This morning a press release releases a few details about Cook Hall, the Global Gastro Pub with regional cuisine and handcrafted cocktails replacing Craft Dallas at W Dallas Victory Hotel. The concept comes from NYC-based CCHG (Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group), a restaurant management company which operates and licenses other brands such such as Spice Market, J&G Steakhouse, Market, and J&G Grill, each of which was created by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. At no point in this release was Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s name mentioned. I’m sure he and Tom Colicchio are palling around the Hampton’s with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert.
Jump for the details.
Chick Mixologist: Cook Hall’s innovative bar program is under the direction of CCHG beverage director and 2011 James Beard Foundation Award winner Belinda Chang (alum of New York’s Monkey Bar and The Modern, as well as Charlie Trotter’s of Chicago). Barkeeps will pull from vintage beer taps and serve boutique wines; chalkboards will tout the day’s featured handcrafted cocktails. Chang has also designed the craft cocktail movement’s answer to bottle service with a signature Cook Hall Cocktail Kit. The kit can be ordered for as few as two guests and as many as 10, and will include a spirit of the guest’s choice, with tinctures and mixers to develop unique custom cocktails tableside and a recipe card to take home.
Fast Look at Food: The global gastropub fare is composed mostly of shareable small plates such as a snack of roasted radish crostini, a light bite salad selection including a kale Caesar salad, various house- made charcuteries, and a sandwich/flatbread/taco section featuring a crispy duck taco. Larger plates include shellfish stew, Ricco’s meatballs, and crispy Cornish game hens.
Interior Motives: Dallas’ Jones Baker is designing the restaurant interior with the vision of a modern interpretation of the chef’s hall. Imagine hanging out at your favorite chef’s house, sampling their latest creations. This is a hall for gathering, great food and drink, and socializing. New steel framed windows announce Cook Hall to the W Hotel Living Room. No longer hidden away, the restaurant is welcoming and inclusive. Upon entering a small lounge opens up to the new bar, the focal point of the design. Anchoring one end of Cook Hall, the bar is backed by a large steel casement window and flanked by wood, steel, and wire glass shelving. The mixologist inspired cocktails are casually announced on the blackboards along with special food offerings. The bar of distressed wood paneling is topped by zinc, a velvety soft metal that will age gracefully. To add to the personality of the bar, vintage cocktail paraphernalia will be displayed and used by the bartenders. High community tables, made of wood, are centered in bar area to encourage interaction and are surrounded by high tufted banquettes in chocolate leather. Repurposed steel and wood screens separate the bar from the dining room where wood tables, generous booths and leather chairs encourage more intimate experiences. Distressed wood walls, warm lighting and an eclectic art collection add to the warmth and charm of the concept.