Peek Inside The Honor Bar, from folks at Houston’s, Hillstone, now open in Dallas’ Highland Park Village

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A standing-room-only crowd greeted the opening team of The Honor Bar when the sleek glass doors glided open Monday night. The newest addition to Highland Park Village’s had no trouble filling the seats, with members of the EscapeHatch HQ crew among the opening night visitors. The Honor Bar inhabits a portion of the former Patrizio’s space across from Cafe Pacific.

The Honor Bar is small — roughly 70 seats inside and a couple of dozen on the outdoor patio — with a large bar running down the right side of the restaurant, soft black leather banquettes running the length of the left side, and a mix of tables and booths in the center. A semi-open kitchen occupies the rear. Dim, honeyed lighting, cut limestone blocks, a low drop ceiling and red pavers give the space a subterranean den feel that’s both intimate and cramped.

If you’re a fan of Houston’s or Hillstone, the offerings on the one-page menu will look somewhat familiar to you: a burger, a fried chicken sandwich, a few salads. And just as you’d expect from Houston’s, Hillstone or R+D Kitchen — also owned by the same corporate umbrella as The Honor Bar — service was crisp, informed and efficient on opening night. The Honor Bar accepts reservations for groups of four or fewer; we waited fifteen minutes beyond our reserved time to be seated.

The Honor Bar isn’t pushing the limits of anybody’s kitchen talent here. The burger and chicken sandwich are nothing special, two-fisted sandwiches pumped up primarily by a tall, fluffy bun and a hillock of sweet coleslaw. Boxed saltine crackers accompanied a small ramekin of smoked trout dip. Opt for the chopped vegetable salad — asparagus, campari tomatoes, avocado, corn, kale, lettuces, macadamia nuts, radishes, mint and eggs in a light Champagne vinaigrette– and you’ll likely leave happy. Dessert? Not here — there’s not one on the menu; you’re at a bar, remember?