Wine bottle at Veritas being openedDestinations always seem to be somewhere else. Somewhere special so you plan your excursions around them.  I don’t know about you, but when I have a world traveler with me, it always seems that no matter where you go, no matter how great the place is, you always expect to hear a sentence that goes something like “Yes, this place is nice, but if you really want to experience this, I know this little place in Morocco…” So you build your list of “Destinations” where, if you ever win the lottery, you will travel to go see.

As a long-time resident of Dallas, it often feels like there are no true “Destinations” here either. Sure, you can see where Kennedy was shot or where J.R. was shot or, maybe, where “Walker, Texas Ranger” was shot, but if you aren’t talking about some kind of shooting or another, Dallas is rarely a “Destination” with a big, capital “D”.

However there are some new gemstones in the city’s crown that have sprung up over the past few years, and one of them was recently noticed. Brooks and Bradley Anderson founded Veritas in the summer of 2008 and created something truly special here.

So when Fox News rated the top 10 Wine Bars in America, nicely nestled in the list is Veritas Wine Room. Located off of the beaten path at 2323 N. Henderson Ave. (Ste. 103), the exterior looks like a small restaurant in a strip mall. The patio is friendly enough, assuming the weather is nice, but there would be little reason to notice it otherwise.

When you walk in, you find why you have made this a Destination. The walls are lined with bottles from all over the world and decorated with art from local artists. There are between 15 and 30 labels by the glass at any time or, should you prefer a beer, a very respectable list of craft beers.

There is no kitchen but on Sunday evenings they have regular special events with guest chefs bringing in some of their favorite creations and on Tuesdays they bring in traditional Neapolitan pizza from famed Cane Rosso…a real treat.  If you aren’t there for a big meal, you can be very happy instead with one of the cheese boards or hand-made chocolates. Everything on the menu is carefully selected, and quite exemplary.

The staff is what really makes Veritas special however. While you are likely to impress a date you take to a place like this, it is the people that work there who will really impress you. The staff has excellent knowledge of their menu and wine in general.

Fernando Garcia is in charge of the special menus and has decades of experience to draw on for the food selections. Heather Gee writes and rewrites the craft beer list to reflect the newest and most fun brews available each season and is also on hand to help you select the perfect pinot or find the newest Chateneuf de Pape on the wall. 

Plus, if you decide to just come in by yourself, you may be surprised to find that the person pouring your wine may be an expert in dog training, midwifery, maritime trade, or even a doctoral candidate in American literature. They tend to bring in the most interesting people they can find who happen to really love wine and beer and want to share their passions.

That is another piece of what makes Veritas so special. They certainly aren’t pushy with their wine suggestions, but if you aren’t an oenophile you can describe your palate to the staff and they will tell you what they think you’ll like, and why, giving you instant transportable knowledge.

Just put yourself in their hands, have a little chat and come away having learned something. Sometimes a lot of somethings. Then, if you like formal knowledge, Veritas has started formal wine classes, so you can pick up a little more every week or so. To further your education they offer “nearly famous, always free” wine tastings at least once a week (although you may need to check the website or drop by to find out when they are on any particular week.

Then, on Mondays, they help make your wine explorations more affordable with half-priced wines by the glass, and Thursdays they offer beer specials.

Also, should you worry that this place will be too highfalutin for you, you needn’t. While you won’t feel out of place in a tuxedo here, it’s just as comfortable in blue jeans and a t-shirt or yoga pants and a hoodie. They can cater to the highest brows or to the most average of Joes.

They may like to have an old world vibe in places, but always maintain their “Cheers”-esque neighborhood bar status, giving the sports-loving wine connoisseur a chance to watch Cowboys or post-season Mavericks or Rangers games somewhere with a better wine selection and more class than your local Hooters. They also bring in local musicians for entertainment at least three times a month. This eclecticism has the advantage of pulling in a wide variety of interesting clientele. It’s easy to strike up a conversation at the bar with people from all walks of life about nearly anything.

Honestly, this is a remarkable place. Nothing is all things to all people, but Veritas comes very close. You are likely to find “your people” here, no matter who your people are. And while it may not be the sole reason for a trip to Dallas, it should certainly be included on your tour of the city.

Veritas Wine Room is located at 2323 N Henderson Ave, Suite 103, Dallas, TX