Texas-themed restaurant-bar Republic Texas Tavern, which aims to be a casual burger-and-bourbon hangout for the North Dallas swells, has opened its doors in the former Tupinamba space at 12300 Inwood Rd.
Republic comes from John Kinzer, a private equity guy who in his early days helped open Barley House, and Scott Smith, a restaurant industry veteran whose experience includes Sullivan's Steakhouse, Del Frisco's, Texas Land & Cattle, and Brinker.
The restaurant aims to have Texas products whenever possible, Kinzer says, such as Tito's vodka from Austin.
The cuisine is a Texas twist on classic dishes. There are burgers, a grilled chicken club sandwich, meatball appetizers, chicken drumsticks, and a pimiento cheese dip. There is hickory-grilled pork tenderloin with corn and okra succotash. There are salads including one with peaches and heirloom tomatoes, and another with butter lettuce topped with a corn-black bean salsa and large slices of avocado.
There is chicken fried steak with jalapeño cream gravy, sour cream mashed potatoes, and green beans.
The kitchen makes good use of those cute little individual ironstone pans in dishes such as lobster-studded mac and cheese, and flat iron steak with chimichurri and green chili chilaquiles.
The chef is Carlos Mancera, most recently at Kenichi, which closed in April, and before that, Boulevardier/Rapscallion, Ten Bells, Stephan Pyles, Eddie V's, Cedars Social, and Bolsa.
The signage font consists of simple brushed nickel letters "Republic" against a backdrop of warm woods. A clever makeshift patio is bordered by planters.
The bar is handsome and cozy, with leather chairs, wood walls, an antler-horn chandelier, and a curvy U-shaped bar that serves as the centerpiece of the place. Perfect spot for a glass of bourbon.