Fire in the house

Tattooed chef Matt McCallister to open FT33, his own place in the Dallas Design District

Tattooed chef Matt McCallister to open FT33, his own place in the Dallas Design District

Chef Matt McCallister, Dallas' favorite tattooed dabbler in molecular gastronomy, is finally getting his own restaurant: FT33, a seasonally driven restaurant featuring dishes with Texas-sourced ingredients prepared using classic and modern techniques. McCallister's place will open in the Dallas Design District in October.

FT33 is an insider-y name that refers to a secret language used by chefs. (Oooh, we love secret languages.) "FT" stands for "fire table," which is the command the chef uses to alert the kitchen staff to prepare a course; "33" is code for "chef's table," a special table in the dining room.

McCallister worked at Stephan Pyles in Dallas for five years; upon his departure, he was executive chef. He and his wife, Iris, organize the popular Chefs For Famers events in support of local farmers. Most recently, he consulted on the menu at the recently closed CampO Modern Country Bistro. But FT33 is his first place.

 FT33 is an insider-y name that refers to a secret language used by chefs. "FT" stands for "fire table," which is the command the chef uses to alert the staff to prepare a course; "33" is code for "chef's table."

According to a release, the menu comprises four categories — beginning, fish, meat and dessert — and it will change with the seasons. Fall dishes include cauliflower with braised grapes, capers and piquillo chile; short stack of uni and chive pancakes with bonito aioli and yuzu kosho; and pork jowl with parsnip, black truffle, parsley and mango.

The bar has its own menu with a Texas theme: wild boar Sloppy Joes with black pepper brioche, cheddar fondue and pickles; cast iron cornbread with mango chutney and hot sauce butter; and lamb ribs with roasted dates.

FT33 has a dedicated pastry chef: Joshua Valentine, whose menu also will rotate seasonally. Desserts on opening day sound pretty high concept: chocolate with banana, caramel and sea salt and peanut butter with grapes, curry and raisins. Ryan Tedder is general manager and sommelier.

The restaurant has 80 seats, with a 10-seat bar. According to a release, a sculpture of five reused oil drum lids will decorate the main dining room, and the focal point will be a "suspended, 100-year-old, 140-pound Vulcan anvil with a piercing white flower." Architect and designer Craig Beneke, of AI Architecture and Fabrication, and designer Hatsumi Kuzuu, of Kuzuu Design, collaborated on the interior. McCallister posted a photo of himself on Facebook personally reclaiming barn wood; other materials include concrete and steel.

Chef Matt McCallister
Chef Matt McCallister of FT33. Photo by Jenna Rosier
FT33, Matt McCallister, chicken
FT33's chicken breast with chicken confit. Photo by Teresa Gubbins
FT33, scallops
FT33's scallops with puréed cauliflower. Photo by Teresa Gubbins