A new restaurant that's been under construction for months at a prime Uptown Dallas location finally gets its big debut. Fat Rabbit, the Euro-American tavern opening in the former Sfuzzi space at 2533 McKinney Ave., also will feature a VIP lounge and cocktail bar on the second level, with a completely different ambience than the first.
The restaurant will begin serving food on January 19, but is currently in soft opening mode with cocktails beginning January 14. (Today!)
Owner is Peter Lloyd, who has opened a number of glitzy restaurants in North and South Carolina. Chef is Kyle Kingrey, whose resume runs from New York's Beauty & Essex to the Seven Stars Resort in the Turks and Caicos.
"Passing food makes you engage with each other and strike up conversations," says chef Kyle Kingrey. "It makes everybody feel at home."
Lloyd was looking to expand outside of the Carolinas when he signed on with One Dallas, the 20-story residential high-rise being built on the former site of the Hard Rock Cafe. He conceptualized the tower's first restaurant, called Style & Grace, a two-story restaurant and lounge with a 6500-square-foot attached pool deck.
But One Dallas is under construction and won't be open until 2016. So when Sfuzzi closed, Lloyd leaped in with Fat Rabbit, which he describes as a "hip and trendy concept with a carefully designed menu and classic cocktails."
Kingrey calls the menu "gastropub-ish."
"The food is like an American and European upscale tavern," he says. "I'm trying not to do everything everyone else does. And those dishes that we do, we'll do our own way. Shrimp and grits has chipotle barbecue shrimp on top of crispy fried grits. I'm doing short ribs, but braised in a local ale and served with potato dumplings."
Flatbreads, tacos, sliders and even salads can be ordered as an entrée or to be shared, designed so that the whole table can get a piece. "It gets people engaged at the table," Kingrey says. "Passing food makes you engage with each other and strike up conversations. It makes everybody feel at home."
Tacos include blackened catfish, guajillo chicken and cochinita pibil (pork). Sliders are global, from pork belly to chicken shawarma to beef banh mi to falafel. A lunch menu features a forward-looking quartet of salads that includes arugula with bresaola, mizuna with apple and blue cheese, and pickled beets with arugula and ricotta cheese.
Brunch has chicken chilaquiles, huevos rancheros with pulled pork, eggs Benedict, and a frittata with goat cheese and asparagus.
Decor includes luxurious gilded touches such as gold-plated walls and copper-dusted bars. "We're bringing a new style to the overall dining experience for Dallas," Lloyd says.