May promises to be a crazy month for the restaurant scene in Dallas-Fort Worth. There were lots of openings in April, and now they're hitting their stride. These cover a wide swath, from Dallas to Denton to Fort Worth, and represent the hottest of the hot. In alphabetical order, we present you with our list of the 10 restaurants you must visit in May.
Aunt Stelle's Sno-Cones
Technically Aunt Stelle's is a sno-cone stand, not a restaurant. We know that, silly. But who's to say you can't make a meal out of Aunt Stelle's finely shaved ice and sweet, potent syrup? Ice and sweetness represents all your major food groups, right? In business for 50-plus years, it opened for the 2013 season on April 27.
Bolsa moved to dinner hours only and weekend brunch, so lunch moved to sibling Bolsa Mercado. Options include meatball sub; prosciutto sandwich with arugula and apple butter; and salads such as Greek, chicken Cobb, and duck confit with goat cheese.
Cane Rosso White Rock
The second branch of the award-winning Deep Ellum pizzeria has been blazing hot since it opened. Features include a larger dining room; a fantastic patio; cool wine-based cocktails; and some menu items that are so far unique to the White Rock branch, including a sausage-and-peppers sandwich on a seeded hoagie bun.
With a garden in its backyard, mere steps from the kitchen, Garden Cafe in East Dallas exemplifies the farm-to-table movement as well as any restaurant out there. Chef Mark Wootton has been improvising some dishes using his just-picked vegetables and herbs, such as a mixed veggie plate with green beans, Swiss chard, Spicer's mushrooms and sage leaves. Get it while it's fresh.
Mot Hai Ba
Foodies are flocking to this new Vietnamese restaurant in East Dallas in the old York Street space. The banh mi sandwich, with choice of omelet, paté, grilled pork, grilled beef or tofu, is as good as it gets. Banana flower salad is spicy and complex. Pork belly and meatball with vermicelli — aw, you know what? Everything's good.
Chef-owner Janice Provost was an early champion of going local and seasonal, and she changes her menu every couple of weeks. Her current rotation includes a fun "crostini three ways" with tomato, garlic and basil; chickpea and anchovy; and prosciutto-mint-quince paste. Mmm, quince paste.
New offshoot of Pepe & Mito's does breakfast and lunch, half Tex-Mex and half-home-cooking. Chicken-fried steak and pot roast sit side-by-side with enfrijoladas filled with black beans and topped with tomato sauce. Hit it at breakfast for trendy chicken and waffles plus nine kinds of tacos.
Queenie's in Denton
Chef Tim Love cleverly repurposed his Love Shack burger joint into this cool, elegant steakhouse. Sorry, college kids; this one's for the grownups, with Prime steaks, fancy chops, and Love's twist on steakhouse sides such as creamed spinach and kale.
Exceptional vegetarian Indian restaurant is the first in Texas and part of an India-based international chain; it's been welcomed with a Bieber-like fervor since it opened in Irving in late 2012. Try the thali ("special meal"), a colorful sampler that gets you 10 little tastes of spicy heaven, accompanied by a mound of pristine white rice.
There's meat galore at this new BBQ spot from Maple & Motor hamburgler Jack Perkins. However — and we'll probably lose some "cred" by saying this ("cred" being something we care about deeply) — the veggies are the reason to go: green bean casserole with crispy onions, Brussels sprout and cauliflower au gratin, fried okra, and pinto beans.
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