By Steven Lindsay
The magnificent Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, at the top of Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas, has been my go-to choice for fine dining and entertaining guests since it opened in February 2009—not just for the spectacular food, but also for the drama of dining 560 feet above the city.
Reunion Tower itself has been a Dallas icon since it opened in 1978, its geodesic sphere illuminated with 260 lights that shine in unison or dance in playful patterns. For nearly three decades, visitors could take an elevator to three levels within the dome, where an observation deck offered birds-eye views of the city, a revolving restaurant called Antares wowed diners, and a cocktail lounge offered spirits with an unparalleled sky-high ambiance.
In 2007, though, the Tower and adjacent Union Station—the latter built in 1916, and which once handled as many as 80 trains daily—closed for a grand, $46 million renovation. And as a highlight of the transformation, city planners announced that chef Wolfgang Puck, the “fusion chef” famous for such trendsetting restaurants as Spago and Chinois, would open a new restaurant inside the tower. Five Sixty is Puck’s first fine-dining restaurant in Texas.
After a barely 60-second elevator ride to the top of the tower, the doors open to the comforting hum of clinking glasses and lighthearted conversations. Steely gray booths intermingle with cream-colored leather chairs, mesquite flooring gleams underfoot, and pearly white river rocks in a chain-link cage separate the host area from the bar and dining spaces.
“Given Five Sixty’s Asian-focused menu, we were inspired by a Zen sense of balance and stillness,” says Jennifer Johanson, who designed the restaurant with her team at EDG Interior Architecture + Design. “We tried to balance the motion and incredible views from this high outlook with a sense of intimacy and stillness in the social spaces. We wanted to create a great restaurant experience, where guests can enjoy the stunning views but still maintain a focus on food and friends.”