After enchanting Dallas diners for over four decades, St. Martin’s Wine Bistro will soon bid farewell to its beloved location on Greenville Avenue.
Owners of the iconic date-night restaurant announced its closure through a story by The Dallas Morning News published on May 12. The restaurant shuts its doors on May 20.
The silver lining? The cherished restaurant will be back this summer at a new location in East Dallas.
“It’s official, thank you Dallas for 46 wonderful years,” a post of the story on St. Martin’s Wine Bistro’s Facebook page read. All of the comments left on the post by users expressed remorse and some mentioned having gotten engaged at the restaurant.
Owner Mohsen Heidari has been operating St. Martin’s since 1997 together with his family members Monaliza Heidari, Omid Haftlang, and Iris Haftlang, as well as general manager John Sarvarian.
“It has been a part of a lot of people’s lives for a long time,” Omid Haftlang told The Dallas Morning News.
“I’m going to miss this room,” he added, sitting at the main bar.
White tablecloth bedecked tables for two to six people lit by candlelight fill the majority of St. Martins’ main dining room. A piano is tucked in the corner, playing music through dinner. The restaurant has two other rooms — the baroque room and the concerto room — plus a more private symphony alcove.
Alongside this inviting and intimate atmosphere, St. Martin’s serves up an extensive array of premium wines and dishes inspired by French cuisine.
A delectable array of savory appetizers and entrees can be found on the menu, such as the rich and indulgent Champagne brie soup; the inspired pairing of the beet and pear salad, the sweet, orange-sauced roast duck; or the beef tenderloin with a warming green peppercorn brandy sauce.
For dessert, classics like crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, and chocolate terrine (a flourless cake) are plated up to look like works of art.
This dreamy combination of candles, music, and fine dining has led to St. Martin’s standing the test of time.
Scott Fickling and Phil Patterson, both teachers and Vietnam veterans, embarked on an adventure in the restaurant industry by investing in some land in a bohemian neighborhood in the 1970s, according to The Dallas Morning News.
At the time, another iconic Dallas eatery, The Grape, could be found just a few blocks away.
This establishment which had been serving locals since 1972, closed in 2019. It was replaced by an Italian-inspired establishment called Sister, which made The New York Times’ 50 Best Restaurants in America list in 2022, as The Dallas Express reported.
St. Martin’s founders had no prior experience as restaurateurs, according to The Dallas Morning News. They opened a bar first — San Francisco Rose — and St. Martins in 1980.
In the late 1980s, Patterson sold his stake to Phil Cobb, a Dallas restaurateur. In 1997, Mohsen Heidari and his family assumed ownership.
Over the years, St. Martin’s earned a stellar reputation among Dallasites and food critics alike.
Notable Texas figures like magnate Ross Perot, as well as football players Tony Dorsett and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, were known to frequent St. Martin’s.
As The Dallas Express reported, it was named earlier this year on a list of the 50 best DFW restaurants compiled by the booking app OpenTable.
St. Martin’s is now ready for the next step of its journey, leaving behind a legacy of quaint but classic finery in what has now become a neighborhood of million-dollar homes.
More details about the new location are still to come as St. Martin’s wraps up its final evenings serving couples and more on Greenville Avenue.