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September shapes up to be epic month for Dallas restaurant openings

September shapes up to be epic month for Dallas restaurant openings

Mercat, restaurant, Harwood, brunch
Hearty brunch item at Mercat Bistro tops braised mushrooms with a sunny-side egg. Photo courtesy of Mercat
Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar, Benedict burger
Burger at Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar tops a burger with a fried egg. Photo courtesy of Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar
Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs
No eggs on these hot dogs at Samon's, open now on Oak Lawn. Photo courtesy of Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs
Taverna Rossa pizzeria in Plano
Taverna Rossa in Plano pairs craft beer with pizza. Photo courtesy of Taverna Rossa
Taverna pasta
Taverna in Dallas moved a block away to its new address on Knox St. Photo courtesy of Taverna
Truck Yard
Truck Yard on Greenville feels a lot like Chicken Scratch/Foundry in West Dallas. Photo courtesy of Truck Yard
Mercat, restaurant, Harwood, brunch
Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar, Benedict burger
Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs
Taverna Rossa pizzeria in Plano
Taverna pasta
Truck Yard

If August was the dregs for restaurant openings (and it was), September is here to make up for it. So many restaurants have opened or are about to open that we'll have to eat out at a new spot every night to catch up. Get your forks ready.

Vietnamese bistro The Pho House Dallas opened at the Village on the Green, on the corner of Alpha and Noel roads. It took over the old Go Fish space and features food from three regions of Vietnam: Ha Noi, Hue and Saigon. That includes pho, banh mi, dumplings, noodles and entrées such as lemongrass chicken.

There's a "spring roll bar" with several varieties of spring rolls, plus cocktails made with herbs and wines by the glass. The first two branches are in Fort Worth and Richardson, with plans for Frisco, Plano, Houston and Austin.

New Plano pizzeria Taverna Rossa, whose chief claim to fame (besides the fact that the news of its existence was broken here on CultureMap dot com), is the menu consulting done by famed chef Brian C. Luscher, has opened. It has a "craft" theme with craft beer and "craft" pizza with toppings such as garlic-onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese, pancetta, goat cheese and dried figs.

Over on Oak Lawn, Samson's Hot Dogs is now open, from chef-owner Troy Gardner (Zubar, Expo Park Cafe), who describes it as "a really hip Chipotle, applied to incredible hot dogs." Hot dogs are on the menu along with local beers and cane sugar soft drinks.

Dee Lincoln's new steak and burger place, called Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar, is now open in the old JoJo's space across from the Quadrangle. Its list of eight to 10 unique burgers in no way resembles any other list of burgers offered at Hopdoddy's, Goodfriend Burger Bar or Liberty Burger.

A new opening date has been set for Mesero Miguel, the grander sibling of Mr. Mesero from restaurateur Mico Rodriguez: The restaurant, which hosted an arts party/preview, will open in the old Alma/Cuba Libre space on Thursday, September 19. They mean it this time!

The Truck Yard opened on September 14, with, how do you say, very little fanfare. This is the long-awaited Austin-esque outdoor park overseen by Twisted Root founder Jason Boso. Eater effuses that "it's shaping up to be Lower Greenville's — if not the entire city's — hottest new hangout." Doesn't that need an exclamation point on the end? It looks to be replicating Chicken Scratch/Foundry, but with a less stellar beer selection, rife with Blue Moon, Michelob Ultra, Coors and the usual local brews.

Quick like a bunny and stealthy like a cat, Taverna, the casual Italian from restaurateur Alberto Lombardi, moved from its little house on Armstrong Avenue to a new location on Knox Street, next-door to sibling Toulouse. Serving pastas, risotto and thin-crust pizza, the new location boasts a rustic Italian ambience that integrates modern industrial touches such as steel beams and windows.

Al's Pizzeria, formerly known as Pizza By Marco, will reopen this fall in its original location at the Village at Bachman Lake, on the northwest corner of Northwest Highway and Marsh Lane. "We are pleased to be returning to our original location near Bachman Lake in a new, updated building," said owner Medo Pjetrovic in a statement.

On the menus
Harwood District eatery Mercat Bistro has launched brunch from 9 am-2 pm with baked goods such as croissants, banana bread and Danish; its signature braised mushrooms with a fried egg; tomato and Brie tart; frittata; zeppole; and omelets, eggs Benedict and eggs Neptune (with crab hollandaise, for $16). Also "toad in the hole" with brioche and sautéed mushrooms, banana French toast, and sweet and savory crepes with fillings such as Hatch chiles and cheddar-scrambled eggs.

Frenchy chain La Madeleine has four new sandwiches on sourdough rolls priced from $8 to $9, including chicken Provence with red peppers and Gruyére; French dip with roast beef, caramelized onions and Gruyére, with a side of French onion; turkey and Brie with caramelized apples; roasted vegetable with red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, basil pesto and a goat cheese spread. Basil pesto and a goat cheese spread?

Southlake sports bar Red Dog Right has a new menu with salads, sandwiches, pizzas and "gourmet hot dogs." Highlights include a Buffalo chicken sandwich with Buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing and arugula; hot dog with queso blanco, guacamole, pico de gallo and tortilla strips; "bleu pig pizza" with blue cheese and bacon; chicken salad lettuce wraps; and fish tacos with guacamole and blackened haddock. Tilapia is one thing, but why would you blacken a Northeast fish like haddock?

Weekly features
On Sundays, Pakpao in the Design District will offer a special menu featuring hot pots, a communal-style of eating where diners swirl raw meat, seafood, noodles and vegetables in a pot of hot broth, then dip in a selection of spicy "sukiyaki" sauces before eating.

For the cocktail crew, speakeasy Smyth is taking a foodie approach to drinks with a five-course cocktail experience every Tuesday. Bartenders will do a progression of five cocktails in a sitting, such as fixes, fizzes, old-fashioneds, brambles and more. Launch night is September 17, with spirits from the acclaimed Tempus Fugit Distillery.

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