foodRestaurant News

Inside Casablanca, a ‘grown and sexy’ lounge in Dallas’ Oak Cliff

In the back are six karaoke rooms that act as a ‘singeasy’ named Casanova.

There’s no denying it, the new restaurants in Oak Cliff from a company named Exxir Capital are some of the most gorgeous dining rooms in Dallas. After the team opened breezy courtyard Paradiso, cocktail bar Botanist and others, Exxir is back with another trip for the senses with Casablanca.

Some cocktails are portioned for a larger group, like this one, called Mary Poppins Would. It's made with ginger-black-tea-infused Ford's gin, Dolin Blanc vermouth, lime juice, pineapple and lemongrass honey.
Some cocktails are portioned for a larger group, like this one, called Mary Poppins Would. It's made with ginger-black-tea-infused Ford's gin, Dolin Blanc vermouth, lime juice, pineapple and lemongrass honey.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

The restaurant and bar opened Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 and is decorated with neutral tones, light linens, funky tile and pops of green from the licuala palms positioned throughout the indoor-outdoor space.

It’s yet another new hangout in the now-artsy neighborhood that has been gentrified over the past decade. Casablanca’s operator, Exxir Capital, owns 15 acres of land, including the buildings that house popular spots like La Reunion coffee/cocktail bar, Afghan restaurant Nora, and Italian restaurant Lucia. Some neighbors say bulldozing Oak Cliff land is erasing its history. CEO Michael Nazerian says he’s spent 13 years working in Oak Cliff and intends “to build the best neighborhood in America.”

They’re here to stay. “We build to hold forever,” Nazerian says.

At Casablanca, Nazerian says he wanted a space “that’s grown and sexy” in the neighborhood.

The big palms inside Casablanca were brought in from Florida.
The big palms inside Casablanca were brought in from Florida.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)
Casablanca serves shareable bites like lamb skewers.
Casablanca serves shareable bites like lamb skewers.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

It was inspired by Nazerian’s personal travels to Marrakech, Morocco. The patio and dining room were brought to life by the company’s team of three designers.

The menu, full of shareable dishes, includes sweet potato dumplings, lamb kabobs and kofte. Cocktail options are frozen piña coladas, a boozy Moroccan tea service, and an alcoholic play on a mango lassi. This bourbon cocktail, called Hurry and the Peach, is mixed with peach tea yogurt, lemon, citrus liqueur, sherry and sweet vermouth.

In the back, a sister concept called Casanova allows groups to rent karaoke rooms — which we don’t have much of in Dallas. They’re calling Casanova a “singeasy.” It opens in November 2021.

Casablanca and Casanova are at 200 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas (accessible by walking through the breezeway near Tejas in the Bishop Arts District). Casablanca debuted Oct. 21, 2021 and is open Wednesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m. Casanova is coming soon.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

The Don of Dons at Casablanca is a tea cocktail with scotch, rye whiskey, amaretto tea syrup and angostura infused with lapsang tea.
The Don of Dons at Casablanca is a tea cocktail with scotch, rye whiskey, amaretto tea syrup and angostura infused with lapsang tea.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

Sarah Blaskovich, senior food reporter. Sarah writes about restaurants, bars and culture in Dallas. Follow @sblaskovich and ask her what to do, where to eat or where to drink in your area.

sblaskovich@dallasnews.com /sarah.blaskovich @sblaskovich @sarahblaskovich
Restaurant News

Get the hottest Restaurant News every week

Subscribe to our foodie newsletter to get stories about restaurant openings, closings and where to eat next.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy