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Abacus Restaurant

Map & Directions
(30 Reviews)

4511 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

(214) 559-3111

Today: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tomorrow: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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General Info
Abacus, opened in 1999, is a full-service eatery that prepares Mediterranean, American, Southwestern and Pacific Rim cuisine. Abacus has received numerous accolades, including Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four Diamonds ratings. It has also been featured in magazines, such as Elle, Southern Living, Veranda, Food and Wine, Texas Monthly, Rosie Magazine and Wine Spectator. The restaurant organizes winemaker dinners, wine country tours and Dirty Dozen interactive cooking classes. It has a private dining room that has a seating capacity of more than 50 individuals. In addition, it has a semi-private room and a larger nonprivate room. The entire restaurant is also available exclusively and seats approximately 150 people. Abacus is located in Dallas.
BBB Rating
BBB Rating and Accreditation information may be delayed up to a week.
Regular Hours
Mon - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
Extra Phones

Fax: (214) 559-3113

Fine dining and special events
Payment method
visa, master card, amex, discover, diners club, travelers checks
Price Range
Central Dallas, Oak Lawn
Complimentary Valet Parking Special Events Celebrity Chef Private Dining
Party & Event Planners, American Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, Meeting & Event Planning Services, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Dressy

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Pets Allowed: No


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Provided by Citysearch - 

WARNING!!!! Be very cautious shopping and dining in Knox Village. They have a TOWING SCAM going in the area. A spotter sits in his car in the area and watches for naive shoppers who park in parking areas that are not clearly marked. They tow a number of vehicles down about 2 or 3 blocks and then take them all to City Vehicle Storage. I parked across from Chuy's restaurant and shopped in the area, but did not go inside Chuy's . The sign said ""Do Not Park Here and go in Chuy's or you will be TOWED."" It cost me $350 to get my vehicle on Thanksgiving weekend. The worst part was dealing with the woman, Jabba the Hut, at the tow yard.



Provided by Citysearch - 
perfect place

The service was perfect, the food was amazing, the place and the decor is beautiful and i would definitely will go there again and again.
Please remember if you want to have a nice surprise from you husband please mention that this is a place that you would like to go!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Abacus—Tasteful Art That You Can Sink Your Teeth Into!

We love the design of this place.. and the design of everything they present. Tastes so so SO good! This is one of the most respected and best downtown restaurants in Dallas P-E-R-I-O-D. My friends esteem all people who work here. Is it expensive? Yes, like so many on its level. Do they earn their way to the top of your list through hard work, attention to detail and excellence? Yes. Chef Kent Rathbun is a warmhearted, disciplined and extremely creative commander. Hey, he has got to be to keep pulling it off as he consistently does year after year. His following will tell you this as well. Kent is a sharpshooter that aims to please and he even opens up his lovely home for his guests.. as well as his Texas-sized-generous heart. (I only mean sharpshooter as he goes for perfection in several areas and seems to attain it). Give it a try, but be careful ’cause it's romantic to the hilt! Really like the unique ambience, attentive service and excellent quality. @kurtwvs



Provided by Citysearch - 
Nice setting and that's about it

We went on a Friday during restaurant week for a 7:30 seating. We got there a few minutes early and sat in the bar/lounge area. The atmosphere is very upscale and modern. The hostess came and got us when our table was ready - more or less right on time. I really wanted to enjoy our evening...but...
Our waitress, Jennifer, was mediocre. She was not particularly knowledgeable about the food, knew nothing about the wines and was not very personable either. This really put a damper on the evening.
My girlfriend had the potsticker appetizer with the cod entree - both were mediocre. My selections were better than hers but not great. The dessert tray was quite good and a nice treat. We got the 3 course wine match for thirty dollars a piece, and it was a total rip-off. Our waitress gave us what were at best 2 oz pours. (Some other waiter gave more generous pours, but given that these were not high end wines they should all have been more generous in their pours) . I don't go to nice dinners to get loaded, but she was downright stingy. We would have been better off getting 2 wines by the glass for $12 to $15 each.
I had not been to Abacus since their re-opening ~2 years prior and had really looked forward to our evening there. As is probably clear from the review above, I was isappointed. I may pop in some time and order the lobster shooter at the bar but will take my high end dining dollars elsewhere. Based on my experience this restaurant is the definition of ""form over substance"". The kitchen and our server really blew Abacus' chance to appeal to a wider audience this restaurant week.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Classy restaurant

We ordered the hickory lamb and it was delicious. (Except we ordered medium and got medium rare). The rice was also delicious.



