This spoonful of restaurant news in Dallas-Fort Worth is all about what is on the menu. This isn't to say that we lack for restaurant openings, but they're all down the road.
There's Banh Shop, the firs branch of Yum Brands' banh mi chain, opening at DFW Airport.
There's Endive Salads & Sandwich, opening in the same, possibly doomed strip center as Mughlai.
And yet-another juice chain, Juice It Up, is opening in Rockwall.
But none of that's happening anytime soon. What's happening now is new menus, new dishes and new items for the summer.
At Lark on the Park, chefs Melody Bishop and Dennis Kelley have a new menu for summer, with creative-sounding items big and small. Very big is the bone-in, 42-ounce ribeye for two. Lighter entrées include grilled chicken succotash and a tomato tart with eggplant, Gruyere cheese, prosciutto and a fried egg. Salads and sandwiches sound summery, such as the Park salad with egg, tomato, avocado, sautéed fresh corn and roasted baby beets.
Lark also has a new pastry chef: Ann Parravano, a Park Cities native who most previously was at Stephan Pyles. Desserts include avocado-white-chocolate Bavarian, Valrhona dark-chocolate frozen soufflé and sweet corn ice cream cake.
Uncle Julio's has new fajita dishes featuring seafood, including shrimp with pineapple and mango-habañero sauce, red snapper and ahi tuna with soy ginger sauce. They're served with julienned zucchini and yellow squash, mango-jicama slaw, and choice of corn or flour tortillas or lettuce wraps.
Texas Spice at Omni Dallas hotel is rolling out a new menu of $16 blue-plate specials that include ribs with black bean salad and sweet potato fries, crab cakes with fried green tomato and jalapeno slaw, fried chicken with corn on the cob and potato salad, steak with fries, and fish and chips.
Hard Rock Cafe has done a big menu revamp and there is now arugula. New salads include grilled chicken arugula salad, chicken chop salad and Cobb. There's a grilled vegetable sandwich, a brisket sandwich and a 16-ounce ribeye. Leave room for three new desserts: carrot cake, lava cake and Oreo cheesecake.
There are also some developments in the bar, including a margarita sampler with three flavors: habañero lime, blue Curacao and dessert pear, served with chips and salsa. The red berry press is a unique cocktail made with strawberries, raspberries, lemonade, lemon-lime soda and Clementine vodka, which is served in a coffee-press style vessel that infuses fruit into the cocktail the whole time you're drinking.
Pei Wei is dabbling in sushi. The menu now includes hand-rolled sushi and made-to-order small-size entrée salads starting at $5.99. Sushi options include a mango California roll, which adds mango to the standard California roll, and spicy tuna roll served with a Sriracha aioli.
Cantina Laredo has updated its menu, and the new dishes include short rib tacos and a short rib sandwich with apple-jicama slaw, jalapeños and black beans. There is chicken with mango mole sauce and a vegetarian dish featuring portobello mushrooms in balsamic glaze with goat cheese and red pepper.
Penne Pomodoro has launched a gluten-free menu featuring pizzas and pastas made with gluten-free Smart Flour, which sounds totally delicious. Here is a dish: gluten-free pasta tossed with chicken, Alfredo sauce, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
Pizza Hut is expanding into dessert with an 8-inch chocolate chip "pizza cookie," cut into eight slices, just like a pizza. It's a partnership with Hershey, who will provide the chocolate chips, and it is aimed at Millennials, who've told Pizza Hut chief marketing officer Carrie Walsh that it is what they want. If you buy it with a pizza, it's $4.99. If you go in special for this, it's $5.99.
TCBY yogurt chain is offering a summer-only limited-edition line of Angry Birds flavors, including "birdberry" (available July 17–30), an homage to fruity cereal-infused milk; sour apple sorbet (available July 31–August 13), a tart sweet-and-sour combo; banana bird sorbet (available August 14–27), with a tropical twist; and cotton candy yogurt (available August 28–September 10), which we shan't bother describing.