This is the view from the patio at The Commissary, John Tesar’s new restaurant at One Arts Plaza in Dallas. It is slated to open on Wednesday and is surely to be the hottest place in town within nanoseconds of its launch.
The former Dali Wine Bar space has been divided into two restaurants under one roof. The Commissary will feature a casual burgers, salads, and tapas menu. Come as you are and hang out by one of the two fire pits outside, or inside at the bar or a table. Lunch dishes run $7-$12, and a little more at night. Over on the southern corner is something new, and very different. The Table, is a separate dining room that seats only 12. It will be as casual in terms of dress code, but Tesar’s restaurant-within-a-restaurant is geared towards people who appreciate world-class food and wines.
Jump for more John.
Tesar will create the kind of dishes he did when he was execuchef at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek along with new creations he has picked up on his travels to some of the world’s best restaurants since. There will be a cheese cart, a candy cart, foie gras, lobster, and other high-end ingredients. The tasting menu will run about $75 for 5+ courses on weekends (less during the week) but the kind of people who reserve The Table are likely to want to buy the best wines as well.
There will be no liquor, hence avoiding the invidious 14% Texas Mixed Beverage Tax on gross sales. Instead, a wine list of 200 selections will be offered at 2x retail for on-premise and, get this, 15% off if you buy for off-premise consumption. There will also be about 40 brews for beer lovers although I don’t see where he is going to store them.
Here’s some of what’s special about The Commissary:
- Tesar is picky about cooking methods. The postage stamp sized kitchen bristles with specialized equipment. For example, several thousand dollars worth of sous vide cookers for the burgers (they are seared just before service). A Pacojet for silky smooth ice cream and sorbets. A desktop sous vide machine for other proteins or vegetables. Molecular gastronomy devices as well.
- Tesar is picky about vendors. For example, the mozzarella on the salads comes from The Mozzarella Company.
- Tesar is picky about staff. Dessert chef is Corey Thompson (currently with Ritz-Carlton). Sommeliers are Scott Barber and D’Lynn Proctor (meaning he has two celebrity sommeliers in a town where most restaurants don’t have one). Cocktails are designed by Michael Martensen of Cedars Social.
Most of all, Tesar is picky about what he turns out. His enthusiasm for this venture is obvious and smart Dallas diners will start booking this week.