Provided by Citysearch - 
great place

The service is great. The food is wonderful. The people are friendly. What else?



Provided by Citysearch - 
A Restaurant With Bad Customer Service

Came to Abacus which coincidentally fell on Restaurant Week. This review comes from somebody that is in the restaurant industry.

To make reservations, I had to give a credit card number to be charged $25/person in case of no show. I asked the hostess if Restaurant Week menus were offered at 5PM and she repeated the $25 no show policy. Thanks for answering my question.

We ordered the RW 3-course meal and also did the wine pairing which was an extra $30 more. We also tried the Lobster Shooters that are so popular (another $20) and found it to be different, but not as great as everyone else has been raving. Fried, chewy lobster soaking in sake cups of orange colored sweet n'sour sauce.

The food was good, not spectacular and I guess the incident that taints this whole experience was when the hostess (an older lady) came to our table during the main course and informed us that we were taking too long to eat and ""As stated to you on the phone, we need to have the table back for another reservation."" First of all, no one even mentioned that we were being timed, they were too busy making sure I knew the no-show policy. Secondly, we spent a good deal of money so far and you're going to tell us to rush through our main course, dessert and wine accompaniments? I don't care how classy or exclusive you think your restaurant is, that is rude in all etiquette circles. Perhaps they need to re-think how they're scheduling their tables to allow ample time for their guests to enjoy their food.

The food was good, not great. The attitude needs to be checked. Abacus needs to be honored to have guests, not the other way around. And this one experience has made me not want to come back ever again.



Provided by Citysearch - 
unrealized potential

Here's the problem with Abacus: they cut too many corners. Sorbet isn't a course, but they count it as one. So I was given 8 courses rather than the 9 promised on the menu. And the single cheese plate was not adequate for a table of 6. Also, last visit I got a nickel-sized portion of foie gras (most other tasting menus give at least 4 times that much). The service isn't particularly friendly or prompt. The wine recommended wasn't particularly good. The food was pretty much OK, with occasional flashes of inspiration. The prices are out of line with the quality of food. Etc. There are much better places in the price range, and I intend to visit them instead.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Over Rated!

Decided to try this place because the reviews on this page were not too bad. The ceasar salad was really, really good. Then things progressively started to go downhill. The food was brought to us by a server who was really confused on who had ordered what. The lobster shooters were cold and plated in really weird little shot glasses - hence Shooters, I know- I never knew trying to eat the little buggers would be so much work. We were left unattended for very long periods of time after each course. . the icing on the cake had to be when I went into the ladies room. It looked like a hot mess! The counters had water all over them, could not set my bag down, the stalls... well, let's say someone forgot to flush..Oh my! .... It was not all that they made it out to be. The bill, well let's say I hope they take the extra money and hire someone to clean those bathrooms...YIKES! Not what I would expect walking into this place.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Abacus...How Disappointing

