Dario's Brasserie has a sterling reputation. All the food websites, blogs, and reviewers have done nothing but sing its praises. For example, the Omaha World Herald rated Dario's as Omaha's best restaurant of 2010. Urbanspoon reviewers rate it as Omaha's second best fine dining destination. The chef and owner, Dario Schicke, is becoming one of Omaha's most respected culinary minds. He was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for best chef (Midwest) in 2010. All of these accolades made me nervous when it came time for my first visit to Dario's. How could a place live up to all of these towering expectations? I had visions of being utterly disappointed much in the same way as when someone goes to a movie with too high expectations.
Well, when I walked out of Dario's I was completely satisfied. Dario's Brasserie had lived up to the hipe. My mussels and bleu cheese were delicious and the fries (they call them frites) were some of the best I had ever had. I ordered one of their Belgian beers and was thoroughly impressed. My wife's steak was really good too (you better like rare to order this one). As far as our service went, our waiter was pleasant and made sure we were taken care of. The atmosphere was great also. The restaurant lives up to its name because it feels and looks like an old school French brasserie. Dario's allows you to relax and enjoy your food, drinks, and company without having to worry if you're dressed appropriately, going to be scolded by your waiter, or using the correct fork. In a nutshell, it is very laid back.
The only complaints I had were very minor. You most likely will have to walk a few blocks because of the parking situation in the Dundee area (4920 Underwood Avenue), but who couldn't use some exercise and fresh air. Also, the beer seemed to be a little expensive at first but after you try one you realize why they charge that much.
My time at Dario's helped me discover something unique about the restaurant. Dario's is one of those places you have to experience yourself to fully appreciate it. No explanation, review, or website can effectively describe the overall experience of dining at Dario's Brasserie. So, here is my attempt to summarize what Dario's has to offer: Chef Dario has combined incredibly affordable French/Belgian cuisine with an impressive selection of unique and tasty Belgian beers (along with wines from all over the world), all in a very relaxed and graceful environment.
Omaha World Herald article on Dario's
MY RATING (out of 10):