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Date Night in Dallas: Going Gluten-Free (and Vegetarian) at the French Room

21 December 2012

For the past five years of living in Dallas, there has been one date night that remained my dream and fantasy. Since I first learned about the French Room at the Adolphus Hotel, I've held it high on my list of most unforgettable and amazing ideas for date night, ever. There were deterrents to my fantasy, such as being outside of our budget and food allergy kids trying to navigate a prix fixe menu. The moral of this blog post today my friends, is to dream your date night dreams*. That is how they are able to one day become date night realities.

*This encouragement mostly applies to food or, like, a movie you would want to go see or something. Illegal or (ahem) explicit date night fantasies may not apply. Thank you.

So of course The French Room is amazing. It's the only restaurant in Texas to have the AAA five diamond rating. It's always in the Zagat Top 10 and Bon Appetit called it the Most Romantic Restaurant in America. This all means that I would very much like to go there but it's definitely out of the typical date night budget. Lucky for the Dallas high-class. low-budget crowd, a few times a year The French Room will run a deal for two dinners for $90.00 on Travelzoo. If you do not Travelzoo, well, that is a shame. We Travelzoo everything and live large from our small pockets. We've done everything from see local shows for less than half the ticket price to stay on a private floor of a historic New Orleans French Quarter hotel for the same price we've paid for two star rooms in Tyler, Texas. Once I knew we could safely eat at the French Room without problems (more on that to come), I watched for this like a hawk. The voucher sells out quickly so I had a little money put aside in case they ran it again this year. Did I ever think I would pay for my French Room experience by coupon? Maybe not, but I never thought I would get to eat there either! Coupons open the door to a world of possibilities. 

The other hindrance to my French Room dreams was the food allergy thing. Markus and I are both gluten free, plus Markus does not eat meat so we are basically walking prix fixe nightmares. I was really excited to hear that other people with food allergies had great experiences dining at the French Room so I thought we had to give it a try. We made our reservation using Open Table: Dallas Restaurants, and left a note in the comments section that we would be dining gluten-free and that one guest would be vegetarian. We also gave them a call a few days before our visit. I loved that when I called to check their response was, "Gluten free? Oh, fabulous! We'll see you soon!" Not the usual response and it made me even more excited for our visit!

Usually gluten-free dining means ordering what everyone else is having, but without something. At the French Room, we just selected what our preference was for each course and the talented chefs adapted it so that it still had the full flavor and weight of the menu dish, but without gluten. It was definitely the best gluten-free meal I've ever had!

Below is the first course: a spinach salad with granny smith apples, blood orange, bleu cheese, white asparagus and walnut vinaigrette. 

Pear and ginger sorbet to cleanse the palette! I loved the presentation of all of the dishes.

All of the entree dishes were meat items, so Markus asked if he may just have a vegetable plate. Their response was, "Absolutely!" May I reiterate how nice it is to pay money for food somewhere and not be treated like a burden because of a preference or allergy? The entire service team was just exceptional. 

Dessert was a Grand Marnier souffle! The homemade vanilla bean whipped cream was what date night dreams are made of. 

We had such a great time. I told Markus before we went that I had heard there was a proposal there almost every night. The date night gods payed me justice when the adorable young(er) couple next to us had their special proposal, including a live acoustic version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You." The table captain was a huge help to the Romeo, presenting the ring on a special dish and bringing down the house music. The Matre'D even video recorded it for him! It was such a fun part of the night!

After dinner, make sure to visit the bar and ask the bartender for your Dallas history lesson. There's the Guggenheim's grand piano that almost went down on the Titanic, tapestries whose partners are hanging in national museums and ghost stories. I love the Adolphus Hotel and was so happy as we headed home from our best date night yet. 

Do you have a dream date night all planned in your head, waiting for the perfect opportunity? Do share!


  1. This is the sweetest post! We completely understand dietary restrictions in our house and so appreciate when people go out of their way to accommodate!
    You two are precious.
    Also, we are planning on taking a trip to the French room VERY soon per your suggestion.

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