Put me in the column of reviewers that say this is a highly overated restaurant that does not deserve its 'Five Star' Zagat rating. We were a party of two and we had booked our reservation a month in advance. The service was horrible. A party of sixteen booked a reservation one hour before being seated and our waiter, who happened to be the Wait Captain, was incapacitated when this party of sixteen was seated in our section. He was serving twenty people single-handed. We were having the nine course chef's wine pairing with a fixed price of $300.00 plus tax each. It was a dinning nightmare. The wines were served from 'Splits' and the waiter was so harried that he would open the wine and pour them immediately; as a result, the wines were so tight that over half of them never opened-up and were either tooth-ache sweet or just this side of turpentine. Certainly not worth the $600.00 we paid for an advertised Five Star ""Wine Pairings"" experience. The restaurant manager and the waiter kept apologizing citing the economy as the reason for the poor service, ironically not enough customers, and offering to give us "" the experience we should have gotten on our next visit"". Fat chance that is ever going to happen. The restaurant was as noisey as an internet cafe and had the ambiance of one, with all the I-Phone and Blackberry's going off. The service was so bad that the plates could not be handled when served due to the long wait on the keep-warm shelf. Kent Rathbun promises a five star backyard barbeque experience, and, on that promise he delivered: After the first three fish courses which were delightful, everything tasted like pasty grits and liquid smoke. On the plus side, the presentations were beautiful when they arrived. Most often the nine courses were served by impersonal kitchen help. My suggestion is that if you are one who has to find out for themself, as I am, go lightly and stick to a menu selection and select your own wine from their wine list.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food and service

I called for a last minute reservation for an hour later. The hostess asked if it was for a special occasion and it was for my husband's birthday. We were seated promptly and the waiter was very nice. We had the lobster shooters (which are ok) but the Duck 3 ways was the best dish I've ever had. I would go there just to eat that (but I just saw on their new menu that they don't have it). even my husband who hates duck, loved it. It's been awhile since we were there so i don't remember what the entrees were but i know we had no problems with them. the service was attentive. then they bought out a free dessert for my husband's birthday and also they printed a menu with ""happy birthday Kevin"" on it with Trey's signature(he was the chef who was on Top Chef). I thought it was a very nice touch, since a month before we went to Shinsei, where the other Top Chef contestant works, and it was such a horrible experience.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food, good service

This was a very solid dining experience. We had several appetizers, including some interesting salads and really good foie gras. The steak I had was very tasty, with a truffle mashed potato that was good, but the texture wasn't quite where I'd want it. Their lamb was out of this world and the other sides were top notch.

Service was very good, if once or twice a little inattentive. But nothing we had any problems with. Great help with the wine -- they actually gave us a bit better bottle for the same price as the one I ordered. It all made for a very nice night out and highly recommended.



Provided by Citysearch - 
The best in Dallas

My wife and I ventured to Abacus after seeing Trey on Top Chef. It was an instant for winner for us. We especially loved their nine course wine pairing, which was phenomenal. We love it considering it is high end, the food is fantastic and we can dress to the nines if we want, but we can also dress down a bit as well. This is one of our staples when we want to be pampered.



Provided by Citysearch - 

I thought about it for a week, but after a second try at Abacus, I have to share my disappointing experience. Scenario: party of 8, friendly greeting by manager to birthday girl, great wine service by our waiter. Then the 30 minute wait till our orders were taken. The 40 minutes till our ""small plates"" came out. And they were small. How about 1 ravioli and 1 small link of meat for $16-18? Then the 50 minute wait till our ""big plate"". Overcooked, small portion, and salty sauce masked the natural flavor of the sea bass. I've never had sea bass so well done.
I guess being a foodie, I expected a returned trip to Abacus to be memorable and food worthy of a 5 start title. I think management should focus on the timing and quality of their dishes more.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Old Standby

My wife and I have been going for many years and it is always good. We have never been disappointed here. Of course you have to get the Lobster shooters.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Wonderful evening!

We're new to the area and our favorite thing to do is to go out to eat. This restaurant was recommended from our waiter at Truluck's (which I don't recommend) who used to be a concierge. I always look up a restaurant before I go and read the reviews. I have to confirm that it was sensational! We usually go to five star rated restaurants as well as the other reviewer and I don't know what she's talking about when she says, in so many words, that it doesn't live up to it's reputation. The ambience was elegant, the server was knowledgeable and very discreet, and the food was delicious. We had the Sunday roll for appetizer. As a lady, one of the things I hate about sushi is that the pieces are too big for my mouth and it's usually hard to cut the pieces. I could cut these pieces in half with a fork with ease and put it in my mouth and actually enjoy it and feel like the lady that I am instead of looking like I'm eating a golf ball. My husband ordered the recommended ribeye with blue cheese, and since I believe you should always order something different so you can try more of the menu, I ordered the seabass. Both were presented well and very, very good. The meat was tender and juicy and the seabass was light and filling. Neither needed more seasoning which is always a sign of a good cook. The atmosphere was not too loud and it felt like we could talk without the table next to us hearing our conversation. Even though we were sat in the corner, we didn't feel like we were apart from the restaurant and forgotten about. I definitely recommend Abacus for an elegant evening knowing that you're going to get what you pay for.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Overpriced, too salty, better service at McDonalds

