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A Look at Kessler Park Eating House in North Oak Cliff

Jonathon Erdeljac had his eye on the rundown space (previously Mamma Connie’s Diner) at 1619 N Beckley Ave for years. “I would drive by every day on my way to Jonathon’s and be like ‘I want that building,'” he explains to me Friday evening. We’re sitting in the side dining room of his newly-opened homestyle restaurant Kessler Park Eating House. It’s 5 p.m., just an hour after officially opening for business.

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A Look at DISH Preston Hollow

The second installation of DISH from Tim McEneny of NL Group (DISH Cedar Springs, Front Room Tavern, Dakota’s) opened late last month at the corner of Hillcrest and Northwest Highway. Chef Andrew Bell, previously of Bolsa and most recently Bistro 31, has been appointed executive chef at the Preston Hollow location, and he’s shaking things up.

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A Look at C’Viche, the New Ceviche Restaurant on Lower Greenville

In 1997 Randall Warder opened a ceviche and tequila bar at Las Ventanas al Paraíso resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. “We had this small space by the spa, it was originally designed to be a juice bar,” Warder explained. They weren’t making a profit off juice, though, so he pitched turning the space into a tequila, salsa, and seafood bar. It was a success.

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A Look at Quesa on Cedar Springs

First things first, Quesa is not a Tex-Mex restaurant. “Our food has nothing to do with Tex-Mex,” owner Patricia Cabrera explained to me, “In Mexico, if you order a taco, they don’t give you rice and beans with it,” and the same rule applies to the tacos that are served at the new Cedar Springs restaurant.

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First Take: Pinstack in Plano

With 50,000 square feet of playground for adults, children, and pretty much any form of human being, Pinstack is equipped for fun. What is Pinstack, you ask? It’s a behemoth, playground facility that houses more than 20 lanes for bowling, a restaurant, two bars, an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, and a damn ropes course that’s actually above the arcade. It’s literally on top of it. You will push your rope-grappling body to the test within 10 feet of young and old men making records on the Transformers game (it’s the only one in existence). This is only the beginning.

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First Take: Café Momentum

I was invited to dine at Café Momentum Friday night for one of their soft opening dinners. The space has come a long way since I stopped in a couple of weeks ago. Dark wooden tables adorned with orange gerbera daisies lined the dining room, which was buzzing with a young staff dressed in black and white gingham pearl snap western shirts. In between the lull of songs (primarily a mix of doo-wop and ’60s hits) the sound of entrees sizzling erupted from the open kitchen. It was a lively accompaniment to the neon white strobes of light that shot in every few minutes from passing DART trains. And while it wasn’t bustling (this was a soft opening, after all) a steady flow of diners were seated throughout the evening.

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A Sneak Peek Inside Dallas Grilled Cheese Company

Mack Simpson has dreamed of opening a restaurant for a decade. Now, his dream has materialized into a cheese-filled reality. Simpson and a team of partners have transformed the old Book Doctor space at 310 W 7th St. into a rustic-chic grilled cheese restaurant, aptly named Dallas Grilled Cheese Company.

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DiDi’s Tamale Diner Opens Today at Trinity Groves

DiDi’s Tamale Diner — which is the eleventh incubator concept at Trinity Groves — opens today. Michael Beck, who’s a portfolio and marketing manager for Gerald L. Ray & Associates, and Andina “DiDi” Fernandez, who’s originally from Guatemala and has been making tamales for over twenty years, are behind the diner. The two teamed up in 2010 and opened a test kitchen in Mesquite, that location has since closed.

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First Take: Clark Food & Wine Co.

If you frequent Lower Greenville, then you’ve surely noticed the sign for Clark Food & Wine Co. by now. East Dallasites have been buzzing about the restaurant and bar for weeks. “What’s the word on Clark Food & Wine?” a friend emailed me a couple of weeks ago, “Do you know anything about it?” another asked last week while discussing new eateries popping up in the neighborhood. The restaurant, which took over the space that once housed Billiard Bar, quietly opened a couple of weeks ago. Chef and owner, Randall Warder (previously of The Mansion) and wife Courtney, are behind the Texas-style tapas concept.

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Dallas Chop House Re-Opens With an Updated Menu

As you may recall, a fire engulfed the kitchen of Main Street’s Dallas Chop House this past August. While thankfully there were no serious injuries, the restaurant was forced to close its doors and undergo a remodel. “We wanted to keep the color scheme and the aesthetics the same,” Nafees Alam, co-founder and vice president of DRG Concepts, explains of the similar-looking dining room. The restaurant salvaged what they could, but for the most part, all of the furniture and kitchen equipment is new. Along with an updated interior, executive chef Chad Starling and DRG corporate chef AJ Joglekar have made a few changes to the menu.

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First Take: Front Room Tavern at Hotel Lumen

Front Room Tavern (previously The Front Room) has undergone a complete makeover. There’s a new chef, updated menu and recently refurbished interior. I was invited to dine at the restaurant over the weekend — I’d attended the grand opening of The Front Room back in 2012 — so, naturally I was curious to see the changes. The first thing I noticed after swinging open the gigantic glass door was the aroma of coffee. It practically smacked me in the face — in the most delightful way. Turns out, there’s now a coffee bar at Hotel Lumen, which uses freshly roasted beans from Drip Coffee Company. The bar serves up typical beverages like espresso, macchiatos and cappuccinos, as well as pastries. Pastry Chef, Alison Morse makes everything in-house, offering an assortment of muffins, bagels, biscuits and other carb-laden treats. The pastry case hasn’t been installed yet, but I was told that it should be ready sometime this week.

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