PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas September 2023

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an arched vestibule of Venetian plaster. It's almost a religious experience, given the soaring cathedral- like space with three- story columns capped w i t h C o r i n t h i a n capitals. The coffered ceiling is dramatically w a l l p a p e r e d w i t h trompe l'oeil medal- lions, and to the right, a long marble bar a c c o m m o d a t e s 1 2 seated patrons, with an enviable assortment of libations on brass shelving fronting two- story windows that gaze upon Travis Street. This well-appointed lounge area has banquettes and tables and a grand switchback stairway sheathed in Venetian plaster, which ascends to the private dining room on the mezzanine level overlooking the action below. To the left of the main entrance, you'll find the "new" dining room — a recent addition to the building. It's so dark and moody that a decade might be erased from your face; prepare to be carded when ordering a cocktail. The ceiling is much lower and cozier here, and wall paneling encases tall antique beveled mirrors alongside bronze sconces with evocative black silk shades and paintings that seem straight out of the Renaissance. Within this worthy setting, you'll find intriguing cuisine that isn't specific enough to warrant only special-occasion reservations, instead offering up globally inspired riffs on French and Italian dishes, elevated steakhouse fare, an irreverent take on classic cocktails, and an abundance of rare wines and bubbles. On our first visit, under the auspices of catching up with old friends over drinks, we sampled rounds of canapes. Our favorites were the divine egg salad sandwich and caviar ($9), cured salmon tart with crème fraiche ($8), and foie gras croquette with pistachio and orange ($8). We can also recommend these cocktails: Highland Park Pharmacy Penicillin with Highland Park 12-year-old Scotch whisky, ginger, and honey ($21) and the King Charles II with Barr Hill Gin, Italicus, Cointreau, and lemon ($21). Our second date with Mister Charles was for dinner. This time, we noticed interesting flourishes that had previously escaped us: monogrammed china emblazoned with MC (Mister Charles) and a devil and angel centering the plates, and the servers' uniforms — some in blazers with the Mister Charles logo and others in double-breasted vests with jaunty ascots. This time we ordered the uni shells carbonara with pancetta and bottarga ($32) and the whole Dover sole with sauce meunière, which was filleted tableside — a recommendation from several friends ($98). We finished our evening with The Soda Fountain Sundae ($15). Like the most sophisticated of desserts, it's prepared tableside, but this one has all the toppings you'd expect from an old-school ice cream parlor: hot fudge, whipped cream, sprinkles, peanuts, and cherries. It's a wonderful and fitting homage to the former longtime residents of that corner of Knox and Travis. Hopefully by the time you read this, securing a reservation won't involve promising to name your next-born child Charles. Look for us throughout the fall nestled in the corner banquette with an insider's view of the entryway and the action at the bar. Mister Charles, 3219 Knox St., Dining room seating Banquettes in the lounge 6oz A Bar N Ranch Wagyu New York Strip Coconut Cream Cake with Lemon Sorbet 69

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