For July, the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurant scene is enjoying some uncharacteristically crazy-busy times. There are openings, closings and news about Tesar. There is always news about Tesar.
After selling desserts online and through Artizone, Val's Cheesecakes opened its first brick-and-mortar shop at 3906 Maple Ave. in Dallas, next to the Grapevine Bar. Owner Val Jean-Bart and his business partner, Christopher Reece, make sweet and savory cheesecakes, including the notorious savory "brisket" cheesecake. They sell cheesecake by the slice, whole and in mason jars, plus brownies, cookies and caramels from Dallas Caramel Co.
The homophonic Ida Claire, the Southern gastropub from the owners of Twin Peaks and Whiskey Cake, will open at 5001 Belt Line Rd. in Addison in July. Highlights include juleps, punches and pre-Prohibition classic cocktails; 20-plus beers on tap; a garden patio; and community tables. Chef Fitzgerald Dodd's menu features biscuit sandwiches and duck nachos with duck confit, sweet potato chips, goat cheese, gravy and a sunny-side duck egg.
The Oak Lawn branch of Kin Kin Urban Thai is tentatively set to open on July 6, in the old Cyclone Anaya space. Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin intends to open more Kin Kins at Preston Forest and at CityLine in Richardson.
John Benda will open another Fuel City near downtown Fort Worth in 2016, with 30 fueling stations, a store, deli, car wash and 24-hour taco stand. Add that to the original in Dallas, a Fuel City in Lufkin and another opening in Mesquite this fall.
Big chicken doings in Tarrant County. A branch of Arkansas-based Slim Chickens opened in Keller at 5528 N. Tarrant Pkwy., and a branch of Arizona-based Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles, specializing in chicken and waffles, will open in Southlake later this year.
After three years in the making, Grapevine Craft Brewery opens in Grapevine on July 10, at 906 Jean St. The facility, which combines a taproom and beer garden, will have longer hours than the usual brewery: seven days a week, from 3-10 pm, with a food truck from 5-8 pm. Special offerings beyond the basic beers on tap will include cask beers, specialty sodas and cold press coffees.
Paul Martin's American Grill will open for dinner on July 9, with lunch and brunch to follow. This is the ninth location and the first in Texas of this chain founded by P.F. Chang founder Paul Fleming, and it features meat, poultry, seafood, artisan cheese and cured meats. Everything is made in-house with "traditional cooking methods," and nothing in the kitchen is premade or precut.
La Original Michoacana Ice Cream in Bishop Arts will close on July 31, after the landlord raised the rent to $6,000 a month. Owner Eliodoro Aguilar hopes to move to Arlington.
Tesar is now overseeing El Bolero, following the departure of opening chef Hugo Galvan. Joining Tesar at El Bolero from New York will be chef Jacob Barrios, with whom Tesar worked at RM Seafood. Tesar will also be involved at Quill, a bar in the Design District that represents a collaboration between restaurateur Joe Palladino (Coal Vines) and Richard and Tiffanee Ellman, owners of El Bolero and Oak, which Tesar is also overseeing. We need a scorecard here.
Dallas restaurateur Alberto Lombardi is opening a new concept in Mexico. Beto y Memo, the newest Lombardi Family Concepts restaurant, is an authentic Italian restaurant located in the main plaza in Akumal Beach.
Legal Grounds in Lakewood closed and has become a Southern bistro called The Heights. The menu by owner Karen Porter, a caterer who also worked at The Grape, includes gastropub dishes like steak frites and mussels. It'll be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch, when the signature dish is Texas Benedict: cheese biscuits topped with eggs, hash, ham and smoked cheese. She'll keep the oatmeal pancakes, Legal Grounds' trademark item.
Stonedeck Pizza Pub recently launched pizza and beer pairing flights. You can choose four styles on one pizza, paired with flights of beer. Recent pairings have included Epic's Brainless on Raspberry with ham and roasted pineapple pizza. Paired beer flights include four 4-ounce beers for $7.50.
Yard House is now doing Nashville hot chicken and duck wings. Nashville hot chicken is a skinless breast, battered and deep fried, then bathed in spices including chipotle powder, pepper for heat and brown sugar. The chicken comes with sweet potato pancakes, pickles, ranch dressing and honey hot sauce. Duck wings are fried, then tossed in a maple sambal soy glaze and toasted sesame seeds.
Drizly is a new-to-Dallas shopping and delivery service for beer, wine and liquor. Powered by a partnership with Goody Goody Liquor, it lets legal-age drinkers shop on their smartphone with delivery in less than one hour. Dallas is the 15th major city that Drizly serves. It's available in these neighborhoods: downtown Dallas, West End, Deep Ellum, Oak Lawn, Uptown, Knox/Henderson, Highland Park, University Park, Lower Greenville, Lakewood, Preston Hollow and Lake Highlands.
Meal delivery service Favor will now be open until 3 am Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in Dallas. Restaurants open that late include Velvet Taco, Buzzbrews, Cafe Brazil, Serious Pizza, Greenville Avenue Pizza Co, Crushcraft and Taco Borracho.