your life) before a night out on the town. I literally dream about their food from time to time. And the Virgin Hotel is right around the corner, which is a great option for late-night cocktails in the downstairs bar or rooftop. Or you can spend all evening sipping spritzes & sharing bottles of Italian wine with friends because that also sounds like a pretty amazing birthday to me!!
Mirador: The girl who holds her birthday dinner here is not just girly; she is sophisticated, stylish, and ever so tasteful. Sitting above Forty Five Ten, Mirador overlooks Downtown (you can get some GREAT pics before or after the sun goes down) and floor to ceiling glass windows make you feel as though you are almost at the center of it all. The menus are absolutely impeccable, and the food is honestly as substantial as one would want-- you're probably wearing a tighter dress or jumpsuit anyway (am I RIGHT!?!??!!). I've never seen it too crowded, so getting the group in shouldn't be a problem. This feminine, chic spot is the perfect kickoff to a night hitting up the incredible hotel bars downtown has to offer.
Tulum: Mexico trip cancelled during COVID? No problem. Grab your passports and head to this perfectly executed concept in The Shops of Highland Park. The decor is absolutely incredible-- truly something you just don't experience at any other restaurant in town! And of course, you'll be able to get some great photos in front of the palm tree wallpaper. I suggest getting there a little early before it gets packed (which it does!).
Drakes, Nick & Sam's, Ocean Prime (from left to right)
Nick & Sam's: I mean...2 words: Rainbow Cake. Between the champagne, extravagant desserts, confetti on the table, and vibrant atmosphere, there's no question as to why this is one of the city's biggest special occasion picks. It is not going to be cheap, but you ARE going to have an unforgettable time, and it's something I firmly believe you NEEEEEED to do at least once (if not every week haha)!
Town Hearth: Chandeliers everywhere. A classic convertible... just sitting there. And a yellow submarine in a fish tank. This place is TRULY one of a kind in the best way possible. It's classy and elegant, yet exciting and vibrant. You receive nothing but the best, and yet feel weirdly at home. I don't know that words can even accurately describe it; it is just something you need to experience for yourself! 10/10.
Drake's: Okay so let me start off by saying Drake's is EVERYTHING. I am legitimately pumped that it entered the Dallas Restaurant scene this year, and my birthday hasn't come around yet... but I feel like this may have to be the new go! What I love is that you can completely go balls to the walls and order a steak as you would at the former two options I just wrote about, OR you can like... share a pizza, order some Mac n cheese, spend all your money on espresso martinis. And can we just TALK about the 24 layer cake (complete with sparklers)!?!?!? I'm speechless.
Casual but Quality
Dessert Racer, Enrique Tomas, Sixty Vines (from left to right)
Barcelona: I only got to go here once before Quarantine, but I SEE THE POTENTIAL!!! The patio, adorned with string lights (this is key) is perfect for a relaxed wine night to ring in your new year. You don't need to get super dressed up, and it's a short stroll for anyone in Knox/Henderson. Wine, cheese, tapas, good company... what more could you need?
Sixty Vines: It's just one of those places that is ALWAYS good. Good food. Good wine. Good atmosphere. All around a winner!!!! I think it's very much a crowd pleaser, and it's super easy to split things (especially for girls), so you're not breaking the bank nor having to throw away half your dinner so you can go out after. I FEEEEEEEL like someone is thinking internally "wow that's a good point." Yeah.
Desert Racer: If you have not been here yet, you NEEEEEEEEED to check it out STAT. This place is FUN (looks and feel wise) and the food/drinks are simply incredible. 1) I ordered a SALAD and legitimately still think it was the best salad of my life. 2) They have an ENTIRE SECTION of different ranch waters that are just out of this world. People will literally THANK YOU for having your birthday dinner here lol. And it's obviously a great spot, being on Greenville Ave, to start out the night.
Big Group Capability
Mio Nonno, The Network Bar, Alice (left and right)
Alice: Alice actually has a private back room to accommodate your 20+ person group with... a KARAOKE MACHINE! As if this place wasn't already badass enough. In case you haven't been, it has a SUPER fun interior with a pretty spectacular Asian-inspired menu and cocktail list. You'll have to reach out to them for pricing, as I know there is a food & beverage minimum, but with a solid group eating and drinking, it should be totally doable :)
Mio Nonno: this modern Italian spot in Victory Park (right near AAC) has TONS of space for big groups-- both inside and outside, and I could not recommend a better place!!! The food and staff are absolutely fantastic.
Sixty Vines: I mean, le duh. Between the private rooms and super long tables, you should be golden!
The Network Bar: If you're having your party on a Friday evening, you can actually hold it at the normally members-only Network Bar in Trinity Groves! They have numerous different spaces available (just depending on your group size) and are totally open to customizing, coming up with unique menus, and making the party YOU! Oh, and you get to work with me :)