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Riviera

By August 2002Comments

Photograph by Ray Hetzel

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES Like a jet-setter back from a vacation on the Côte d’Azur, the Riviera has reopened after an intensive two-week remodeling job looking not just rested but ten years younger. The exterior of the old-guard Dallas restaurant has been painted butter yellow, new fabrics brighten banquettes and chairs, and the wall-to-wall carpeting has been ripped up to reveal oak flooring unseen since the place opened in 1984. And with more space between the tables, you can murmur naughty things to your date without shocking anyone else. To celebrate the updated look, executive chef Michael Marshall has devised two new menus: light fare such as champagne-steamed blue prawns in the bar and imaginative treatments of classic chops, racks, filets, and seafood in the dining room. The results do not disappoint. Superlative Australian lamb comes with a spunky mango-mint chutney, and duck breast is accompanied by a lush port wine-fig sauce and dandelion greens. A Roquefort soufflé defines “cloudlike.” When everything must be just right, with no slip-ups, the Riviera is still the place to go.

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