Dallas’ Statler Hotel and Residences is a place out of another era. It’s a cantilevered-slab, curtain-wall affair that, when completed in 1956, ushered in a new era of space age design in the Big D. Its sheer-glass facade and swooping angles were the very height of 50s modern – an aesthetic that, to many, has held up impressively.
Fast forward to now, and the building’s superb style has been enhanced by completely updated rooms (because, let’s face it, not all elements of ‘50s interior design was sheer perfection) – and the addition of five on-site restaurants.
And those are what we’re excited to talk about today.
To summarize, they are:
- Overeasy: A bright breakfast/brunch spot with an upscale cafeteria feel
- Scout: A huge space with games to play and a menu that’s perfect for meals from lunchtime to the wee hours
- Fine China: Elegant pan-Asian fare
- Bourbon & Banter: Cocktails, wine and beer – with a small selection of appetizers
- Waterproof: Poolside cocktail bar by day; rooftop lounge by night
While spending an entire day on an eating and drinking tour of the Statler’s restaurants may not be everyone’s cup of tea – we went all-in for a (quite enjoyable) day of bites and sips.
Come along for the ride, won’t you?
Part 1: Breakfast
The logical place to start your ever so epicurean day, Overeasy serves up breakfast, brunch and lunch in a bright, laid-back environment that’s reminiscent of a cheery, upscale cafeteria – perhaps something that Google would have had on their campus, should they have existed in the 50s. (With its table service, Overeasy is not, in fact, a cafeteria – but the open-concept kitchen certainly creates the vibe.)
While walk-ins are welcome here, the establishment does take reservations. And, since we in no way whatsoever wanted to be denied a delicious breakfast, we went ahead and made one.
Perusing the menu, we were nearly as glad to see a selection coffee & espresso as we were to see a cocktail list (it’s not a full bar, but they offer exactly what we were after). First things first, we ordered-up Bloody Marys and cups of rich fresh-brewed coffee while we decided on food. It being early, we passed on tempting pot-roast sandwich and the selection of burgers and sandwiches, opting for breakfast tacos (egg and potato, cojita, salsa roja and pico di gallo on a flour tortilla) and an order of chicken-fried steak and eggs, both of which were tasty and filling. And, having a full day of eating ahead of us, we decided to pace ourselves and refrained from ordering dessert (the apple bread pudding looked amazing) or a third round of cocktails.
Feeling impressed by our restraint, we settled up and sauntered over to our next destination.
Part 2: Lunchtime!
Think piles of wings, nachos, sliders, buckets of fried chicken, plates stacked high with BBQ ribs… nearly everything here is perfect for sharing, but you’ll also find items like California rolls and burgers, should a member of your party be afflicted with a cold bug that you’d like to avoid.
In addition to offering delicious foods (and pitchers of craft beer or sangria, plus a small selection of house cocktails), Scout is an absolute adult playground with ping pong, pool, foosball and three lanes of bowling.
I quickly discovered that I’m a huge fan of the Hot & Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich, served with chipotle aioli, fried green tomatoes, arugula and topped with a sweet pickle. My travel partner, on the other hand, quickly fell in love with both the Prime Rib French Dip – and of demolishing me at both bowling and ping pong.
Although the playfully named cocktails looked delightful, we opted for a pitcher of Shiner Bock out of respect for our ambitious late-night plans. Patience, my friends.
Part 3: Dinner
Settled all doubts as to who rules the ping pong table and ready for dinner? Let’s amble over to Fine China to fuel-up for the rest of the evening. (We’ve still got two more stops to make.)
At a joint that bills itself as “pan Asian,” starting off the evening with an order of edamame and pork dumplings just feels right. So did splitting a large order of the Fine China Crispy Roast Duck with its hoisin, scallion and cucumber – washed down with Shimizu “Pure Dusk” sake.
We don’t know about you, but we always say “yes” when asked if we’re in the mood for dessert. Take your pick from Nutella Golden Mantou – a magical concoction of fried mantou (steamed buns), Nutella ice cream, caramel soy manana and salted cookie crunch; Pineapple shaved ice with coconut cream, tapioca pudding and macadamia granola, kaffir lime cheesecake; sesame maple panna cotta – assembled from poached pear, honey sesame crumble, maple anglaise and wonton curls; or the sweet bento box – a chef’s choice selection of sweets.
We opted for the Nutella Golden Mantou, which reaffirmed our conviction that Nutella and banana should be friends forever.
Time to head down to the basement for an after-dinner cocktail…
Part 4: A digestif
Get the door code from the concierge and head down to The Statler’s very own speakeasy. It has that “tucked away” feel that makes it feel like a little escape from the world. It also features hundreds of bourbons, a full bar’s worth of other spirits, and knowledgeable staff who’d love to guide you toward the perfect cure for a hard day. Or, in our case, a continuation of a perfect epicurean delight. The place is located in the former beauty salon of the Statler Hotel, a fact that’s reflected in many of the house cocktails’ names.
A “Finger Wave” looked promising to me, and I was blown away by the potency and complex flavor I encountered. My friend raved about the “Duck Tail” and its notes of peat. The Texas cheese board, as tempting as it sounded, had to wait, as we wanted to get our last bite of the night at our final destination…
Part 5: Winding down
Sure, we could’ve ventured up here during daylight hours to sip cocktails while cooling off in the pool, but the day was not too hot, and we didn’t feel like going through the trouble of changing clothes. What we were really after was the legendary city-lights view – and the 19th-floor perch did not disappoint.
For me, the house Old Fashioned was just what the doctor ordered for a nightcap – although my partner in crime opted for a gin-based South Bound. House Buttered and Herb Fries settled our bellies as we savored the view and the memories of a day well spent.
Time to head back to our rooms…
Did we forget to mention that we stayed right in the building? In a full apartment? Stay Alfred on Jackson Street, named after the street that the Statler is located on, offers travel apartments that cost about the same as a hotel room – but with kitchens, in-unit laundry and, if we weren’t booking a studio, private bedrooms. Even better, each travel apartment comes with a green bracelet that’s good for 10% off orders at the above restaurants. When traveling to Dallas or any of the cities where Stay Alfred operates, their properties are definitely worth a look.