Everyone and their mother is on a juice cleanse right now. The sales girls upstairs banded together to do one, the office manager just finished hers, and now the epidemic has spread to my own kin. My cousin’s husband came into town last night, and as I tried shoving two pieces of quiche into his backpack for his wife, he turned me down. “Dawn [my cousin] isn’t eating anything right now.” I stopped dead in my tracks. What? Is she sick? What?
“She’s only drinking juice.” Blast.
Juice cleanses might as well be called the Skinny Girl’s Diet To Get Even Skinnier. When Number One/Le Jus opened in Highland Park Village this past mid-November, a mixed-use retail space of organic cafe and boutique, it achieved instant notoriety for its fresh organic juices and cleanse program.
I’m late jumping onto the Boulevardier-love bandwagon, but we all know Oak Cliff’s new French bistro is bound to stick around for a long, long time. So, no rush, right? When the boys from Ava (Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate) and Veritas (Brooks and Bradley Anderson) announced they were moving into Bishop Arts District together, the neighborhood could hardly wait. Half of Oak Cliff has probably visited Boulevardier already and seen what everyone’s been making a fuss about, but I thought it’d be nice to make the other half jealous with Desiree Espada’s handsome photos.
Jump. I command you. These photos are fabulous.
Nora isn’t just the name of owner/chef Matt Pikar’s seven-month-old daughter, it’s also the name of a restaurant on Greenville Avenue serving the kind of Afghan food I could probably eat every single day for the rest of my life. Ever since Nora officially opened on July 18 after two weeks of soft opening, new guests have already become repeat customers. Apparently it only takes a couple bites to get hooked on Matt Pikar’s spices. Something – maybe the way they can magically transport you from Dallas to the Middle East – is simply addictive about them.
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Chef Vijay Sadhu doesn’t let anything like a failed restaurant concept keep him down. When his innovative, yet unpopular, Sutra, the modern Indian cuisine restaurant at the The Shops at Legacy closed, he gathered new ideas and investors and opened Pepper Smash, A Cocktail Kitchen. Sadhu reworked the Sutra interior, 86ed the Indian food, added an extensive mixology program, up-tempo music, and a snazzy website. The food is Modern American with a Mediterranean twist.
Recently I attended a tasting event for the media and many dishes we tried (seemingly the whole menu) were impeccably prepared. I have said it before but will repeat it again: Sadhu’s greatest strength is his ability to wring every ounce of flavor out of the ingredients he choses. So pick a protein, like chicken, that could be bland and put it in Sadhu’s hands. He grills it until the flavors of the Maillard reaction http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction emerge and balances them with tahini sauce.
Jump for more food and photos. Continue reading "First Look: Chef Vijay Sadhu Opens Pepper Smash In Plano"5 Comments »
The day after ACME F&B opened on June 1, food blogs were buzzing with ACME fever, probably because every food critic in town was googly-eyed with the Dream Team that conceived of the restaurant in the first place. Who could blame them? Cool chef/owners Colleen O’Hare and Jeana Johnson of Good 2 Go Taco partnered with equally cool Barcadia owners Brooke Humphries and Brianna Larson to open an upscale, yet all-you-can-wear-jeans restaurant-bar at McKinney and Monticello.
ACME F&B is the kind of place you go to get away from grandiose dining rooms with all the pomp and circumstance your comfy GAP t-shirts weren’t designed to enter. But at a restaurant whose interior Jeana Johnson describes as “steampunk farmhouse” (Use Wikipedia if you weren’t culturally conscience back in the 1980s/early 1990s) where an industrial-looking furnace built by Steve Maybury, and vintage décor – like an old cast iron and lampshade – complement dark wood walls, those grungy boots in the back of your closet can finally see the light.
Jump for more Desiree Espada photography. Continue reading "First Take: ACME F&B on McKinney Avenue"
Carbone’s, a week-old Italian restaurant, is already turning into a neighborhood destination for Park Cities residents eager to try Julian Barsotti’s interpretation of Italian-American food. Customers have been trickling into this part-grocery store, part-deli in a steady stream ever since Barsotti’s grand opening last Tuesday, keeping his staff on its toes. “It’s been very busy. I didn’t anticipate being this busy right off the bat,” says Barsotti.
When I visited Carbone’s on Wednesday, it was 1 PM and all the tables (save two, maybe) were taken. Barsotti was crouched down next to an elderly couple, easy to spot in his Adidas shoes and red plaid shorts, and probably on the receiving end of the couple’s congratulations for the elegant layout of his store.
