Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin, owner at Bite City Grill in Fort Worth, will open a second restaurant in Tarrant County. This one will serve authentic Thai food.
"Chef Eddy" says he has already secured a location in Fort Worth's Arts District. He has a name, as well. He's just not ready to share that information just yet. Fine. "But the lease is signed," he says.
Thretipthuangsin moved to Dallas in 2013 to serve as chef at Pakpao, the Asian restaurant in the Design District from owners Tiffanee and Richard Ellman. After six months, Chef Eddy was out.
"I want to update what Thai means," Chef Eddy says. "A lot of Thai restaurants, it's the same old stuff. I hope when guests have my food, they can say, 'This is just like Thailand.'"
In March 2014, he and his brother Chris opened Bite, a "global cuisine" restaurant in Fort Worth's Montgomery Plaza, in the space that used to be Monty's Corner and Deluxe Bar & Grill. Bite was a Best New Restaurant contender in the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards earlier this year.
To gear up for the task ahead, Eddy took an eating trip across Thailand.
"I was there for over a month," he says. "I went all over: Bangkok, the northeast region, Isaan, Phuket, Ching Mai. I probably gained about 50 pounds. I ate a lot. I went to try some new things, see the trends in Thailand, see what's up and coming, go to all the local stuff."
It's all in preparation for his new place, which he plans to open this fall.
"It's going to be Thai for sure," he says. "Having just come back from Thailand, it boosts my motivation. I went there to get some inspiration. I want to make sure that I'm on top of whatever the trends are in Thailand. By the same token, what they do over there won't necessarily be a perfect fit here.
"But I do want to update what Thai means," he says. "A lot of Thai restaurants, it's the same old stuff. If I'm doing a Thai restaurant, I hope to be able to please guests who have traveled to Thailand or else Thai folks who live here. So that when they have my food, they can say, 'This is just like Thailand.'"
It also brings him full circle to re-immerse himself in his native cuisine, a move he previously avoided in favor of exploring other arenas. "This will be my first Thai restaurant and my own in Dallas-Fort Worth," he says. "Hopefully, if this one does well, I'll do something in Dallas as well."