Tiny, enchanting York Street is coming up on its 10th anniversary. In a city where upscale eateries are numerous, fiercely competitive and often short-lived, this one remains an enigma. Tucked away in a small frame house on a side street in East Dallas, it’s a far cry from traditional “restaurant row” contenders. Proprietor Felissa La Flamme-Shaw says that when people drive over to Lewis, “York Street is their destination, they don’t just stumble on us.” Yet neither Shaw nor her staff rely on trendiness or self-promotion.

So how does this candlelit, pricey little joint stay open? One likely reason is that their loyal clientele rather enjoy frequenting a restaurant where only those “in the know” go, somewhere off the beaten path. Chef Roger Ojeda’s food is consistently delectable, fairly distinctive, and Shaw’s wine list shows some savvy.  Although original co-owner and chef Mike Shaw moved on in mid-98, the tight-knit staff has largely been together since the beginning. This tends to cast a friendly, relaxed feel over the white linen tables.

Shaw named the restaurant after the street in San Francisco where both her grandmother and great-grandmother lived. She classifies the seasonal York Street menu as simply “American,” with some French-based sauces and a nod to Italian influence with their pastas. The salad featured here is so popular that nights when it isn’t on the menu, “people ask for it,” she says.

Friseewith apple smoked bacon, tomato, mushrooms, blue cheese and red onion

Dijon Vinaigrette

4 egg yolks

1 1/2 cup soy oil

2 T Dijon mustard

4 T whole grain mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Dash garlic powder

Dash onion powder

Dash salt & pepper

In a mixing bowl, separate the egg yolks and add the two mustards. Slowly whisk the soy oil into the egg/mustard mixture until the consistency is creamy (about a minute). Then whisk in half the vinegar, adding the rest according to your taste preference. (Some prefer a tangy vinaigrette, others like it milder.) Then whisk in the other spice, again to taste.

Salad

4 to 5 bunches Frisee (or curly endive)

3 tomatoes chopped

6 to 8 mushrooms, fresh and thinly sliced

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

12 slices of apple smoked bacon, cooked

Red onion sliced in rings

Toss the first five ingredients gently, coating evenly with the vinaigrette. Garnish the top with overlapping onion rings.