The stunning new restaurant debuts this week and is all kinds of wonderful. Designed by Ashley Putman and pulling inspiration from iconic places such as The Ivy in West Hollywood, from its soaring windows that frame the downtown skyline, to the large rectangular bar that dominates the central space, to the garden room that is perfect for brunch, to the umbrella-covered deck upstairs (where the stage is set for leisurely lounging amid free-flowing libations), from the minute you walk in, you are enveloped by a feeling of warm, welcoming camaraderie.
Billed as American with European influence, the menu features wood-grilled items, American classics and lighter Mediterranean fare, with a strong selection of starters meant for sharing. Executive chef Dimitri Voutsinas, a New York city native whose resume includes stints at the famed Russian Tea Room, Bar Boulud by Daniel Boulud and was most recently executive chef at La Gamelle, worked with Governale to create a menu filled with thoughtful selections that you can revisit regularly.
For the mains, choices range from seafood cioppino; to wood roasted pork with fennel "apple sauce" and glazed root vegetables; to a remarkable vegan dish of Stuffed Peppers with smoked farro, other ancient grains, currants and pine nuts.
Handmade pastas, such as the pappardelle with lamb ragu, fire roasted lobster with squid ink tagliatelle and a selection of pizzas, are easy to share. Those wanting something a little simpler can opt for a salad, burger, chicken salad, or french dip sandwich.
Desserts, overseen by pastry chef Alyssa Dole, include a to-die-for backyard wedding cake, dark chocolate espresso torta and panna cotta with citrus.
Emmaline is located at 3210 West Dallas and is open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Saturday open until midnight. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday Table, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. For more information or reservations, visit: dineemmaline.com.