I had such high hopes for Abacus. I haven't talked to anyone who'd been, but I love Top Chef and wanted to check out Tre's restaurant. So, last night, my girlfriends and I decided it would be a great place to start ladies' night. We were wrong. I called ahead to see if Chef Wilcox would be working and was told he was. But we would later learn that he left before we arrived--which may explain the horrible-tasting food. When we arrived, were seated, and the waiter--an awkward, unsociable fellow--came over and offered us Lobster shots. Two of us agreed to try them. They never arrived. The waiter asked about water, and I asked for lemons. They never arrived. I settled on the salmon, and another pal chose pork. When they arrived (finally), we agreed--way too salty. I had to ask for a new fork because mine was bent out of shape. The wine was the best thing we had (but my wine glass was chipped). When another party was seated next to us, we had to wait a very long time before the waiter came over to check on us--from the time that party arrived to the time he took their order, he never so much as glanced our way. The non-English-speaking busboys were the friendliest people working there. The crowd was not exactly my cup of tea, either. Mostly blonde SMU undergraduates baring too much skin (not on the top) and men with thick necks and tight suits. I would be happy to never return there--even if Tre was my favorite this year. I hope Casey's restaurant won't be this big of a disappointment.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food

So my future wife and I venture out to this restaurant. I'm thinking this is a bit of a pretentious place, and as we enter the restaurant a whole sleu of people walk out so I guess I""m designated the door man for the time being. We arrive about 30 minuts earlier than our reservation, and we are PROMPTLY seated. Kudos for that. I end up ordering the crab cakes, which are to die for. Not overly dry and REAL crab meat. I have the filet medium rare, and I gotta say, it's one of the better filets I've had in the DFW area. Dessert I had the banana bread pudding. Was not too sweet just right. I would venture out there again.



Provided by Citysearch - 

My hunnie took me to Abacus for my birthday this week, and I have to admit I was skeptical of the place. I personally avoid restaurants like Abacus simply because they tend to be pretentious and the staff is usually snobby.

When we got there, our table was not ready despite having made reservations. However, they were extremely busy, so we had a drink at the bar and let it slide.

We were seated and our waiter was promptly at our table, politely and professionally offering us drinks, menus, and suggestions. We took his suggestions and ordered all of our food then and there.

My first course was the Asian spring salad with crab meat. Words cannot describe the flavors in this dish, but let me just tell you I don't even eat shellfish. I loved this dish so much I ended up getting TWO of these salads (long story, you will see).

My boyfriend ordered the lobster shooters and they were good, but in comparison to my salad, they couldn't hold a candle.

My entree was the halibut special of the evening. When the waiter came by to check on our food, I had to tell him that I was not terribly impressed by it. He immediately offered to replace the dish and was practically begging me to choose something else off the menu. He promised it would be at my table in 3 minutes. I laughed and told him that it was really fine, that I would eat it, but it didn't tickle my tastebuds as the salad had. As he walked away, he was obviously distraught by the fact that I wasn't crazy about my dish.

In 5 minutes, the manager was at our table, removing my halibut and asking what they could replace it with. I had loved the salad so much that I asked for another, and in 30 seconds there was another one on my plate.

Bottom line is, if you don't like your food at Abacus and you don't tell them, then you deserve to be disappointed because you didn't give them a chance to fix it. This was the single best dining experience we've ever had, and we will definitely be back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Kind of Overrated. Service NOT the Best. Poor Management.

Their food is good! But, it's not all that good! It's just good. I think this restaurant is highly overrated. But, try it. I don't think that people will be disappointed. I just don't agree with all the hype out there about this restaurant. The restaurant interior is somewhat tacky.