A restaurateur with a solid track record in Dallas' West End takes another swing with 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails, a fine new restaurant now open at 311 N. Market St., in the heart of the neighborhood.
3Eleven — which boldly eschews the space between the 3 and the E — comes from Jay Khan, owner of RJ Mexican Cuisine, who envisioned something classic yet modern in the prized location that was long occupied by Hoffbrau Steaks. Hoffbrau closed in December 2016 after 23 years.
"I'm very dedicated to the West End — I've been here for 14 years," Khan says. "We recently remodeled RJ Mexican Cuisine to make it feel more modern, and were grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing with this space."
He saw a need for something elevated in terms of the food. The cuisine at 3Eleven is modern American, with a from-scratch kitchen and craft cocktails. Chef John Moore is a culinary school grad who worked with Khan at RJ's.
The menu is an appealing mix of familiar dishes like calamari, deviled eggs, and crab cakes, along with innovative items such as quinoa and hummus fritters. There's a hummus dip, but it's made from spiced black beans, and served with naan bread.
Four flatbreads include one with steak and cheese, and another with spinach and wild mushroom. Salads include a Caesar with Gulf shrimp, a steak salad, and a refreshing Thai peanut salad.
Entrees include steak frites, salmon, and a surf and turf pairing filet mignon with scallops. There are Angus short ribs, sweet potato gnocchi, tenderloin sliders, and a sous vide half-chicken with charred cream corn. "The chicken that John does is awesome," Khan says.
Cocktails play an important part of what they're doing at 3Eleven, spearheaded by mixologist and general manager Ruben Chavez.
Right now, it's dinner only and they've opened very softly. "We haven’t even opened the patio," Khan says. "We've just quietly turned on the open sign on for evenings only. If somebody walks in, we're happy to welcome them. We're just trying to make it right."
Khan, who previously worked as a regional manager for Lone Star Steakhouse and Landry's Inc., is a firm believer in the neighborhood; he opened RJ's in 2004, investing in the West End at a time when some other operators were walking away. The area has seen a big turnaround in the past two years, with new office developments and residential buildings such as the Fairfield building — making Khan's commitment now seem smart.
"I want to be ahead of the curve and inspire others to join us in this beautiful West End," he says.