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Fuego, at Stephan Pyles
Dining at Fuego—a tiny and innovative restaurant within a restaurant—can best be described as magical. And wild. Even surreal. Comparisons to El Bulli, Spain’s famous capital of molecular gastronomy, are definitely in order. We haven’t space to describe all eleven courses created by culinary sleight-of-hand artists Stephan Pyles (chef-owner) and Matt McCallister (executive chef), but here are some favorites: avocado–peekytoe crab involtini, smoked-tomato panna cotta with caviar (above), a single scallop with a dusting of cumin and a drizzle of caramel infused with ras el hanout (a North African spice mix), and a foam created from Bleu d’Auvergne (a blue cheese) with golden raisin compote and port reduction. Save some money (or rob a bank) and book a table now. Bar. 1807 Ross Ave (214-580-7000). Two seatings, at 6:30 & 9, Thur, Fri, & Sat. Reservations required. $$$–$$$$ W+
In this cozy, art-filled wine bar you’ll find hundreds of bottles just waiting for you to make a selection (though we went with a Tincho, a refreshing in-house concoction of white wine and lemon juice over ice). It’s easy to make a meal here with a couple of appetizers and one of the signature flatbread pizzas. We sampled the mixed meat and cheese plate—which was accompanied by crostini, garlicky hummus, and a bold pesto—and nicely seared New Zealand lamb lollipops served with a blue cheese cream sauce and a pile of fresh arugula. To top our flatbread (a thin crust with a light crunch) we chose roasted portobellos augmented with grilled shrimp and small dabs of robust caprino cheese. Beer & wine. 1117 W. U.S. 83 (956-994-8331). Open Mon–Thur 11–midnight, Fri 11–2 a.m., Sat. noon–2 a.m. Closed Sun. $$–$$$ W+