Kersten Rettig: First Look at Mister Charles

Some most refreshing news on another scorching hot day; Mister Charles, the much-anticipated new concept from Duro Hospitality, is finally open. 

Mister Charles is in the former Highland Park Soda Fountain Building, a beloved fixture on Knox Street. Developers kept the façade of the building intact, a far less cost-effective approach than tearing it down and starting over.  Thankfully, Four Rivers Capital, the asset owner, invested in the aesthetic and preserved it, setting up Duro Hospitality to do what they do best, creating a space designed to immerse diners in elegance. 

The menu is European-ish, with hints of French and Italian throughout.  Mister Charles is bringing back the canape with a delightful selection of classics such as egg salad with caviar and foie gras croquette. Mains include a whole Dover Sole, a Lamb Wellington for two, and three pastas, each with unique twists.

Desserts and drinks are creative, two of which reference the Mister Charles’ historical home, including the Soda Fountain Sundae and the Highland Park Pharmacy Penicillin, which combines Highland Park 12-Year-Old Scotch Whisky, Ginger, and Honey.

Though I haven’t yet dined at Mister Charles, I asked two friends who got a sneak peek about it.

Brian Luscher, former chef/owner of The Grape and now Director of Culinary Operations for 33 Restaurant Group, raved about Mister Charles. “It’s been a while since I had a proper Demi glacé,” he told Duro’s Culinary Director Chef J Chastain.

The culinary team at Mister Charles has created irreverent takes on opulent dishes from France and Italy with globally sourced accenting ingredients. “

For anyone who is not a big foodie, that’s a huge compliment. Brian added that the service was extremely attentive and thoughtful. 

Brian’s wife and local Oenophile Courtney Luscher said, “My head was on a swivel for the first 30 minutes just taking in the absolutely stunning decor!” 

She was equally effusive about the food. “The gorgeous canapé presentation included standouts of the egg salad topped with caviar and foie gras praline,” she raved. “And I’ve never ordered Lobster Thermidor in my life and now I‘m wondering why?”

Probably because it took Duro Hospitality’s exceptionality to bring it to a modern Dallas restaurant.

Knox Street might well be the hottest place in Dallas now, with Mister Charles anchoring one corner and Knox Bistro the other, and some of Dallas’ best dining within a football field’s distance of the two.

Mister Charles is open and accepting reservations via Resy.

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Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

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