Javier’s restaurant is perfect for a business dinner or that extra-special Mexican meal. It serves great Mexico City style food — no enchiladas, no tamales, no tacos, and no tortillas (except tortilla soup). This well-known restaurant has been pulling in the crowds since 1977.
SETTING // A 1930’s building (with original pressed tin ceilings) on the edge of the elegant Park Cities. The interior has 70 year-old brick walls, heavy woods, Mexican tile, and a great copper-topped bar. The entrance is actually on the back side (on McKinney Avenue, not on Cole Avenue). Valet only.
FOOD // This is not Tex-Mex. Javier’s specializes in upscale Mexican-style steaks, seafood, fowl, and even mushroom crepes (a side item with the Corazon de Filete, a tenderloin steak which is my personal favorite). I also love the Filete con Champinones (sautéed tenderloin, bacon-wrapped with mushrooms and brandy sauce) and the Red Snapper Mojo de Ajo (fresh Gulf snapper sauteed in a garlic-lemon sauce). Entrees run $20-$29. The Tortilla Soup is one of the best, and the Caldo Xochitl (“SO-she-til”) – a spicy chicken soup with minced onions and cilantro – is outstanding. When they bring the hot sauces (plural), there will be two of them, a red and a green, served warm.
BEVERAGES // Javier’s house margarita is as good as a top-shelf margarita at most restaurants. The top-shelf is even better. For an after-dinner show, order one of the two special coffees spiked with several liqueurs. Your waiter will prepare it tableside – flaming the brandy and pouring the flames from glass to glass. It’s a great finish to the dinner, and it’s great theatre. Javier’s also has a sizable wine list, including 15 by the glass, and an excellent selection of cognacs and ports. There’s even a secluded cigar bar, far in the back, if you ask.
AMBIANCE // There is a subtle mystery about Javier’s. It starts with the ever-present Ferrari parked at the door – Javier’s, I presume. Then there are the maze of rooms, corners, second bar, and the old carved woods from Mexico. The decor is elegant but rustic, with vintage photos and even a few stuffed animals. The crowd is typical Highland Park, stylish and casual. Service is smooth.
RESERVATIONS // Recommended. Note: open for dinner only.
BOTTOM LINE // There is no higher-class Mexican restaurant in Dallas than Javier’s.
Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano
4912 Cole Ave.
Dallas – 75205
Sun – Wed: 5:30-10pm
Thur – Sat: 5:30-11pm