Raul Reyes opened his first restaurant in 2008, a tiny place in Oak Cliff serving the colorful cuisine of his birthplace, the Veracruz region of Mexico. La Palapa Veracruzana was run by his family, wife Olga working as his co-chef, daughter Jaretzy taking managerial duties, and son Raul Jr. waiting tables. The seafood-centric menu snagged the palates of serious food lovers and critics in Dallas, but the kudos posted on food blogs and the glowing reviews couldn’t keep it alive. It closed after only a year.
“We never pulled an alcohol license,” Reyes says by way of explanation. “I couldn’t. My daughter was manager and she was only 17.”
Dejected, Reyes figured he would have to shed his chef whites forever and return to the construction business to support his family. Before La Palapa Veracruzana closed, Reyes had augmented his income by taking on handyman jobs. Chris Zielke, co-owner of Bolsa and Smoke, had hired Reyes to rebuild the bar at Bolsa, the popular farm-to-table restaurant in the Bishop Arts District. So Reyes showed up at Bolsa one day and told Zielke he’d closed his restaurant. Zielke encouraged Reyes to try again.8 Comments »
A few weeks ago, I was digging around the city building permits and pulled up an application for 642 Davis. I contacted some high profile restaurant folks in The OC and they refused to tell me who was behind the venture. Well, I found out anyway.
Veteran restaurant GM Jonn (Salve, Dallas Fish Market, Nicola) Baudoin is the man behind the concept going into the former Confusion space on West Davis. 642, right next door to Bolsa’s new market Mercado to be exact. Driftwood is the name and seafood-centric will be their game. “New American with an East Coast and a West Coast influence,” Baudoin says. The vibe? The Hamptons meet Oak Cliff. The price? Small and large plates from $7 to mid-$20s. Total seating, inside and out, is 90. “I will take a limited number of reservations for tables inside,” Baudoin says. “I want to appeal to people who have to drive to Oak Cliff.”
Baudoin is more concerned about a well-priced and interesting wine list than cocktails. “We will have 6 to 8 specialty cocktails. But for the seafood, I want to have a unique list of wine.” The approachable, refined menu will be cooked by a chef. However, Baudoin, now an official member of the OC Restaurant Owners Secret Keepers, will not tell me HIS name. “He’s currently in Dallas at one of the top 100 restaurants list in the Dallas Morning News,” Baudoin says. “He’s put in his notice and it will be announced within 4 weeks.”
We’ll see about that.17 Comments »
Christopher Jeffers and Chris Zielke (Team Chris) have taken over the former space known at Jack’s Backyard on Fort Worth Avenue and plan to open two restaurant concepts. One will be a family-friendly; the other will be a bar. (And it won’t pop up.) “Don’t have any names,” Zielke said. No other details from this reporter. Hey, let’s have a naming contest!!! St. Christophers? Christophers Crossing? Come on…
UPPITY DATE: Tim Byres is also one of the partners. Readjust naming program.
17 Comments »