With a few exceptions, this batch of restaurant news is all about food: new menus, dishes and desserts — including ice cream in intriguing flavors. That's the best kind of news, anyway.
Tex-Mex chain Blue Goose Cantina will open its sixth location in McKinney, at 2020 N. Central Expy., at the intersection of 380. It's taking over what was previously another Mexican place called Jalapeno Tree, which one Yelper called "the whitest Tex-Mex restaurant in the world." Road construction along 75 helped put Jalapeno Tree in its grave; the Goose will open in mid-July.
With little warning or preamble, Sushi Zushi left its longtime nook at Turtle Creek Village for another: West Village, taking a space near Grimaldi's previously occupied by The Fish, whose own closure was nearly as abrupt. This San Antonio-based chain is noted for cheap prices and a big selection of kitschy rolls.
There's just one, and it's sad, sad, sad: Private Social, which gasped its last breath on July 14. The news was delivered via a sad little tweet, but the writing has been on the wall for months. Originally created as a showplace for Top Chef contestant Tiffany Derry, it lost its footing long before she left in January. Wildly creative "Pilgrim Chef" Najat Kaanache stepped in to revive it, but she couldn't penetrate our xenophobic, small-town ways.
On the menu
Hook Line & Sinker has new summer specials at the new Preston Road location, including ceviche with shrimp, tilapia, mango, cucumber, Mexican oregano and pico de gallo; and Shiner-battered tilapiafish tacos.
First meatless Mondays, now gluten-free: Max's Wine Dive is emphasizing a "gluten-friendly" menu, which sounds like the opposite of what a GF person would want. Gluten-friendly fried chicken is made with gluten-free flour and dried cauliflower fibers, which create a fried-like coating. It's fried in a separate fryer to limit exposure to gluten. Other gluten-friendly dishes include stuffed piquillo peppers, pan-roasted chicken, yellow squash soup and seared tuna.
Randy Gehman, pastry chef at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, has devised six intriguing-sounding ice creams for summer. They're $12 and available in Bar 19, Cafe on the Green and the Terrace Lounge now through Labor Day:
- Spaghetti Marinara: Vanilla ice cream “spaghetti” served with chunky raspberry coulis, chopped pistachios and shaved white chocolate.
- Rainbow Roll: Mango, kiwi and strawberry sorbets rolled up in the corresponding fruits served on a bed of toasted coconut and coconut sable cookie.
- White Russian Shake: A traditional White Russian turned into a milkshake with vanilla ice cream, garnished with a white chocolate caramel straw and espresso sable cookies.
- Long Island Tea Float: A traditional Long Island iced tea with a fresh minted tea sorbet, clear caramel sugar twist and lemon poppy seed sable cookies.
- Peach Bellini Sundae: Vanilla ice cream and peach sorbet swirled on top of sponge cake with a peach puree and fresh peach slices. Topped with champagne and served with checkerboard shortbread.
- South of the Border: Tres leches cake topped with dulce de leche ice cream, churros, strawberry compote, spiced pecans and warm chocolate sauce.
Authentic Mexican restaurant Komali has a summer menu with braised pork ribs with pineapple habañero glaze, queso fresco mashed potatoes and grilled nopal salad; squash blossom quesadillas; redfish with Texas peaches; and seafood stew. Summer desserts include coconut bread pudding or strawberry tres leches cake. Komali also launched Sangria Sunday on Service Industry Night every Sunday evening from 4-10 pm, featuring $4 sangrias and other discount drinks plus a menu of tapas. Additionally, all food service industry personnel — proof required — receive half off all food items.
Chef Tim Love's Queenie's Steakhouse in Denton extended its hours. It's now open for dinner on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm to midnight.
In the kitchen
Ocean Prime has a new executive chef, Eugenio Reyes, replacing chef Sonny Pache who moved to Ocean Prime Philadelphia. Reyes previously was executive sous chef and a sous chef at Mitchell's Ocean Club in Columbus, Ohio. A native of Mexico, he enjoys experimenting with traditional Mexican flavors and combining them with American twists.
Oak announced a new executive chef: Richard Gras. He previously worked for the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island and Half Moon Bay, was chef de cuisine at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, and headed Jean George’s acclaimed J&G Grill.
The Fairmont Dallas appointed a new executive chef, Brian Armstrong. Most recently, Armstrong was at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona. He's also been at the Fairmont Royal York and at Fairmont Château Lake Louise. He'll be responsible for menu creation and execution in the Pyramid Restaurant & Bar and all hotel food outlets.