Dallas Restaurants--Downtown & Deep Ellum, +group questions
Hi. In a couple of weeks, I'll be in Dallas, in the downtown area. We have a group dinner scheduled at Campisi's in downtown. The group size is 24 and the budget is modest, so we do need pricing like at Campisi's. Any thoughts on whether this is a reasonable choice? The group will be meeting during the day at the Sheraton downtown, so something within walking distance is desired. And yes, there's that budget thing -- not a lot of money for this meeting.
The other question is about Local in Deep Ellum. We have a smaller group (4) dinner there on another night. I've great things about it on Chowhound and TripAdvisor. Any thoughts about Local?
There is a light rail right next to your hotel, so your options may not be as limited as you think.
First things first, I would not do the Campisi's downtown. It is a small satellite location. If you want to do Campisi's, do the original on Mockingbird. It's a 10 minute drive down I-75. (Or take the red/blue line to Mockingbird Station and it's a 10 minute walk heading west) This is the location where Jack Ruby dined before shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. As far as the food, it's decent. The pizza is an oval and you get strips instead of slices. I like the salami pizza a lot. There are better options in Dallas IMO, but Campisi's is an institution.
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of great options within walking distance for you. West End is basically chain restaurants now. If you want to walk a little further, you'll end up in Uptown. Manny's is a great option. Get the brisket tacos and thank me later.
I've never heard of Local in Deep Ellum. There are some great spots in the area to choose from. Monica's Aca y alla, Twisted Root, Angry Dog, Cowboy Chow, etc.
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Campisi's in downtown is a great large group location. We used them a few years back for our rehearsal dinner and they did a great job accommodating a group of about 50.
For a smaller group, check out Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum. Easily the best pizza in Dallas and they are my favorite "everyday" place to dine in town for the laid back atmosphere, excellent pies with fresh ingredients, and selection of microbrews. Monday nights are also "guest chef nights" where they bring in notable chefs at other top restaurants in the area (Dean Fearing, John Tesar, and Kent Rathbun to name a few) and let them man the pizza oven for the night.
Campisi's was fine. Not a fine culinary experience, but passable. Group was 24 people; got a corner of the more modern room reserved for us. After spending a week in the area (between the Marriott City Center and convention center), the alternatives are limited at the price point (main courses in the $10-$13 range) for a group meal. If there is a next time, I might try the Arts District area, though it would undoubtedly cost more.
We thoroughly enjoyed Local in Deep Elllum, for the quality of food, interesting space, and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Spent $380 for 4 people for dinner with moderate alcohol -- maybe $60/person for food. Looks kinda dumpy from the outside, at least at night, but completely different inside.