Now that the mighty trio in the Dallas restaurant world have opened — we're talking about FT33, Stampede 66 and Spoon (which should have been called Spoon 99, just to keep the momentum going) — we can move on to other dining news.
We're still in 2012, so you know what that means: burgers, tacos and food trucks.
JoJo a go-go. JoJo Eating House & Bar, from chef Laurent Poupart, will open adjacent to the Quadrangle on Monday, November 19. The menu is described as Mediterranean, incorporating flavors of Spain, Morocco, France and Italy.
The interior has an open kitchen, circular booths, and a 360-degree bar with indoor-outdoor windows. Plus there is a patio with a continuous 70-foot booth around the perimeter. The restaurant was designed by Plan B and is a wood-fest, with shou sugi ban (black wood), cypress, hickory and mahogany.
Laurent was previously a private chef for clients such as Mike Moreno (his partner in JoJo), Gerald Ford, Kevin Costner, Cindy Crawford, Kenny G and Hollywood producer Joel Silver. He and his partners are also taking over the old Lemon Bar space at West Village, according to Lauren Drewes-News Daniels, who has been all over Poupart and his French accent from the get-go.
Spare time. Calling itself a "boutique bowling alley," Bowl & Barrel will open at the Shops at Park Lane on November 28. Which of these features do you suppose makes a bowling alley "boutique"?
- 15 lanes
- Full-service restaurant with menu by chef Sharon Hage
- First bowling alley in the city limits
- Latest QuibcaAMF bowling equipment and technology
- Leather banquette bowler lounges
One hates to be skeptical, but it's unclear what on that list above qualifies calling a bowling alley "boutique." These guys are already on thin ice after having said their menu featured "clever" tavern food such as pretzels and hot dogs. The restaurant seats 150, but the menu is available to bowlers at the lanes.
Burger love. Chef Tim Love has opened his new Love Shack in Fort Worth on Bluebonnet Circle; it's sort of a replacement for the Shack at the So7 complex, which closed in May due to rent-raising issues. DFW.com likes the burgers just as much as the burgers at the So7 branch, but the atmosphere isn't as sunny and cheerful, with dark floors and walls that make it feel like a sports bar. It's located next to the Oui Lounge, which Love co-owns.
Holding a torch. The fourth Torchy's Tacos in Dallas-Fort Worth will open on December 5 in Casa Linda Plaza at 9440 Garland Rd., in the old Souper Salad location. And there's another coming: The fifth opens in mid-December in Fort Worth in the new Midtown development at 928 Northton St. — the first location in Fort Worth.
In addition to tacos, Torchy’s will offer specialty cocktails with infused tequilas and a selection of beers. The first Torchy’s opened at Preston-Forest in 2010, followed by Allen and SMU Boulevard.
Wings and things. Mockingbird Taproom, a burger/sports bar from a large, rather aloof restaurant group called Restaurant America, opens at Mockingbird Station in early December. How about these numbers: 40 beers on tap and 20 plasma TVs. Don't think it's just burgers. Oh no – there will also be wings, salads and tacos.
Keep on trucking. Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, known for its grilled cheese sandwiches, is expanding its fleet with Ruthie's Rolling Creperie, which will serve "French cuisine Texas style," with a menu of crepes both savory and sweet. Think chicken pesto, veggie caprese, peanut butter and Nutella, and honey and yogurt. Ruthie's also has a breakfast menu with fresh fruit such as strawberries and bananas.
Mo' chocolate. Katherine Clapner is opening a temporary second location of Dude, Sweet Chocolate in the current center of the restaurant world: Preston Center. She'll be there for a couple of months and will stay longer if business is good.
Saturday special: Obviously these photos did the trick: Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck has extended its dim sum Sunday brunch to Saturdays. Must-gets include duck bao buns, Texas benedict with brisket and poached egg, and scallop with bacon dashi.
True grits. Del Frisco's Grille has updated its menu for the fall, and the highlights follow: Kuby's pepperoni and sausage flatbread, French onion dip with house-made kettle chips, chicken avocado wrap, rock shrimp tacos, chicken schnitzel with sweet potato spaetzle, and shrimp with Homestead Gristmill corn grits.
Winter warmers. Wild Mushroom Steakhouse in Weatherford has a new winter menu from chef Jerrett Joslin, featuring duck confit with mushroom potato gratin and Brussels sprouts, 8-ounce filet topped with a 2-ounce lobster medallion, lamb with risotto and blueberry chutney, Dungeness crab vol au vent, and prawn stuffed with crab.
Holiday bakeoff. Empire Baking Company brings back its legendary, chewy ginger molasses cookie made with ground ginger and molasses, available through January, plus holiday pies such as apple cranberry, pecan and pumpkin — all with a pure butter crust.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas has named Chris Southwick executive assistant manager of culinary and food and beverage, to lead all hotel culinary and food and beverage activities, including in-room dining, banquets, hotel catering, off-premise catering, and pool and spa dining.
Southwick was most recently at the Ritz-Carlton, Sanya, in China. He has worked for Ritz-Carlton for nearly 20 years at Sarasota, Moscow, California, Palm Beach and Cleveland.