Openings and Closings

Dakota's Reopens Sept. 13, Get Your Ressie Now

Kevin Marple
If you visited Dakota's at all in the past 37 years, you'll still recognize the space. Much of it has been restored.
Dallas' iconic subterranean steakhouse has undergone a renovation and is set to reopen on Sept. 13. The 37-year old downtown restaurant shuttered after the pandemic hit in May 2020. Meredith McEneny then swooped in and saved the space. For a decade she's assisted her husband — Tim McEneny who owns several local restaurants — and saw reviving Dakota's as an opportunity to take on her own endeavor.

The space the restaurant occupies was first owned by a Baptist church and in the deed they prohibited any future occupants from selling alcohol on the grounds. So, when a new owner took over they built the restaurant below ground, skirting the no-booze clause.

For the next 37 years, Dakota’s was a 1,800-square-foot high-end underground steakhouse with classic New Orleans charm and a five-tier water wall.

McEneny spent more than a year getting the space ready. In a statement, the owners say they "saved the restaurant’s historic dining room and patio to display its original black and white photographs, hand-cut Italian Carrera marble, dark-wood paneling and New Orleans-inspired gas lamps."
click to enlarge The new old space opens on Sept. 13. - KEVIN MARPLE
The new old space opens on Sept. 13.
Kevin Marple
Chef Ji Kang, who helms the kitchen at Sloane's Corner and Pizza Leila, has tweaked the menu just a bit. Kang has introduced some new entrées and added more vegetable side dishes like broccolini, roasted parsnips and a Yukon potato puree. The steaks are sourced from Allen Brothers, the same supplier the original owners used.

Other new menu highlights include lobster and king crab rigatoni served with 'nduja, mussels, cherry tomatoes, English peas, basil and toasted breadcrumbs. A beef Wellington with puff pastry is made with mushroom duxelles, prosciutto and a bordelaise sauce. Roasted bone marrow will be served with a braised oxtail and beet marmalade.

For lunch, as a nod to the restaurant's history, steak frites are priced at $19.84, to symbolize the year the restaurant first opened. The lunch menu will also include a shaved rib-eye sandwich, buttermilk fried chicken and a traditional turkey club.

Reservations are now available on OpenTable.

Dakota's 600 N. Akard St. (Downtown), 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday - Saturday. Happy hour is every weekday 4 to 6 p.m.