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Restaurant Review: Belly and Trumpet in Dallas

Antelope heart tartare; chef Zenner (Photography by Kevin Marple)
Antelope heart tartare; chef Zenner
(Photography by Kevin Marple)

It took Brian Zenner 10 years to achieve his goal of running a kitchen geared to his “soulful global” approach to cooking. His big break came a little more than a year and a half ago, when he was plucked from the kitchen of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek by first-time restaurateurs Tiffanee and Richard Ellman as they gathered talent for Oak, in the Design District. Oak was an instant hit and attracted national attention. The Ellmans got hooked on the restaurant business.
In July 2012, only seven months after Oak debuted, they partnered with John Paul Valverde (CampO, Outpost). The threesome leased the former Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen space on McKinney and opened Bowery Tavern, a gourmet hot dog restaurant. The concept didn’t sell many hot dogs or win any awards. Smartly, they cut their losses and closed the place after only five months. They promoted Zenner, 37, from chef de cuisine at Oak to executive chef at what would become Belly & Trumpet and tasked him with designing a new menu while the three partners redesigned the interior. Belly & Trumpet opened on Valentine’s Day.

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