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Chef John Tesar and Mixologist Michael Martensen Together Again at Cedars Social

Hungry for John Tesar’s food? Looks like you’ll get a chance to taste his newest creations when Cedars Social, a “cocktail den and comfort food kitchen” located in the Cedars at 1326 South Lamar, opens next month. Tesar created the menu and will open the restaurant for owner Brian Williams, former NFL linebacker-turned-restaurateur. Tesar is technically a consultant to the project but he plans to be in the kitchen to get the ball rolling. He will stay involved in Cedars Social and create seasonal menu changes and oversee the kitchen.

In the bar (den) will be Michael Martensen. He worked the cocktail program at the Rosewood  Mansion on Turtle Creek  the same time Tesar was in the kitchen. Martensen plans to pay homage to the “golden era of bartending.” His artisanal cocktails will be a mixture of classics and seasonally-inspired concoctions along with a tribute list of famous cocktails from notable watering holes around the U.S. “I plan to be in the kitchen at Cedars Social for seven nights a week from when we open to mid-March or the first of April,” says Tesar. “Then I’m going to open my own place at One Arts Plaza in April.”

Huh? Did I just bury my lede? Details on Tesar’s OAP restaurant will be released next week. Former Dali Wine Bar space? Probably.

UPDATE: Full release below.

Cocktail Den and Kitchen Opens in the Cedars Neighborhood

Menu by Chef John Tesar and Hand Crafted Cocktails by Michael Martensen

DALLAS, TEXAS (February 2011) – True to the tradition of informal gatherings, The Cedars Social, a cocktail den and comfort food kitchen located in the vibrant, urban Cedars community at 1326 South Lamar unveils February 2011. Thoughtfully conceptualized by owner Brian Williams, this informal yet fashionable cocktail den will allow guests to enjoy hand crafted cocktails by Michael Martensen and Modern American Comfort food by Chef John Tesar.

Staying true to the artisan theme of the Cedars neighborhood, Williams welcomed one of the nation’s leading barmen, Michael Martensen, to develop a notable cocktail program that pays homage to the golden era of bartending.  Exploring what it was like to drink before, during, and after prohibition, The Cedars Social cocktail menu includes a repertoire of relished classics, but focuses primarily on seasonal, signature cocktails.  In addition, there is a tribute list of original cocktails from other famed bars around the country, including Death and Company in New York City, Violet Hour in Chicago and Rick House in San Francisco.

The Cedars Social menu, created by award-winning Chef John Tesar, features modern American fare utilizing some of the finest local ingredients along with ingredients from Chef Tesar’s many friends, farmers, fisherman, and ranchers. Combining impeccable ingredients and fine dining techniques, he plans a menu of classic American comfort food with a modern transforming twist. With style and charm, Tesar will offer The Cedars Social diner a comfortable, modest and contemporary reinterpretation of American classics. Lunch and dinner menus will offer shared items, small plates, daily specials and desserts.

Concept creator Williams acquired his passion for architecture and design of bars and restaurants during extensive travels across the United States. The playful indoor/outdoor environment is a unique dichotomy of reclaimed industrial materials and mid-century architecture accented with vintage furnishings. A large circular fireplace serves as the warm welcoming focal point at the heart of the dining area and allows guests to feel at home while enjoying Chef Tesar’s modern American food and Martensen’s hand crafted cocktails. The Cedars Social is poised and ready to quench the thirst and satisfy the appetites of Dallas’ urban sophisticates.

31 comments on “Chef John Tesar and Mixologist Michael Martensen Together Again at Cedars Social

  1. Former NFL linebacker-turned-restaurateur = in over his head restaurateur

    Comfort food = fatty, cholesterol heavy food

    Mixologist = bar tender

    Artisanal cocktails = fancy, and probably a tad expensive cocktails

  2. Looking forward to the onslaught of comments on Friday AM when people get to work!

  3. 2011 is a year for reinvention,POSITIVE ENERGY and great food and drinks.
    Dallas has many excellent Chefs restauranteurs and Mixologist.
    Lets be supportive of an industry as a whole and if your angry or just filled with hate, stop take a deep breathe come by and have a drink and a bite to eat. It might quell your frustrations and unexplained anger especially towards people you know nothing about. Let your hair down get out of the house and meet some new people and make some new friends .. you may feel better for it.

