The Good 2 Go Taco gals, Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare, are hiring for their new spot in the former York Street/Watel’s Bistro space in East Dallas. Mot Hai Ba (123 in Vietnamese) is expected to open by the end of April. Johnson says: “We will focus on dishes we have had and love from Northern Vietnam.” More details tomorrow will be released tomorrow.
Owners Jennifer Bonner and Lara Whittington of EdiblEnvy Catering will launch Full Circle Tavern mid-April, offering a modern pub vibe that is warm and relaxed with hearty menu selections. The food will reflect Bonner’s mid-western roots which translates into homemade chips, comfort food, vegetarian-friendly dishes, and a brunch “to die for.” “Full Circle Tavern was named after the idea that all experiences lead to the next, or at the very least, prepare you for what’s ahead in this thing we call ‘L-I-V-I-N’,” says Whittington. 1319 S. Lamar Street. 214-208-3435.
You know Gene and Julie Gates. Or, at least, you’ve heard them. They’re the husband-and-wife team that used to be the glorious morning voices of 103.7 Lite FM. Now they’ve switched careers and jumped into the restaurant world by opening Battuto, a family friendly Italian restaurant in North Dallas. (“Battuto,” says Gene, “is the base which most sauces are built from. It’s traditionally made with lard and parsley, and you very slowly heat the onions” for extra flavor.)
The Gates’ restaurant softly opened mid-March, and it’s gearing up for a grand opening any day now. Full disclosure: our own Hayley Hamilton helped consult on the wine menu. Here’s what the former radio hosts-turned-restaurateurs have to say about life, love, and the pursuit of good food.
Carol Shih: I’m just in awe of that…
Julie Gates: That we’ve worked together, and we haven’t killed each other?
CS: Yeah, that’s crazy. Working together since 1995 is a long time. Continue reading "People We Love: Battuto’s Gene and Julie Gates"
Frisky Frisco Pizzaiolo! Pizzeria Testa in Frisco has permanently hired Master Pizzaiolo, Michele D’ Amelio, who was recently crowned World Champion in the Italian Style Pizza Challenge at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Before the completion, Amelio couldn’t commit to a full-time gig at Testa because of visa complications. Once he became a world champion, he qualified for special visa the government grants to foreigners with special talents and—voila!—he’s now cleared to make pizza in Frisco. It’s a Caputo flour miracle! Go. Eat. Report. 8660 Church St. Frisco. 469-200-8015.
Happy Birthday, Driftwood. Hard to believe Driftwood is already celebrating its first year in business. To mark the occasion, they’re hosting a special Taste of Spring Dinner on April 15 with guest Chef Grant Gordon from Tony’s in Houston. Chef Omar Flores and Chef Grant Gordon will be serving a six course Taste of Spring Dinner with wine pairing for $150.00 per person plus tax & gratuity.214-942-2530.
Mais Gaúchos em Frisco! Estilo Gaucho, a new Brazilian steakhouse, is open in Frisco. Expect plenty of swaggering southern Brazilian cowboys armed with swords of prime meats and 1,300 wines. Sounds better than match.com to me! 8650 State Highway 121, Frisco. (Off of State Highway 121 and Preston Road at Stonebriar Centre) 214-618-6150.
Fuqua to France! Julia and Lee Fuqua of Fuqua Wines have organized a wine cruise up the Rhône River next November. Looks like something we all should do at some point in our lives. Check it out.
Tex-Mex Buzz: Neighbors close to Victoria’s Mexican Grill in the OC are loving what their eating. Have you been?1 Comment »
Bishop Cider Co. is opening up in Bishop Arts very, very soon. I’ve been keeping an eye on its Kickstarter page (9 more days left, and its goal has already been exceeded), and it looks like people in Dallas are pretty excited about this new craft hard cidery place.
