Words by Holly Haber, Photography by Justin Clemons
JAMES BEARD AWARD-WINNING CHEF TIM BYRES AT THE THEODORE.
Diners at The Theodore in NorthPark Center may be so engaged in classic American cuisine and conversation that they don’t realize they are sitting within a carefully researched homage to President Theodore Roosevelt.
The quirky decor celebrates Teddy’s many passions—nature, adventure, politics, horses, taxidermy, the military and travel. You can absorb a symbolic biography of the man just by looking around. Astonishingly, nearly all the curiosities on display—from the giraffe skull to the small vintage typewriter—came from a single collection assembled over decades by Maxine Helfman. The artful photographer who shot the Luxury Collection fall fashion feature in this magazine was an interiors stylist who was “constantly shopping” for props.
“You’re always finding stuff that you know you’ll never see again,” Helfman says. “Or I’d get this gut instinct that I’m going to need this three weeks from now, and a month later it’d be the perfect prop.” Among her finds: the large sylvan painting on the rear wall, taxidermy birds, sepia landscape photos, a pith helmet, leather club chairs, a carton of drained quail eggs, antlers, skeletons and a vintage pharmacy cabinet. “I’m fascinated by anything to do with natural history,” Helfman says.
“And I love old science and medicine.”
FIRE-ROASTED, BLUE-POINT OYSTERS WITH RED PEPPER, BACON AND PARSLEY
It seems fated that the photographer was preparing to quit Dallas for her native Florida at the exact time her styling protegé and friend Marisa Dukowitz was conceptualizing interiors for The Theodore at NorthPark Center with Lance Raney of Droese Raney Architecture.
“It’s pretty wild that it all fit so perfectly with what we were looking for, art included,” Raney marvels. “You never really have the opportunity to get that much great stuff from one place.”
Dukowitz, who read multiple books about Teddy for the project, says the tableau skews slightly toward his love of nature. “He was a self-taught naturalist and a taxidermist, and he started young,” she points out. “He would find raccoons and squirrels and stuff in the forest and hide them under his bed, and he’d get in trouble. He was stuffing birds in his bedroom.”
Original artwork by Christy Black augments the atmosphere—a charcoal cottonwood forest in the bar, gazelles in the main dining room, a blue and gold mural of constellations in an alcove and a contemplative portrait of Teddy’s beloved eldest daughter, Alice, in the private dining room. “She was a beautiful, rebellious woman,” Dukowitz says. “We were equally obsessed with her.”
MORE ABOUT THE THEODORE:
James Beard Award-winning chef Tim Byres shares Teddy Roosevelt’s ethic to “work hard at work worth doing,” and it’s palpable in his superb renditions of American classics.
Warm Newport lobster roll, seasonal pot pie and meatballs in tomato sauce with garlic bread are among the favorites on a menu that’s served all day from 10AM to 10PM and until 11PM on Friday and Saturday.
Every bread, roll and cake is baked on-site in French ovens, elevating simple comfort foods like burgers, pizza and turkey club sandwiches.
New for fall: re-roasted, blue-point oysters with red pepper, bacon and parsley. Charred in the shell, the oysters are delicately seasoned with white wine garlic butter sauce and topped with bacon, bread crumbs and parsley—a bargain at $8.95.
THE TEDDY FASHION IS A SIGNATURE COCKTAIL AT THE THEODORE.
And don’t miss the Teddy Fashion—black-tea-infused rye whiskey, Cherry Heering liqueur, Angostura bitters and burnt- orange oils, a heady blend for $12.