Exclusive: The Kimpton Pittman Hotel’s Insider Guide to Deep Ellum, Dallas

One of the things we’ve especially missed during these last fourteen months of (mostly) lockdown is the insightful city guide, done by publications with particularly ideological editorial missions – the guide to design in Helsinki, the Antwerp fashion shopping guide – which have been absent because, really, why tell anyone where to go, when they can’t actually go there?

But as vaccination numbers rise, the desire to return to travel will certainly find more people hopping a flight, just to be somewhere other than where they’ve been stuck for the last year. And for now, domestic trips will be particularly appealing, as international zipping about is still tricky and complicated. So we would enthusiastically recommend choosing an American city you’ve never been to, and focusing on spending most of your time in one of its more interesting or up-and-coming neighborhoods.

An ideal example of this would be Dallas’ burgeoning Deep Ellum, with its laidback, boho/creative vibe. It got its first truly notable hotel when the Kimpton Pittman opened last August (not the greatest timing, obviously) in the historic Knights of Pythias Temple building, which dates to 1916. The structure was designed by prominent African American architect William S. Pittman, and so thus the hotel’s name.

The Pittman boasts 165 rooms and suites, done up in a kind of warmly realized minimalism, with floral patterned rugs, abstract art prints and elegantly tiled bathrooms. King Spa Studios come in at a full 480 square feet, with several speciality suites bumping that number up to 695. Public spaces have a cool, rustic industrial feel, with bright, geometric rugs and well-chosen design pieces.

The hotel’s exceedingly stylish Elm & Good restaurant hits all the right zeitgeist notes, with a farm-focused, veggie-savvy menu – grilled artichokes, asparagus panzanella – that nods to both the regional (East Texas hushpuppies) and international (saffron campanelle pasta, mushroom paella). Executive Chef Graham Dodds is, in fact, something of a local culinary luminary. And just outside is Deep End, a casual chic, poolside cocktail bar.

We asked the Kimpton Pittman‘s plugged-in staff to take us around to Deep Ellum’s most interesting spots, from the bookstores to the cocktail bars to an apparently hangover-thwarting pie shop.

Jade & Clover

At Jade & Clover, they’re known for their unique variety of one-of-a-kind gifts, and a curated selection of house plants + cacti & succulents. They also stock unique wellness products – like Pink Moscato Bubble Bath – jewelry and accessories. For three years now the shop has continually brought positively good vibes to the neighborhood.

Deep Vellum Books 

Finally re-opened but also still carrying on with online sales, Deep Vellum is a fixture of the neighborhood, stocking a cultivated selection of books, but also acting as a social hub. There are literary, music and art events, and a linger-for-hours atmosphere, with coffee, beer and wine served in the cafe.

Emporium Pies

Arguably making the best pies in all of Dallas, Emporium Pies specialities include the bourbon pecan Drunken Nut, the French silk chocolate Smooth Operator, and the butter crust blueberry Blue Steel (note the Zoolander reference) – as well as changing seasonal selections. After a long night of bar hopping, sometimes a sweet Emporium treat and a strong cup of coffee is the only way to go.

Merit Coffee

For those for whom coffee is an indulgence, a ritual, and a small happy moment in the day, Merit Coffee enthusiastically keeps pace with the rapid evolution of coffee craft. The staff have trained with the best coffee experts in the world, some of them earning certification as professional coffee stewards. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow floods of morning light into the artfully designed space.

Stirr Kitchen

From Milkshake Concepts, Stirr Kitchen brings a bit of Manhattan style to Deep Ellum. Offering elevated New American cuisine, it draws on influences from around the States – Maryland style crabcakes, Cajun chicken frites, Frontier Ribeye – with menu surprises like the Impossible Beef Giardino pizza. Special bonus: a rooftop patio overlooking the Dallas skyline.

Ebb & Flow

Hands down one of the best cocktail-forward establishments in Dallas, Ebb & Flow boasts a friendly staff, significant selection of bites (toasted ravioli, cubano egg rolls), and with its elegant, brick-walled and mismatched furnishings interior, Instagrammable photo ops are everywhere you look. Drinks like the vodka-based Velvet Butterfly and the Tally Man, made with Plantation Pineapple Rum, are playful, but very mixology-minded. Check out the Sunday afternoon chef’s specials.  

Yellow Rosa 

Arguably, Yellow Rosa offers one of the best tequila and mezcal experiences in the city. With aesthetics meant to replicate the feel of a Tulum Mansion courtyard, its hidden corners make it a great spot for romance. Sunday brunch even comes with an authentic live Mariachi band. Recommended are the Hibiscus Frosé, and the Paradise City margarita, made with Tropical Redbull to keep you going long into the night.

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