Monsanto announced this morning that its income increased by 22 percent in the company’s second quarter. I know some of you don’t like it when I talk food politics, but this is important. Monsanto is rapidly growing and changing the way we eat. It’s scary. I’m this close to pulling a Barbara Kingsolver and subsisting on my own homegrown food for a year.1 Comment »
Lindsey Miller, who wrote the press release for Mutts, assures me that this is a real-deal dog park/restaurant. No joking here. The guys/owners who brought you Bowl & Barrel are busy preparing for Mutts, a “modern day ‘roadside’ burger stand to Uptown that will serve burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more during lunch and dinner hours. Coffee, breakfast tacos, bagels and pastries will be served for breakfast.”
There’ll be outdoor seating (up to 200 people) where man can bring his furry best friend for a nice afternoon lunch. Will there be a separate dog food menu? I’m imagining this almost chaotic situation where people’s dogs are eating other people’s food, and everybody getting angry at each other when it’s not the dog’s fault it’s hungry. But I’m sure owners Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz have something figured out…
The restaurant will be located on the former Hank Haney Golf Course Land at 2889 Cityplace West Blvd.
I’ve been waiting four months to reference Ralph Vaughan Williams’ orchestral work, The Lark Ascending, and now the occasion has arrived with the opening of Klyde Warren Park’s first full-service restaurant. Hurray! You don’t have to eat from food trucks anymore! The Lark on the Park offers a beautiful, sit-down environment where you can eat equally beautiful food, sip on a cocktail, and watch all the suckers outside get attacked by summer heat as you peer through wall-length windows. That’s what I call a good life.
Shannon Wynne’s newest restaurant opens today for dinner service (reservations only, no walk-ins), and lunch service will be added soon.
Jump for a first glimpse.
First The Melting Pot; now Champps? WTF is going on in Addison? A nice gentleman answered the phone and said: “Yes, we closed our doors for business this morning.” I’m taking that as a confirmation.24 Comments »
One of our most loyal and lovely SideDish readers popped into Cindi’s Deli to buy a lemon meringue pie. When she got home, she tore off the Cindi’s wrapper and found another: Chef Pierre, a division of Sara Lee. The menu promotes “Fresh Baked Goods Daily” but it doesn’t claim the pie is homemade. A whole pie is $14. According to Sara Lee, the pie is made with “real imported lemon oil.”18 Comments »
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the gorgeous plate of geoduck served at Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Dallas. I only have this picture of me harvesting the wild beast near Puget Sound. Kidding aside, my first encounter with a geoduck clam was visual: Anthony Bourdain, when he was still hot, shot an episode of No Reservations, when it was hot, somewhere in the Northwest. I watched in horror as Tony and his crew stuck their heads deep in wet sand and pulled these ugly suckers out.
They certainly look different on a white Bernardaud china platter at Spoon. Chef John Tesar allows the ugly clam to shine with just a touch of chili oil and Himalayan sea salt. Truly delicious.
UPPITY DATE: Alan Russell sends a photo of Spoon’s crudo plate (geoduck front left).4 Comments »
Word from court filings: Snuffer’s Restaurants files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Debtor: Snuffer’s Restaurants, Inc.
Snuffer’s has been sued for nonpayment to vendors before, but they’ve managed to stay alive. I’ve reached out to Pat Snuffer for details.
UPDATE: Word from Pat Snuffer: “This is a reorganization under Chapter 11, which allows us to continue in a business as usual manner. No changes. All Snuffer’s remain open, and operational.”23 Comments »
A lot of diners have a soft spot in their heart for fondue. Sadly, the trend, like key parties, has fallen out of favor. Last Friday, The Melting Pot in Addison which opened in 1995, closed “due to financial reasons independent of the business that prevent the current franchisees from continuing to operate the restaurant.” There is a glimmer of hope that they will reopen, in the meantime you’ll have to fondue at their locations in Arlington. I don’t have a resource at this time for key parties.4 Comments »
As a Canadian who deems Taco Bell authentic Mexican food, I am in awe of both the quality and variety of Mexican cuisine in the Dallas area. On an assignment for SideDish, I attended a VIP grand opening party last Wednesday for Dallas’ latest ode to Mexico, Boca Chica. Guests enjoyed Latin-inspired dance music while sipping on (rather strong) Texas smoked margaritas, which, for me, helped enlighten both my taste buds, and my idea of what modern Mexican food really is.
