SĒR at The Hilton Anatole.

A Dallas Staycation with Spinalis to die for. Seriously.


I’m lucky. I live in Dallas, Texas and so I don’t have to go far for an amazing steak. But even if I had to leave on a jet plane, that is exactly what I would do in order to have a steak at one of the few places in Dallas that manages to stand out among the wealth of outstanding steak houses in this city. There’s a serious contender in these parts for the steakhouse crown - SĒR at The Hilton Anatole. 


You simply can’t beat the view of the Dallas skyline from the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole Hotel where SĒR is located. The lights of the city dancing below you is the ideal backdrop for such dramatic dining. Luckily we went to admire that view hungry because this meal was no messing around. 


We started with the hamachi “crudo” with cilantro, lime, and jalapeños, the Jamón Ibérico, and a Chèvre from Waco, Texas. It was so light and fresh and delicious, that it made it hard not to gobble every bite. But we knew we had a lot more deliciousness to come so we tempered ourselves – for the moment. 


Next up was a dish almost beyond belief that SĒR calls “From the sea.” It includes oysters, shrimp cocktail, king crab, and jumbo lump crab cocktail. I am not exaggerating when I say I all but cried when it was delivered to our table. I grew up on the East Coast, minutes away from the Chesapeake Bay. So seafood is my thing. And I simply could not believe this dish.

Each taste was so delicate and perfect that I couldn’t imagine the meal could get any better. And then it did. A lovely 8oz filet came out complete with orange glazed carrots and bordelaise. It was tender and delicious. But it was no match for it’s partner in crime that graced the table as well – the 7oz. Wagyu “Spinalis” served with fingerling potatoes and SĒR steak sauce.


If you are not familiar with the cut, which is basically the cap of a rib eye, here’s my favorite description. 


“If you take a look at a ribeye steak… There's the bone, then there's the large eye of meat attached to it, then around that eye of meat is the spinalis dorsi, the ribeye cap. If you trim it off from the ribs before cutting them into steaks, you end up with an entire muscle about 16 inches long, 8 inches wide, and an inch thick. This is the gold you are looking for,” explains J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats.


It is, hands down, the best cut of meat. Ever. It is buttery beyond buttery and flavorful beyond flavorful. Before melting in your mouth, it feels every inch of your taste buds with the richest, most pleasurable sensations you could imagine. You hardly need a knife to cut or teeth to chew and you literally won’t believe the flavorful profile. It is that divine. 

We also enjoyed the mac + cheese pancetta with scallions, the grilled asparagus sel gris, house-made tater tots with house-made ketchup , and onion rings with house-made ranch dressing. They were all delicious. Really delicious actually. But once the Spinalis hit the table. It was almost impossible to see or taste anything else. 


Somehow we managed to taste three desserts after the dust settled, the valrhona molten cake blood orange sorbet, poached pear fritters with blue cheese ice cream, pistachio brittle and salted caramel, and an off menu treat - deconstructed coconut cream pie. 


The first two were fine. But the third was heavenly and I wasn’t even a coconut cream pie fan before that night. Suffice it to say, I am now. Light, fluffy, sweet – without being cloying – all the rights textures and tastes in all the right places. 


But it wasn’t only the food that was outstanding at SĒR. It was also the service. Every staff member was gracious and friendly and accommodating. Not request was too great and no question went understand. It was the loveliest of evenings all around. 


I was very grateful to be staying the night at the Anatole after that meal. I don’t think I could have made it much further. Let’s just say stuffed in an understatement. The suite we stayed in had two massive rooms, graciously appointed and views that weren’t as amazing as SĒR’s but that were definitely nothing to sneeze at. 


Hotels are my thing. I stay in a heck of a lot of them. My favorites have great décor, killer linens, a kick ass restaurant, and service that makes you wish you never had to go home. The Anatole certainly gets top marks on all counts. I won’t be a stranger, for sure. And whether you happen to live so very close or terribly, terribly far, SĒR and the Anatole are worth the trip. 


Note: The Anatole hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. So, be sure to check out their site, especially when any holiday is on tap. For Christmas, they put on an event called Sparkle complete with outdoor ice rink, performances by local choirs and bands, face painting, bounce house, crafts, holiday goodies for sale, ice carving, chef demos, and other special appearances and events. 


But the highlight was the live animal show with the Dallas Zoo, who brought an adorable penguin, a porcupine I wanted to take home, a cheetah cub that you would have sworn was a house cat, a charming alligator, a beautiful snake, and a glorious owl. 


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Traveling Around the Block

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Photo Credit: Steph Grant www.stephgrantphotography.com

I've been very lucky to have the chance to travel all around the world. I've ridden a camel in Israel; been swimming with rays and sharks in Bora Bora; gone ATVing in Curacao' and gotten my dive certification in St Kitts. I've watched  the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets; talked to the most interesting people; stayed in the most outrageous places; and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for every minute of it. I look forward to sharing all of my adventures with you, future and past, in hopes of inspiring you to take a leap or two of your own. I plan to take you on a virtual world tour and I hope you'll share your travel stories with me all along the way. 

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