  4. Loved this place when it was Doug Brown’s Amuse. Can’t wait for the new incarnation…tough location though.

  5. Actually, Tesar. I like your joints and your food. A lot. I hold you in high regard, and I always bring the out-of-towners to your establishments. In fact, I have a weakness for comfort food. I also agree about the wonderful food in Dallas. It’s all the nonsense euphemisms and shilling I cannot stand. Was hoping NN would add a “hand crafted” in there.

  6. Martensen and Jimmy Sears I would drive to Waco for this combo. I love that they are doing this in the Cedars

  7. i heard through the grapevine that drinks and food are going to be inexpensive at the cedars social. they want people to go out and enjoy a great experience and hang without blowing the bank. i myself look forward to this spot opening up. i have been waiting ever since i read about it in FD Luxe.

  8. Seldom in one’s lifetime does a talent as large as John Tesar come along.

    His New York roots provides him with a pallet of cooking experience and is the perfect foil to the provincial dining tastes of Dallas. Like flowers in the spring, he will brighten everyone’s life.

    I know I speak for a lot of people when I say, “Bienvenue John!”

  9. I am so tired of reading about these two. I can’t be the only one? Seems like they have something new or are somewhere new every six months or so? Can’t anyone stay in one place anymore?

    Good luck though.

  10. Translator, good eye. I am currently suffering from a case of artisan-local-hand crafted-seasonal fatigue. However, I agree with Justin. Huge difference between a bartender and some people who refer to themselves as mixologists.

  11. “His New York roots provides him with a pallet of cooking experience and is the perfect foil to the provincial dining tastes of Dallas.” Oh please, Scagnetti (horrible name). Having “New York roots” doesn’t make one a better chef; it just makes one more likely to be a douchebag.

  12. Wow, this is big news….

    I’ve been wondering about this place for a while. Its gone through a HUGE transformation since its days as Amuse, or the SERIOUSLY under-appreciated Sala.

    In my mind, I’ve always thought that this place would have to be a major destination spot to be successful. Meddlesome Moth sort of came to mind as something to shoot for.

    With Tesar on board, I think it may far surpass the Moth in terms of food quality.

    Yes, its a tough spot, but if the Moth can absolutely kill in a spot with NOTHING else around it, aside from residences…then Cedars Social will be huge.

    Can’t wait! To the owners and people involved…keep the buzz goin! This town is all about the buzzzzzzzzzz

  13. I’m with Translator on the issue of nomenclature. The best mixologists in Dallas (Martensen included) call themselves bartenders. The problem is that we’ve all just lowered our standards of what a bartender should be.

  14. I’m excited about this new venture! I’m even more excited about the new place in One Arts as it’s walkable for me, and I’ve really missed Dali Wine Bar.

    Exciting news!

  15. There were no real standards in Dallas bars until guys like J, Mike, and Lucky ‘forced themselves’ onto the scene. That is, unless, you call paying $8.00 for a pre-batched ‘cocktail’ made with water and a powdered mix standard. Call them what you will – bartenders, mixologists, bar chefs, whatever (they’ve all been called worse) – they are at the top of their game, and can sling with the best in the country. J, Mike, Lucky, Abe – you are an inspiration and as much of an asset to Dallas’ current restaurant renaissance as any Chef. We are lucky to have you in The Big D!

  16. @ Scag Nettie – “Seldom in one’s lifetime does a talent as large as John Tesar come along”?! I just wanted to see that in print again! talent=EGO. ok i get it.

  17. The place is too small for Big Egos. There are going to be great bartenders and cooks in this joint. Just come down and eat. No egos on the South Side.

  18. I like this concept and when I ate at the Mansion I loved Tesar’s food can’t wait to see the relaxed version without the hotel politics and the smell of tortilla soup and 60 year old waiters

  19. Oh baby, some real doubters and winders out there. This is the new direction for a good reason. We want good stuff and we are willing to pay for it. There is always a bigger market for crap ( macdonalds come to mind) but when I have the time for the good stuff, I will be taking a walk on the wild side and sitting down and enjoying the wait for something great.

  20. If the Packers win the NFC Championship I here this place is going to be Packer headquarters for the Super bowl parties

  21. Architecture, design and some branding work was done through a local firm….. Nice to pay people for their ideas and take the credit!