Located above what used to be Bailey’s Prime Plus in the Shops at Park Lane, Boca Chica’s space is pretty magnificent. The restaurant, designed by Plan B Group, is huge and, true to its attempt at reimagining Mexico in a more contemporary way, the space melds Mexican culture with Dallas flare and modern touches. Large, blown up images of the traditional Mexican bingo game Loteria add a funky twist to the overall loft-like feeling of the place. Leather studded chairs, wicker light fixtures, and an open-concept floor plan (diners can watch their dishes being prepared in the completely open kitchen) make the space a sort of restaurant/lounge hybrid.
It’s official chef/owner Scott Gottlich has picked Daniel Tarasevich right off the line at Tillman’s Roadhouse in Fort Worth to be executive chef at The Second Floor Bistro in the Galleria. Tarasevich has also cooked at The House of Blues, Sushi Samba, and Charlie Palmer.
In press-release speak:
Tarasevich looks forward to impressing diners at The Second Floor with his progressive cooking style, which seamlessly fuses innovation with foods spanning a variety of cultures. It has been a personal goal of Tarasevich’s to work for Gottlich since moving to Dallas.
There you have it.
You may recall back in 1989 the muscly, taut action/drama, Roadhouse. It caused the nation to swoon and wrestled in a new era of gritty/bar brawling/martial arts/tai chi/poignant sprawling epics that flooded theaters the following years. It was an exciting time to breathe and an even more exciting time to be a Hulk Hogan-loving 6-year-old, fresh out kindergarten in Missouri. My interest in Marxist/Morrison philosophy has swayed to some exponential degree, but my love and Swayze-induced hot sweats have endured and even strengthened. While the new Lakewood restaurant, The Lot, doesn’t possess the threat of a rib stabbing or a powerful roundhouse boot kick from a brutally apt martial arts henchman, it does appeal to our American Roadhouse desires and hopefully beckons to the late Mr. Swayze’s iconic “Dalton” and his passion for a friendly, lively and safe roadhouse gathering.
The Lot, which opened this Monday, has covered a great deal of space with its robust remodeling of the old Backyard Beach Bar. Its countrified barn house appeal is friendly and welcoming. There are two playgrounds (one for kids and one for adults), an outdoor stage, and an outdoor bar that will serve burgers, Hoffman hots, tacos and beers. Plenty of communal picnic tables are there for you to rest your bum while you indulge in the sights, sounds and tastes that surround you. I normally avoid the kid zoos that call themselves restaurants, but this place was surprisingly tempered thanks to the playground and the well-designed acoustics of the interior. The bar area is separated from the main dining hall by glass garage doors, which helps maintain its adult-necessary privacy.
I’ve been rooting for the little El Padrino taco stand in Bishop Arts since last November, ever since we found out the Lombardi group’s plans to takeover/(maybe) bulldoze the iconic red-and-white building that housed those famously nice taco ladies.
For the last couple months, Juan Contreras, managing parter of El Padrino, has been trying his hardest to stay in Bishop Arts. “We hope to stay in the Bishop Arts; we were one of the original establishments before Bishop Arts became what it is now, and we’d like to be part of it as long as we can,” he said back in October 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like those plans have fallen through. El Padrino #2 is moving to southeast Dallas, and it’ll open on May 3.
Contreras wrote this email about the news. The headline is very bittersweet. Props to Bishop Arts for its blossoming area, but let’s not forget the little guys who helped make it what it is, shall we?
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El Padrino Taqueria a casualty to the Bishop Arts District’s success
DALLAS, TX – El Padrino Taqueria, affectionately known as El Padrino (Mexican Godfather), a popular Mexican food stand in the Bishop Arts District since the 1990’s has lost their lease and has found a new home. El Padrino was housed in an old original Jack in the Box shaped fast food stand located on 330 W. Davis St., and provided great Mexican fast food to N. Oak Cliff’s diverse clientele.
