This story first appeared in the March 5, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LIGHT TOUCH: Olafur Eliasson, the artist who created the waterfalls in New York last summer, experiments with different phenomena in “Take Your Time” at the Dallas Museum of Art, showing through March 22. These works manipulate light, color, mist and air flow to tease the brain in unexpected ways. Geometric color projections in one gallery stimulate visions of hues that are not on screen, while another room vibrates with pure yellow light that heightens perception of detail. “Your surroundings are a result of your engagement,” Eliasson said during a tour of the exhibit. “It’s the reverse of a shopping mall, where everything is geared to tell you to buy things.”
IN THE ’HOOD: Neighborhood Services may be humbly named, but every night the bar and grill vibrates with activity. In his first solo venture, chef Nick Badovinus has kept it simple, offering lush takes on classic dishes in a cozy setting. “It’s firmly rooted in tradition with one step into modernity,” said Badovinus, who is well-regarded as the former chef and partner at Consilient Restaurants and its hottest property, Hibiscus. Among the specialities at Neighborhood Services are wedge and waldorf salads, a rich short rib, pan-roasted halibut and a decadent gourmet take on the ever-popular Ding Dong. The joint, which takes its name from a city permit application, also serves a top-notch burger and creative cocktails with names like “Beauty School Dropout.” The old-school vibe is clearly visible on the wait staff, who dart about in cream cricket cardigans, preppy striped ties in Gryffindor hues and long white aprons over jeans.
PUCK’S PICK: One way to escape the recession’s gloom is to head for Reunion Tower and glide up its glass elevator into the geodesic dome that defines the city’s skyline. At Five Sixty, which opened last month, Wolfgang Puck has crafted an elegant restaurant worthy of its panoramic view of skyscrapers and the ocean of lights on the prairie below. The sleek, warm wood and glass decor in the rotating dining room puts the focus squarely on the cuisine, the company and the view. Sushi by master chef Hiroyuki Fujino is standout, as are such Puck signatures as the grilled lamb with Hunan eggplant. Sommelier D’Lynn Proctor is a skillful guide through the 400-plus wines. The only pinch of reality is the bill.