About Town Dining

Monarch and Kessaku

Two Celebratory Restaurants High Atop the National in Downtown Dallas

Monarch, the stunning wood-fired modern Italian restaurant led by two-time Michelin-starred chef Danny Grant, opened earlier this year to rave reviews. Located on the 49th floor of the National and alongside the new Thompson Dallas Hotel, the Monarch focuses on light and modern Italian cuisine, serving handmade pasta, steaks, and fresh seafood.

I love the niches of floral wallpaper, the chandelier lighting, and the etched mirrors with velvet cushions amid backdrops of floor-to-ceiling windows. The space provides dramatic views of the city—a perfect backdrop for celebratory luxury dining.

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Wood-Fired Meatballs with basil tomato crudo

Monarch’s Executive Chef Eric Dreyer, formerly of the Fearing Restaurant and Ellie’s at the Hall Arts Hotel, creates a Giant Prawn & King Crab Cocktail that will call your name. My go-to is the Wood-Fired Meatballs with basil tomato crudo, accented with buffalo milk mozzarella. For homemade pasta, you can’t miss the Shrimp Scampi Ravioli with spinach and roasted garlic, or the Fire Roasted Lasagna Diane. The cheesy crust is the best part. For drama, seek out the locally sourced Butcher’s Reserve 45 Day Dry-Aged 38-ounce Tomahawk, slow-roasted over a wood fire.

Monarch also offers a veritable feast of night caps, including French Press coffee service, liqueurs, shortbreads and biscotti, and affogato, a vanilla gelato drowned with a shot of liqueur, serves two.

Bon appetit, ce magnifique!

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Kessaku Japanese Restaurant

Kessaku means “masterpiece” in Japanese. An exquisite sushi lounge serving Dallas’ freshest, globally sourced fish and seafood, Kessaku offers a unique sake collection alongside several Japanese whiskeys. A dual creation from Chef Danny Grant and Chef Hari Chan on the The National’s 50th floor, Kessaku specializes in elegant nigiri, sashimi, and rolls.

The lavish yet intimate 60-seat restaurant boasts stunning 360-degree views of the Dallas skyline. You’ll feel like you’re in a secret club in Paris or London.

Sip The Desert Flower, a cocktail of cinnamon syrup and reposado, or the Highball of Kessaku, made with Nikka, citrus oils, and sparkling water. King Crab Nigiri features crab and caviar in temaki, a cone-shaped seaweed “taco” with drawn butter and miso.

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Sushi Roll

Don’t pass up the sashimi with ahi tuna, hamachi (Japanese amberjack), and ora king salmon that melts in your mouth. And order the Matcha Sponge Cake for dessert, made of coconut mousse and lychee cream.

Find both Monarch and Kessaku in downtown Dallas at 1401 Elm Street, two exceptional restaurants high atop The National.


Janie Pace

Writer/photographer Janie Pace is a native Texan covering restaurants, wineries, breweries, travel destinations, and cruises. A member of the ITWPA International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance, IFWTWA International Food Wine Travel Writing Association, and USPA United States Press Agency; she’s a retired advertising and sales professional. http://www.journeymapped.com

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