El Padrino lost their lease to Sarah Lombardi in May. “We didn’t see this coming, but we were grateful that Ms. Lombardi let us operate through November. Which allowed us some time to look for a new location and for our employees to find jobs nearby.” says Juan Contreras Jr. El Padrino hoped to move to a new location in the Bishop Arts District or somewhere nearby, “Unfortunately it was harder than we thought. Our broker Charlie Perdue, from Perdue Equities worked with us to find us a home nearby, however, there were just no options to fit our needs.” says Juan C. Contreras Jr., Managing Partner.
The Contreras say that they decided to move to southeastern Dallas on 1215 S Buckner Blvd not only because they got a good deal in their new location but also because they also wanted to expand their locations: one in Oak Cliff and the other in Pleasant Grove. “One of our friends here in the community approached us with a deal we could not pass and well we decided to give it a try.” says Juan Contreras Jr.
The new Padrino’s expects to open May 3rd, 2013 serving the same type of original Mexican food items and more.
“We had a great run in the Bishop Arts District, and were surrounded by inspiring friends in the community and we expect to continue our success in our new location.” says Juan Contreras Jr.
El Padrino also has the original location located at 408 W. Jefferson Boulevard, which remains open.
Matt McCallister likes to eat at Mission Chinese Food when he’s in New York City, and he once found a baby snake while foraging for spring onions. He runs 6 miles on a treadmill to take the edge off when he’s had a rough day. His wife, Iris, owns a small brownie-making concern. She is picky about the soaps she uses in her bathroom, and she got an awesome new computer for Christmas. I know these things about the McCallisters because I read Facebook and pay attention to Twitter.
I find it fascinating that so much of McCallister’s success—or, at the very least, his name recognition—has been generated through social media. Certainly his bio doesn’t suggest that he has done as much “gutter time” as other local talents. I’m not saying the man isn’t talented. But I do think he is the first prestigious Dallas chef to earn his celebrity status with food blogs and social media, before he opened his first restaurant. After just seven years in the business, he stands in the kitchen of the most talked-about restaurant in Dallas, FT33.
Have you been? Let us hear about it.7 Comments »
About a year and a half ago, I received an email from Gabriela Kovacic, owner/manager of Café Lago indicating that she wanted to sell her restaurant. Somehow she managed to keep it going until yesterday. She sends this note:
”So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.” I opened my first restaurant in 1987 when I was only 27 years old believing that this neighborhood would appreciate a unique flavor and service approach that was not a chain and – - – you did! I’m proud to brag that the culinary palate for the people of the Casa Linda, White Rock, and the East Dallas area is blossoming because of my dedication to this area – before that it was chain, predictable food and look at what is now around us.
Many, many plates, glasses and tables have been filled with a variety of flavors, fun and experiences that made people happy and unfortunately, a few disappointed – such is the nature of this business.
This is a tough, physically demanding job and I am tired, drained, pooped, fatigued etc but excited about what the future will bring me – - – rest, time to read, be with my family – especially my baby sister who could use my help as she journeys through a little more breast cancer. I just may have time to cook for friends and re-direct my life. I assure you that another restaurant is not in my future!
Tim “Pied Piper of Peavy” Rogers lives in East Dallas. He loves East Dallas. He is a frequent customer at Goodfriend. In this month’s D Magazine, Timmy writes a nice piece on Marc Cassel and the special camaraderie that exists between the chefs, cooks, beer folks, and restaurateurs of East Dallas. Some of the history goes way back to the dark ages of Deep Ellum. Let’s here it for Timmy.
One night several weeks before the January opening of their East Dallas restaurant, 20 Feet Seafood Joint, Marc Cassel and his wife, Suzan Fries, tested their new fryer for the first time. Fries wore a blue apron and a short haircut suited to kitchen work. She squeezed a pastry bag, producing a series of chocolate “20”s on parchment paper, while Cassel, in matching apron, his long white goatee giving him the appearance of a birthday party magician, gingerly laid a piece of battered cod into hot oil. First he tried a yeast batter, then tempura. Brined fish, then unbrined. Much experimentation lay ahead as the couple worked toward a menu.