The year 2017 has been a good one for restaurants, with lots of places opening around Dallas-Fort Worth, left and right. There are so many, we're making them the theme of our monthly Where to Eat.
For February, here's our list of 10 hot new restaurants to check out:
Cafe Brazil has been on Cedar Springs since 1999, making it a neighborhood institution. This new spot at 3851 Cedar Springs Rd., in the former Liquid Zoo space, is just a redo of the one that was already there. But it's twice as big, with more seating in multiple formats, including a patio facing the street that is open air/covered and indoor/outdoor, with the ability to heat and cool, and traditional indoor seating. It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night.
Nostalgia fuels the reboot of this bar that originally debuted in 1974. Inwood Tavern owner Len Critcher organized a team to revive Chelsea Corner, where he hung out in the '90s during his college days at SMU. The menu has burgers; fish and chips; steak sandwich; and pizza, a Chelsea Corner trademark, with toppings such as pepperoni, Italian sausage, chicken, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, tomatoes, red onions, and black olives. There are 16 beers on tap, a wine list, cocktails, and a large selection of scotch and American whiskeys.
The first Haystack opened in Richardson in 2013, when fast-casual "better" burger joints à la Hopdoddy and Liberty were still a hot trend. Now Haystack has a second branch in Dallas at Turtle Creek Village, with the standard list of burger types and toppings, plus salads, sandwiches, fries, and onion rings. There's a bar with craft beer and cocktails. Owners Kevin and Jenny Galvan owned Ricardo's Tex Mex in Allen for five years, and some of his family recipes are served at Haystack.
Bar-restaurant at 2816 Elm St. in Deep Ellum has some cutting-edge things in the works on the bar front, such as the use of centrifuges and vaporizers to create cocktails. The menu has small plates, salads, and sandwiches. Appetizers include garlic rosemary popcorn, the now-essential toasts, a charcuterie and cheese board, Philly cheesesteak meatballs, Tater tots with toppings, ahi poke tacos, a veggie sandwich with cauliflower, crispy chicken sandwich, a burger, and steak frites — all the cool things.
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant
Japanese restaurant at Galleria Dallas, located outside, between Banana Republic and the Westin Dallas Hotel. It boasts traditional and innovative Japanese cuisine and cool cocktails. The menu is conceived by corporate chef Masa Kurihara, and we say "corporate" because Kabuki is part of Kaizen Dining Group, a California-based company with sibling concepts including a ramen bar and a chicken chain. Kabuki has sushi and sashimi, rolls, noodles, and tabletop stone grills where you can cook your own meat.
New Filipino restaurant at 300 N. Coit Rd. in Richardson is the outgrowth of a series of pop-ups that owners Trisha and Roland Miranda began hosting in January 2016. Now in the location most recently occupied by Sridaya's Kitchen Indian, Koya's specializes in Pampanga cuisine, sometimes referred to as the culinary capital in the Philippines. They have all the Filipino classic dishes including chicken adobo, lumpia, beef stew, and longanisa sausage. Their signature dish is a beef bone marrow soup with potatoes, bok choy, green onions, carrots, and corn on the cob; it can be eaten as a soup or with steamed rice.
Restaurant at the new Forty Five Ten store in downtown Dallas is grittier and trendier than the typical ladies-who-lunch place you find inside a department store. Lunch, served Monday-Saturday, has classics such as tomato soup, deviled eggs, Cobb salad, and a lobster roll. But it also has a toast here — topped with whipped ricotta — and a bowl there, with the hipster grain farro and cauliflower. Dinner is served Thursdays-Saturdays, with beef tartare, orecchiette pasta, salmon with mashed potatoes, and a chef's tasting menu that changes weekly.
New sushi restaurant in cute urban village Addison Circle serves classic sushi plus creative fusion dishes such as the so-called fish and chips, consisting of four crispy rice cake discs topped with raw tuna and drizzled with ponzu sauce. There are ceviches, bento boxes, and signature rolls like the Thai fire roll with tuna and crab salad. Cocktails, unique specialty martinis, and late hours on weekends give neighbors a place to pop in at night. Other branches are in the works for Flower Mound and Frisco.
Persona Wood Fired Pizza
Located at Cypress Waters, the Billingsley Co. commercial and residential development at I-635 and Belt Line Road, Persona is similar to chains such as Blaze, Pizza Snob, and Pie Five, in which Neapolitan-style pizza is baked rapidly at a high heat. Persona's are 12-inch personal pies, which customers can top with 30-plus ingredients, ranging from pepperoni to peppadew, or they can order one of the proprietary pizzas such as the Margherita. Prices start at $8 for a pizza. There are also strombolis and calzones. Persona was founded in Santa Barbara, California, in 2013 by Glenn Cybulski and Joseph Baumel. With Irving, the chain will have seven branches total, including outlets in California, South Carolina, and Illinois.
Pok the Raw Bar
Raw fish concept from Hawaii is now served at Uptown's West Village, thanks to entrepreneurial SMU students Brandon Cohanim and Francois Reihani, and Jimmy Park, a sushi chef who previously worked at Nobu and is a native of Hawaii. There are bowls in two sizes, with pre-determined options, or a build-your-own, with choice of rice or other base, and toppings from options such as tofu, kimchi, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed, and lotus chips. There's also a green tea "matcha bar" and a stellar selection of sakes.
New restaurant in the Design District from chef Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services, Montlake Cut, Off-Site Kitchen), easily ranks as one of the biggest openings of 2017. The entire menu is organized around two large grills and a big wood-burning oven. There is not a signature dish per se; the menu is comprised of premium "hoof-based" proteins (yikes), a raw bar assortment featuring a half -dozen oysters, and a variety of mixed seafood cocktails and sliced fish. It also boasts quite the decor, with dozens of chandeliers, an MG sports car planted in the middle of the restaurant, and a 1974 Ducati motorcycle, which is listed on the menu for sale, so silly.