The last dinner in the French Room as we know it was on June 11, 2016. They have shuttered for remodeling. I had the great honor to be the Chef there for 5 years . . one of the best times of my professional life I must say. I was there from 2004 to 2009. It was a special restaurant with a crew that really bonded. I made some great friends and learned a lot. We had an amazing team of culinarians, awesome servers, and a real thirst to do some cool food. Always trying to do something better, challenge ourselves, and raise the bar. We had two great reviews in the Dallas Morning News, both 5 star. We also had the amazing surprise of being named Zagats number one hotel restaurant in the country, earning a score of 29-29-29 three years in a row!
I can’t help but wonder if the changes being made will destroy the magic of the place. . . and yes there was some real magic in the room – glittering chandeliers, high vaulted ceilings, great wine service, caring servers and captains, and a culinary team that was really pushing themselves to be better every day.
I was lured off to Las Vegas to open the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the strip. To be honest, at that time in my life I still had a little wanderlust I guess. I knew I was leaving something special behind but the promise of what is next can be very alluring. As it turns out, opening the Mandarin was a great experience. But, I will never forget my time at the legendary French Room. I hope the long time members of the French Room team (not everyone suffers from wanderlust) land on there feet, get to return if they want to, and hold there heads high for all they accomplished through the years.
Some photos from the “Old Days”
Rest in Peace Tom and Drew.