Monday, December 26, 2011

Dallas Dining: Tillman's Roadhouse

My good friend Marissa and I share a love for trying new food and exploring new restuarants, so early this year we decided to pick a different Dallas restaurant each month to visit. Most of these restaurants are higher-end and therefore a little pricey, so once a month is easy on our wallets and also gives us something to look forward to! It's fun to get a little dressed up and have a girls' night out with a delicious meal!

I am by no means a food critic, but I want to start posting about my Dallas Dining experiences and let you in on all of my favorite spots! My favorite thus far is still the very first restaurant we went to, Nosh, but for my first post in this series I will start with our most recent adventure-- Tillman's Roadhouse.

There is also a Tillman's in Fort Worth, but Marissa and I went to the one in the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. The Bishop Arts District itself is adorable, and even though you have to go through a slightly unsavory area when you exit the highway, it wasn't too bad. I definitely want to explore more of the Bishop Arts District during future visits!

We made a reservation for a Saturday night and only had to wait a few minutes. One thing to keep in mind if you visit Tillman's--there's a little shortage of convenient parking. If you want to keep it simple, pay the $5 for valet. Otherwise, there is a lot at the end of the street and a few smaller lots around the area. After losing the battle for a spot in the big lot, Marissa and I got lucky and found a spot near the restaurant.

Tillman's decor was very unique. The best way I can describe it is "rustic meets elegant." I've posted a few pictures below from their website, but the inside basically included fake animal heads and other items that made it live up to its roadhouse name, combined with huge chandeliers in the center to up the elegance of the restaurant. They had a movie projected on the wall of the bar area, which was neat. The whole restaurant is very open, and we were seated close to the couple next to us. They also had Christmas music blasting so it was almost difficult to maintain conversation at some points. This restaurant wouldn't be ideal for an intimate, private dinner experience, but if you are looking for an upbeat atmosphere or an energetic group dinner setting, Tillman's is the place for you!

Now, the most important part...the food. Tillman's serves Southern comfort food that fills you up and satisifies you, but it is taken up a notch from what you expect of your traditional chicken fried steak. They start you off with a little bowl of kettle-cooked popcorn, which was the perfect pre-dinner snack. With many restaurants that serve a basket of bread, you fill up before you even order your dinner, so little bite-sized popcorn pieces were an excellent snack to take the edge off of our hunger. Marissa and I ordered our classic favorite cocktail, prosecco, and debated about our entree selections. Tillman's has many delicious-sounding options, so I would love to go back and sample something else!

I went with the coffee-crusted prime rib and my only regret was that I didn't have more room in my stomach! The prime rib itself was delicious, just a huge slab of meat that I had no chance of finishing! The wild mushroom ragout and asparagus it came with were also tender and delicious. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, so I am a tough critic! Horseradish cream was served on the side and made a cool, flavorful dipping sauce for the meat. They don't have a picture of my entree on their website, so here is one I took on my phone.

Marissa ordered the chicken fried steak, served with garlic roasted mashed potatoes and poblano cream gravy. I sampled a bite of hers and it was also delicious and a more manageable portion!

Although they charge a small fee for splitting plates, I recommend it so that you can save room for dessert! We were too full to try any, but the couple next to us had the huge slab of red velvet cake, and they also have tableside s'more that I would love to try!

My rating system-- I will rate each restaurant on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being a terrible experience and 5 being an excellent experience that I recommend to all of you.

My rating for Tillman's Roadhouse: 4 out of 5

I definitely recommend this restaurant if you are looking for a satisfying meal in a unique area--great for groups of friends or an energetic date night!

Tips to remember if you dine at Tillman's: Come with cash for valet or be prepared to walk a little, share entrees or come very hungry, and don't plan on an intimate dining atmosphere!

Tillman's Roadhouse – Dallas
Bishop Arts District
324 West 7th Street
Dallas, Texas 75208

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