My hunnie took me to Abacus for my birthday this week, and I have to admit I was skeptical of the place. I personally avoid restaurants like Abacus simply because they tend to be pretentious and the staff is usually snobby.
When we got there, our table was not ready despite having made reservations. However, they were extremely busy, so we had a drink at the bar and let it slide.
We were seated and our waiter was promptly at our table, politely and professionally offering us drinks, menus, and suggestions. We took his suggestions and ordered all of our food then and there.
My first course was the Asian spring salad with crab meat. Words cannot describe the flavors in this dish, but let me just tell you I don't even eat shellfish. I loved this dish so much I ended up getting TWO of these salads (long story, you will see).
My boyfriend ordered the lobster shooters and they were good, but in comparison to my salad, they couldn't hold a candle.
My entree was the halibut special of the evening. When the waiter came by to check on our food, I had to tell him that I was not terribly impressed by it. He immediately offered to replace the dish and was practically begging me to choose something else off the menu. He promised it would be at my table in 3 minutes. I laughed and told him that it was really fine, that I would eat it, but it didn't tickle my tastebuds as the salad had. As he walked away, he was obviously distraught by the fact that I wasn't crazy about my dish.
In 5 minutes, the manager was at our table, removing my halibut and asking what they could replace it with. I had loved the salad so much that I asked for another, and in 30 seconds there was another one on my plate.
Bottom line is, if you don't like your food at Abacus and you don't tell them, then you deserve to be disappointed because you didn't give them a chance to fix it. This was the single best dining experience we've ever had, and we will definitely be back.
Kind of Overrated. Service NOT the Best. Poor Management.. Their food is good! But, it's not all that good! It's just good. I think this restaurant is highly overrated. But, try it. I don't think that people will be disappointed. I just don't agree with all the hype out there about this restaurant. The restaurant interior is somewhat tacky.
Good, but Highly Overrated..
I grew up in Dallas and was lucky enough to be spoiled when it comes to fine dining. I grew up going to the Chappareal Club on weekends with my parents...to Laurels, the Pyramid Room, the French Room- the Mansion. I developed a palette at an early age and as an adult (with a far smaller pocketbook of course!!!) I tell you this as a preface to my review- because perhaps I have been spoiled with fantastic food. Perhaps Abacus is a fantastic restaurant, but there are certain things I believe you should and CAN expect from one of only 5, 5-star restaurants in Dallas. And Abacus did not deliver.
The lobster shooters, while flavorful and excellent, contained no hint of lobster and I was surprised they could even use it in the title. But I did enjoy them very much. Their peking duck spring rolls were good...(I still think my favorite Thai place could have made them even better.) My husband's soft shell crab was excellent, and cooked to perfection. Truly the highlight of the evening. I DID NOT LIKE MY ENTREE AT ALL. When you spend money and go to a restaurant like Abacus, your dish at the very least should be good. Maybe not EXCELLENT, but good enough to where you would enjoy it, and maybe just not order it again. I did not even eat it. I am not the type of person to send food back, so I pushed it around and smiled. But what a dissapointment! They nailed everything else almost, and crashed and burned on the entree. My husband's flat iron steak was good.
Lobster Shooters - B+
Peking Duck Spring Rolls - B
Soft Shell Crab - A+
Flat Iron Steak - B
Soy seared beef with Chili Prawns - D+
Overall - B-
I had a good time. The ambiance is fantastic. The appetizers were good. Not fantastic but good. And the entrees were a dissapointing C-. Save some money, and get a few small plates which are more interesting anyways, and a drink at the bar.
Refined dining in a comfortable setting.
I've been to Abacus several times over the last few years and every time we've been very impressed with the outstanding food and service. The really incredible thing about dining at Abacus is that the standards are so high for the most important aspects of any dining experience, yet the atmosphere can be almost casual. The restaurant is appropriate for anyone seeking either a formal dining experience or for someone just wanting a nice dinner without having to get "dressed up". Either way fits into the relaxed yet reserved style of Abacus easily.
The Lobster shooters are obviously a signature but a new dish the last time there really blew me away, Duck Three Ways is quite simply one of the best meals I've ever had anywhere. If you like Sushi the Tuna Tartar with jalapenos is wonderful. Personal favorite is the Blue Cheese crusted Ribeye, but the Venison is also outstanding.
As for the service, I am consistently greeted cheerfully and made to feel very welcome even on exceptionally busy evenings. The wait staff is very attentive without being obtrusive. I've also noticed that very seldom is there any turnover in the waitstaff, these people are intimate with the details of providing excellent service and helping the guest to order the best possible meal. The restaurant is attractive and modern in its design and the atmosphere makes it easy to relax.
Overall, Abacus is the best restaurant in Dallas if you like great food and excellent service. I would highly recommend Abacus to anyone and have done so on several occasions. I do recommend going when it is not Restaurant Week though. The crowds can be overwhelming and can even cause some understandable delay in getting seated, and the atmosphere is diminished somewhat by the noise of so many people enjoying themselves.
I Can't Wait to Go Again!.
I went to Abacus for the first time during Restaurant Week last year. When I left, I was practically in tears. There is nothing that isn't perfect about this restaurant. The eclectic offering of whatever is new and happening is perfectly executed. The Lobster Shooters were little lumps of heaven!
I originally was exposed to Chef Rathbun at a cooking class I attended. Chef was a terrific instructor and a delight to converse with over dinner. I was impressed with his efforts during the class. But, it hardly prepared me for what an experience Abacus would be. The decor is lovely. It is a nice restaurant without seeming pretentious. I felt comfortable there in the clothes I wore to work. The wait staff was wonderful, informative and attentive without being overbearing.
This year we're going back for the Restaurant Week offering with four of our friends. I'm more excited about this upcoming dinner than I am Christmas! I'll take Rathbun over Santa any day!
Don't miss Abacus.. One of the best restaurants in Texas. Always a great atmosphere and amazing food. The only item that I have not loved is the lobster shooters.
Favorite joint on McKinney. This trendy restraunt is one of my favorite hot spots in Dallas. From the very sophisticated service to the best desserts in town, I had one of the most lovely dinners at Abacus. Its a great place to have a dinner for a special occasion because of the lively atmostphere and delicious food. I definatly recommend dining at Abacus, and highly recommend their fabulous deserts!
High End Shooters. Trendy, yet comfortable, Abacus offers a unique high end dining experience. The wait staff is strong, knowledgeable, especially about wine, and friendly. The food is eclectic and fantastic. The décor is contemporary, but the lighting makes it romantic. Overall, if you're looking for a nice night out, where you don't mind spending a few $$$, Abacus is highly recommended.
Disappointing. Snooty service and loud music spoils an otherwise pleasant ambience with respectable decor. Food was average. You get the sense of a place trying a bit too hard and missing the mark. Not the enjoyable dining experience that one should be receiving for price paid.
Five Star...don't think so. Food was good, but certainly not worth the price. When one spends $75 per person, one should walk out thinking it was a memorable experience. That was not our view at all.
Scallops...three for $35? Calamari...? Have had better at many other restaurants. Also everything was much too salty.
If you are looking for an intimate eating experience this is NOT the place for you. The noise level was overpowering, as was the incessant, repetitive pounding of the music.
Sorry, had really looked forward to this evening. Will not go back for sure...
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