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Fearless Critic restaurant review
French, Modern
Upmarket restaurant

Tue–Fri 11:00am–2:00pm
Tue–Fri 5:30pm–9:00pm
Sat 5:30pm–9:00pm

Features Date-friendly, delivery, good wines, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Preston Hollow
8220 Westchester Dr.
Dallas, TX
(214) 368-4188
Comfortable, delicious, French-inspired fare in a space without much fashion

Tramontana is not for the young and trendy. To them, chef-owner James Neel’s cooking seems stodgy, a little out of date. But the French-trained chef understands that certain techniques, certain ideas, never lose their appeal. His dishes draw inspiration from bistro mainstays, from duck to soufflé—which you must order before the start of a meal. Regulars spend the rest of dinner in anticipation.

While other restaurants import soft-shell crab in season (and many out of season), few treat it with Neel’s aplomb. Day in and day out, however, his simple yet beautifully correct presentations win praise from regulars and newcomers alike…unless, of course, they’re looking for atmospherics. The room is indeed a bit old fashioned and vibe a little subdued. The kitchen also suffers in Neel’s absence. There’s an obvious lack of enthusiasm when the chef-owner takes the night off. And, quite frankly, he values vacation time far too much these days. When he takes charge, however, it shows—from kitchen to bar.

Tramontana doesn’t even employ a bartender, yet it manages one of the best Bloody Marys in the city. And that’s what makes Neel’s place stand out, at least for people who don’t eat to a force-fed beat.

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