Research for my Dallas guide has not yet begun, so until then, please enjoy a Glimpse of this great Texas city by my wonderful sister-in-law Betsy Matthews Rhodes – mother to Harvey and Grace and beauty publicist by day.
Upscale restaurant? Le Bibloquet. Like everyone else in town, I dream of the Cajun chicken. Also, Gemma, when I remember to make a reservation a month in advance. Fachini, a gorgeous Italian restauarant in Highland Park Village opened a few months ago; I went with girlfriends and have been dreaming about the 100-layer lasagna ever since!
Casual restaurant? We’re always hitting up Pie Tap in Knox Henderson. They had me at dipping sauces for their homemade pizza crust.
Restaurant with kids? Cibo di Vino for dinner. Harvey brings a dump truck and soccer ball so he can play on the big lawn with all the other kids, while Stuart and I enjoy a glass of wine and dinner on the patio, assuming it’s not 100 degrees. When I was on maternity leave with Grace, we lunched at Bird Bakery every single day. And I got a sugar cookie every single day… Elizabeth Chambers thought of everything with this spot! I love the pimento cheese sandwich (hold the mayo) with a side of tomato soup. It’s the most cheerful bakery and very kid-friendly.
Clothing boutique for yourself? Mi Goldrina’s showroom. Love the tops paired with skinny jeans – it’s my summer uniform. And now that they have Mi Goldrina Baby, Grace can coordinate! I was so excited when sweet friends gifted her a blue and white bloomers set. My friend Molly of A Piece of Toast introduced me to Canary and Cabana; I listen to everything that she and her sister Sally recommend. Cabana is in a cute little house with a lavender door on West Lovers Lane; they don’t even need a sign – it’s the best “secret” in town. You can also shop them online at https://cabanacanary.com
Clothing boutique for kids? Layette makes all my children’s clothing dreams come true! It is a really special store with a beautifully curated collection from Proper Peony, Lullaby Baby, The Beaufort Bonnet Company, Rachel Riley, Prodoh…I didn’t buy any baby clothes when I was pregnant with Grace because we didn’t know the gender. As soon as she was born, I sent my parents and in-laws straight to Layette! By the time we came home from the hospital, they had all these sweet pink things monogrammed for Grace. Felt so special!
Home decor store? Madre has the cutest selection of gifts. It’s owned by four mothers with the best taste. They also offer design services. And now JojoMommy, featuring adorable childrens’ clothes, moved into a room at the store! Madison in Highland Park Village is my go-to for special occasions like wedding presents.
Jewelry store? Dallas-based Gaia for Empowered Women. I’ve been wearing their fun, colorful earrings all summer. Every piece is handmade by refuge women rebuilding their lives in TX
Paper store? My sweet friend designs the most charming custom invites for children’s parties – find her at @shoplovelucy
With kids? On summer Saturdays, we wake up and go to The Farmer’s Market at our church, Saint Michael & All Angels. Presumably we go for the fruits and vegetables, but I always make a beeline for Mrs. Burt’s Cinnamon Buns. We get breakfast tacos from Tacodeli to eat while Harvey enjoys the playground. In the afternoons when it is super hot, we take the kids to the Frontiers of Flight Musuem, which has a nice indoor play area. Harvey has become very interested in fishing, so my husband takes him to the park with his fishing pole early on Saturday before it gets too hot.
With your husband? We love to travel together when we get the chance, which is becoming harder and harder now that we have two. One of our favorite but simple getaways is a few hours drive from Dallas - Rancho Loma. It’s super small – just five modern rooms, so book early. A few weeks after we moved to Dallas, we asked good friends what we should do for our anniversary. They recommended Rancho Lomo and we loved it. Beautiful setting and delicious food. Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of wine.
With visiting friends? You can’t let friends leave town before they have the white queso and a mambo taxi margarita at Mesero. And shopping in Highland Park Village.
For a romantic weekend? The Mansion at Turtle Creek
For your parents/in-laws? Crescent Hotel
For visiting single friends? The Joule
For visiting families? The Ritz Carlton
Neighborhood? We love walking through Bishop Arts. Grab a drink at Boulevardier, have dinner at Eno’s Pizza, and then walk down the street for a a slice of the Smooth Operator chocolate pie with pretzel crust from Emporium Pies.
Park? While not technically a park, the Dallas Arboretum cannot be beat.
Museum? Perot Museum
Spa? Hiatus. I loved their prenatal massages when I was pregnant with Harvey.
General travel favorites...
Destination with kids? We follow the grandparents. Scottsdale in the winter, when the weather is beautiful and there is so much for everyone to do beyond just swimming and golfing. The kids love the Scottsdale Zoo, the Butterfly exhibit, horseback riding and the aquarium. And Basalt in the summer – so nice to escape the Dallas heat!
Destination with spouse? We love going back to NYC, where we met and fell in love. Our first date was at Wilfie & Nell, which is why we now have a dog named Wilfie!
Stroller? Uppababy Vista stroller. We bought it with Harvey and then added the adjuster when Grace was born, so it works well for two.
Kids travel bag? Madre sells giant totes that you can monogram. Jordan, you taught me the importance of a large tote that zips. So handy.
Your handbag? Goyard tote, which I fill to the brim. I keep Grace’s diaper bag items in an extra large, cheerful Liberty of London zipper bag that I can wipe clean.
Airplane activity for kids? We keep a few special books that Harvey only gets to read on planes. And an ipad…can anyone without young children survive a flight without one?!
Airplane activity for yourself? Before Harvey, I used to love to read books on planes while listening to music. Now I’m lucky to get through half a magazine.
Must-have for your child's carry on? Mustella baby wipes (is there any better baby smell?!), Cadie Stubborn Stain Remover Stick, Ziplock bags and a change of clothes! I also make sure to bring Amazon’s pee pads, which I use as a disposable diaper changing mat on the go.
Must-have for your carry-on? I keep my schedule, to do list and personal ramblings in a Smythson agenda book – don’t know what I’d do without it. And I always need By Terry Lip Balm, EO Lavender Hand Sanitizer and Swedish Dream Sea Salt Hand Crème.
Tips? I’m not a naturally relaxed, carefree person, especially when I travel, so I try to remind myself that I’m too blessed to be stressed. That phrase helps me reframe my thinking.