Spring has arrived, not just with nice weather, but also with Dallas restaurants offering new seasonal menus. Most of these spring dishes sound tempting enough that a visit seems required. Hurry, because summer will be here before you know it, and pouf, they will be gone.
There's also cool froyo flavors, new tacos in town, and a doughnut with an Easter theme.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news this week:
Flora Street Cafe is getting more tweaking from chefs Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres, with new lunch and dinner programming, a new brunch, and a new tasting room. The chefs previously made the restaurant less formal. Now they're turning the current private dining room into a restaurant within a restaurant, with 16 seats, a 10- to 12-course tasting menu, and a young chef still TBD from outside Texas who will do all the work. The new Sunday brunch incorporates influences from Smoke, Byres' previous restaurant, now closed, at the Belmont Hotel.
Fine China, the upscale Chinese-American restaurant at The Statler, has introduced a new pre-theater menu for dinner before a local show or performance. For $30 you get your choice from smacked cucumbers, shishito peppers, spring rolls, crab melet, half soy chicken, seabass, flat noodle with top round Wagyu, soft-serve miso caramel sundae, or golden mantaou buns. For an extra $20, you can add half Cantonese roast duck or Wagyu strip steak. Additional sides are $6 and include Brussels sprouts, grilled Chinese broccoli, and smoked mushrooms. Available daily from 6-8 pm.
Seasons 52 has launched a "Hello Spring" fixed-price menu with choice of soup or salad, entrée, and dessert for $30 that's available through May 26. Choices include scallops with asparagus and rice pilaf, chicken ravioli with pesto ricotta, bistro steak, Cornish hen with roasted garlic broccolini and parsley potatoes, black bean & bacon soup, split pea & kale soup, field greens, spinach-strawberry salad, and Romaine & kale Caesar.
Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar has introduced its new spring menu including a goat cheese + pepper jelly appetizer with walnut-crusted flatbread crackers; and Green Goddess salad with a crispy goat cheese-stuffed squash blossom, Little Gem lettuce, toasted almonds, and watermelon radish. There's also pork belly n’ beans with grilled country toast, pork belly BLT, heirloom bean salad in a lemon vinaigrette, and vanilla bean custard.
Rusty Tacos, which has now transformed all of its locations from the short-lived R Taco to the original Rusty Taco name, has new tacos including fried chicken taco three ways and smoked BBQ brisket taco, plus three limited time seasonal items: migas taco, a side of fried jalapenos, and pineapple honey margarita. There are a dozen locations in the area including Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, and Grand Prairie.
Hat Creek Burger Company is launching the Salt Lick Burger, a new limited-time dish in conjunction with barbeque restaurant chain The Salt Lick. It has two patties, American cheese, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce. It'll be available at all 15 Hat Creek locations and at six additional locations opening in Dallas and Houston in April and May.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill has introduced a spring menu with dishes that include dragon roll sushi with tempura shrimp, grilled artichoke with crispy onion strings, bison burger with bacon jam and Muenster cheese on toasted ciabbata, and Chilean seabass with vegetables and parmesan couscous. Falafel salad bowl has quinoa tabbouleh, arugula, spinach, feta, Kalamata olives, cucumber, pear tomato, red peppers, pickled onions, fried garbanzo beans, crispy falafel, tzatziki sauce, and tahini-harissa dressing. Spanish-style seafood paella has shrimp, salmon, mussels, sausage, asparagus, chicken, saffron rice, and shrimp stick. The new dessert is a strawberry rhubarb & white chocolate cheesecake. New craft cocktails include Aperol Spritzer and Pendleton Brown Derby.
Texas de Brazil has added two seasonal dishes: grilled shrimp and passion fruit mousse. They'll be available from April through June.
Pei Wei is continuing its promise of making its menu "clean" of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives by 2020 and has three new dishes which brings the total of Pei Wei clean-label dishes to six. Fried rice has steamed white meat chicken, scallions, egg, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, and carrots. There's also the same dish but with "cauliflower fried rice." Mongolian steak has grass-fed steak with mushrooms, scallions, and garlic in soy sauce. Additional dishes will be released until the entire menu is completely clean.
Bellagreen just launched a new spring menu that's entirely gluten-free. There's a berry salad with spring mix, arugula, Romaine, strawberries, blackberries, pistachios, and crushed raspberry vinaigrette; pan-seared salmon with Romesco sauce, vegetable cauliflower rice, and garlic French green beans; spicy shrimp pasta with gluten-free spaghetti; and lemon poppyseed cheesecake with a crust made from coconut, hemp seed, and almond flour.
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is debuting a new vintage to add to its exclusive house-branded wine portfolio. In April, look for the debut of Perry's Reserve Pinot Noir, which has been designed to complement the restaurant’s signature pork chop. Consider it with their Sunday Supper, a three-course meal featuring Perry’s Famous Pork Chop, salad, and dessert.
Gather Kitchen Preston Center has a new Saturday brunch with creative spins on brunch staples and free alcohol in the form of sangria, a tequila mixing station, and a bloody Mary bar. Brunch dishes include salmon benedict, waffle BLT, skillet hash, chicken & waffles, granola & almond milk, and Gather juevos.
Dunkin', which doesn't just make doughnuts, has incorporated Peeps, the Easter marshmallow treat, into new limited-edition items: Peeps Marshmallow flavored coffee and espresso drinks, and a Peeps doughnut is topped with a yellow chick. Other new menu items include chocolate-cherry cold brew, sweet sriracha bacon breakfast sandwich, iced tea lemonade, and frozen lemonade.
Yumilicious the self-serve frozen-yogurt chain, has launched Black Velvet, a bold new flavor that's a rich and nutty black sesame yogurt. Stores will feature large 3-inch Oreo cookie wafers and edible gold star toppings, which they say will "make it extra special" (and by "special," they obviously mean instagrammable).
Yogurtland, the self-serve frozen-yogurt chain, has teamed with Knott’s Berry Farm with a new flavor called Boysenberry Pie, inspired by Knott’s most popular dessert. The flavor boasts the jammy richness and sweet-tart taste of boysenberries with hints of pie crust.
Bar Louie, the neighborhood gastrobar chain, is expanding its location at Toyota Music Factory by 3,000 square feet. It's the second Toyota Music Factory tenant to expand: Gloria’s Latin Cuisine also enlarged their restaurant.
Chris Patrick, previously culinary director of Abacus Jasper Restaurant Group, has joined Vandelay Hospitality Group, creators of East Hampton Sandwich Co. and Hudson House. He'll debut a new menu for East Hampton in April, bringing back some old classics and debuting new creations. So it's just kind of a new menu. Patrick previously worked at Nobu, Yutaka Sushi Bistro, Nana, and N9NE Steakhouse.