At one end of the Dallas restaurant news spectrum, we have caviar and a dapper new bar serving sophisticated cocktails. At the other end lie beer, burgers, barbecue and pizza — you know, the usual.
But the best thing going on here is a delicacy being served at the Truck Yard that founder Jason Boso nicknames "white trash bottle service," involving a watermelon and a spigot. Read on:
More than a year in the works, Parliament, the cocktail lounge starring famed bar slinger Eddie Lucky Campbell, is open on Allen Street in Uptown, in the old Four Lounge space (which closed after owner Keith LaBonte unexpectedly passed away). Decor includes patterned burgundy wallpaper, leather banquettes and a bar Campbell stained himself. This is definitely his passion project, but the cocktail menu has a scholarly bent, with many drinks and descriptions and historical touches. If you want to eat, State & Allen Kitchen and Bar next door is providing a small menu of sandwiches, salads and snacks.
Open in Deep Ellum in the old Vern's Place spot is Cold Beer Company, a bar with 24 beers on tap and a small menu of sandwiches and snacks. The building has been undergoing renovation for some time; it comes from Carter Voekel, Kelly Wesner and Gabe Whatley, who also own Fillmore Pub in Plano.
The old Ketchup Burger Bar in Uptown is now known, unfortunately, as The Sir, and it has a reality TV star as part of the ownership. Ben Scott, who was on Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, joins a team that includes managing partners brothers Niko and J.D. Ybañez, owner Yaser Khalaf (who owns Baboush and Souk), plus chefs Norman Grimm (Acme F+B) and Peja Krstic (The Standard Pour).
Richardson barbecue joint Ten50 BBQ is open from Chili's founder Larry Lavine, with brisket, St. Louis pork ribs, turkey, salmon, smoked chicken and banana pudding. A baked potato is $4; corn on the cob is $3. Sides are standard: potato salad, coleslaw, pinto beans, and mac and cheese. They still haven't figured out social media — i.e., negative comments on the Facebook page have a tendency to "disappear" — but they do banana pudding, which as everyone knows is the BBQ Snob's favorite dessert.
Fireside Pies in Fort Worth is now called Thirteen Pies. The name change reflects the ambitions of owner Consilient Restaurants to grow Thirteen Pies into a chef-driven concept with pizza, pasta, and craft beer and cocktails. A branch in Atlanta is planned for September 2014 and a Houston location for summer 2015. Consilient owns and operates Victor Tangos, The Porch, American F+B and Hibiscus.
So & So's is now serving weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes chicken-fried chicken with poached eggs, blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and chilaquiles with pork and eggs sunny side up.
Oak has added caviar service, featuring Karat brand Osetra caviar, served classically with crème fraîche, egg, red onion and buckwheat blini. Cost is $120 for one ounce. They're also serving Miyazaki Wagyu beef, imported from Japan, in carpaccio for $28 per 1.5 ounces with capers, Parmesan and arugula; or as a filet, for $20 per ounce, with a five-ounce minimum.
Richardson bakery Reverie Bakeshop is now serving vegan and gluten-free soy-based soft-serve ice cream, available solo or as part of a cookie or brownie sundae for $5.
Canary By Gorji is serving an unusual dessert smoothie made with tomato. The key to the smoothie, says Gorji, is Irish cream liqueur and low-acidity.
Dee Lincoln signed a lease at the Shops of Highland Park to open another Dee Lincoln Steak Bar in early 2015, in the old La Duni space. This makes four locations, with two existing steak and burger bars (Uptown and Plano) and two upcoming steak bars, including the recently announced Fort Worth location.
The first Whole Foods Market in Denton County will open September 10 in the Shops at Highland Village, at FM 407 and FM 2499. New local vendors include RoRo’s Baking Company frozen cinnamon and dinner rolls, Rabbit Hole Brewing Company, and Empire Baking Company bread used in the prepared foods department. The in-store bar features beer and wine with a variety of local sips, including Four Corners and Community Beer. Wood-fired pizza: Call in your order and pick up dinner to go.
Beginning at 5 pm on August 29, the Truck Yard is offering spiked watermelons injected with tequila, fresh lime juice and triple sec. A whole watermelon is $69, for groups of five or more. They have a limited number: 40.