Jump for more of Desiree Espada’s photos. Continue reading "First-Take Restaurant Review: Carbone’s"
A funny thing happens when you pull into the parking lot that leads to Chicken Scratch, a week-old restaurant conceived by masterminds Christopher Zielke, Christopher Jeffers, and Chef Tim Byres of SMOKE. First, the smell of fried chicken strikes your nose like hot oil; second, you hear birds chirping (and suddenly a sense of guilt washes over you for what you’re about to eat); and third, after you get out of your car, you find yourself passing through an enormous structure that looks like a gigantic chicken coop. It might as well have a sign plastered to the front that reads, “Welcome, little chickadee, to the world of chicken.”
Jump or flap your wings. Continue reading "First-Take Restaurant Review: Chicken Scratch + The Foundry"
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What to Expect: To be knocked out by the interior design and the food. The space, designed by PLAN B (Royce Ring & Alex Urrunaga) worked closely with owners Richard and Tiffanee Ellman to create a modern, contemporary living room where couches replace booths. Veteran Tommy (Candleroom, Sunset Lounge, The Dram) DeAlano, also a partner, oversees the day-to-day operations. The threesome have created the perfect attitude for Oak’s location in the Dallas Design District.
Jump for details and beautiful photography by Desiree Espada.
The Concept: Sundown at Granada is the Granada Theater‘s neighboring restaurant and bar with a long list of draft beers and hand-crafted cocktails. Although I’m sure you can grab a bite pre-show, I would be filled with panic watching a line get longer next door while shoveling down the last forkfulls of food and chugging the rest of a beer. This is a perfect spot, however, to discuss your favorite act post-performance and perhaps mingle with band members, who are sure to wander over for a bite.
Who’s There: Thirty-somethings interested in enjoying some quality time together. (Rather than 20-somethings hollering over their third round of Jager bombs.)6 Comments »
Just dropped into the new Bolsa Mercado this morning for its public debut and — wow — this place is a game changer for anyone shopping for quality groceries south of the Trinity. It fulfills the market part of the original Bolsa vision offering Tom Spicer greens, local cheeses, organic meats, house made sausage and pastries, a boutique wine/beer selection, gourmet dry goods, and more. Bolsa Mercado also offers sandwiches, panninis, gourmet to go items, and a first-rate coffee bar. Eventually, chefs Jeff Harris, Matt Balke, and team want to make as much in-house as possible and will offer catering from the market’s enormous kitchen, more than double the size of the tiny one at its sibling restaurant located two doors down. Happily, there’s enough diversity and everyday goods to encourage repeated visits. In fact, I’m already plotting my lunchtime return to try the wild boar tart.20 Comments »
Loren Means gives us a snapshot of what to expect at Bistro 31, Alberto Lombardi’s newest creation in Highland Park Village.
What to expect: Prolific restaurateur Alberto Lombardi’s newest creation is in the heart of Highland Park Village. The restaurant is named to honor the year the original structure was built in: 1931. On my trip to the bistro, the Village was packed with shoppers and locals enjoying the holidays. With the holidays in full swing, you might be pressed to find a parking spot but there is valet parking available next door.
Setup: The interior is sleek and elegant without feeling stuffy or fancy. Beautiful chandeliers, which were immediately identifiable as Murano glass, hang from the ceilings above the marble topped tables. The floors are oak herringbone, the booths are covered in cream-colored leather, and abstract paintings on the white walls create a very European feel. The open-air patio, tiled floors, and two tops spilling out onto the sidewalk create a true bistro feel. You could be in Italy or the south of France. We opted for a sidewalk table. The weather was perfect for outdoor dining and the ceiling of Christmas lights from all the trees created a lovely atmosphere. If you choose to dine al fresco during the day, I would forgo the sidewalk option as you may feel like you’re eating in a parking lot without the night sky and Christmas lights to disguise it. Additionally, the actual patio has heating and air conditioning as well as a retractable roof that will keep you dry should the weather take a turn. Continue reading "First Take: Bistro 31 in Highland Park Village"
The set-up: Raise the flag on the rebirth of the corner of Greenville and Goodwin as Rohst (phonetic for roast) opens in the spot next to Dodie’s (and across from The Grape and Blue Goose). Although this new eatery is still in the soft-opening phase, we paid a visit (undercover, of course) to find out how the new concept—one with a consortium of owners and (gasp) not one celebrity chef in the kitchen—would fare against the ultimate judge and jury: our taste buds.
First of all, hats off to the design team. Even though the frontage would benefit from lighter tint on the windows, the interior’s high ceiling and low lighting provide textbook relief from the oven-like heat outside. We love the mezzanine-style second level, two-story stone mosaic, rough-hewn wood accents, stone flooring, and drum-pendant chandeliers. (Although I wasn’t crazy about the upstairs mural, I do have to give the design team snaps for trying to create a back story involving ancient Korean cave drawings.)