Meet Monique Heidari-Ramos, who is part of the family-owned The Old Warsaw restaurant in Dallas. Ramos' father purchased The Old Warsaw in 1986 and kept the French Continental cuisine. Diners will find an elegant dining experience with crystal chandeliers and cozy booths. Ramos says it's without the "stuffy" feel. The Old Warsaw is unique by any measure. It opened in 1948 and remains a landmark in the heart of Uptown. It has been recognized for it's succulent fare with the Four Diamond Award and rated "Excellent" by the Zagat Texas Restaurant Survey.
Customers will appreciate the talented musicians that roam about during the dining experience. Ramos, who is the events coordinator at the Maple Manor Hotel nearby describes an evening at The Old Warsaw as an experience for all of the senses. There are more than 460 selections to choose from, including an extensive wine list. We wanted to know more about The Old Warsaw and get Ramos' take on dining trends in DFW. She was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Dawn Tongish: Please begin by telling us about your family business, The Old Warsaw.
Monique Heidari-Ramos: The Old Warsaw was established in 1948 as a French restaurant. It was originally named La Vielle Varsovie, meaning The Old Warsaw. It was the second owner who changed the name to The Old Warsaw. My father bought the business in 1986 and kept the French fare. It is a very romantic restaurant with crystal chandeliers, cozy booths, three course menus and a divine wine list. We have a pianist and strolling violinist nightly to add livelinessa nd ambiance to your dining event. I have heard some say that the multiple courses and formality of the waiters is too old school, but these are the traits that give the restaurant personality and make it a unique experience from what is now the norm amongst all the new upcoming trendy restaurants in Dallas. We have done renovations on several occasions to update the look and stay with the times so to speak, and I feel we've managed to clean up the "stuffiness" but still maintain a unique gorgeous dining room.
DT: The food items are part of what draws people to The Old Warsaw, along with the atmosphere. What are your specialties?
MR Our entree specialties are the Beef Wellington and Chateaubriand, Dover Sole and Lobster Thermidor. Our dessert specialties are our Chocolate or Raspberry Souffles, the Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster which are prepared table side. A spectacular show piece to end the meal. These items are our staples and will always be on our menu. There is a little more diversity in our catering menus which we feature at our venues next door, the Maple Manor Hotel and 2620aVenue. Both are event venues and are catered by The Old Warsaw.
DT: What kind of food and or experience do you think diners are looking for when they go out on the town in DFW?
MR: I think diners want something to wow all their senses. We offer delicious food, a great wine list, a beautiful room and very talented musicians.
DT: Where are food choices trending when it comes to dining out?
MR: Restaurants are taking those familiar foods you grew up with and making a great spin on them. Like Chicken and Waffles and Sliders. We offer these takes and more on our catering menu in our venues next door.
DT: How are restaurants and other establishments catering to the health-conscious eater when it comes to dining out?
MR: We personally can modify anything. If a diner wants to eat clean, we will just season and grill and we don't have to cook with oil and butter to make it taste fantastic. Same with vegan or gluten, we can modify and create a dish that will be filling and pleasing to the eye.
DT: Where do you think "eating out" ranks as a priority for budget conscious families?
MR: Our menu is in the $$-$$$ price range so to cater to the budget concious family, we have ventured out to enroll in the Groupon program. It has made our restaurant seem more approachable in the eye of the dollar and has allowed more families to dine with us verses perhaps being intimidated that it was out of their price point.
DT: When you get to eat out, what do you chose?
MR: I'm a foodie and my family loves to dine out. We like all cuisines. We definitely like to mix it up and try something new. It's important to get out into other restaurants and see what they are doing. We also make an effort to get into those family owned restaurants beause its important for us to support families who are building their reputation and clientele like we are.
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