News You Can Eat

Loads of new eateries top off this rendition of Dallas restaurant news

Loads of new eateries top off this rendition of Dallas restaurant news

Olive Garden pumpkin cheesecake
Did you help name this pumpkin cheesecake? Photo courtesy of Olive Garden

Lots of openings all around Dallas-Fort Worth make this an especially well-traveled episode of dining news. There's new ice cream, new seafood, new healthy restaurants, and with it being fall, pumpkin news.

Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:

Cow Tipping Creamery, the ice cream shop that made soft-serve a trend, has opened in Carrollton at 1309 S. Broadway St., next door to its sibling Cane Rosso. Cow Tipping Creamery previously had a truck outside Monkey King Noodle, but it shut down in winter 2017. Monkey King closed in June, so Cow Tipping took over the vacant building and is revamping the space with indoor and patio seating for ice cream any time of the year. It serves ice cream and sundae "stackers" such as the Southern charm with rum-caramel sauce, pecans, Southern cracker candy, and blue sugar crystals. It's open 4-9 pm Thursday, 12-10 pm Friday-Saturday, and 12-9 pm Sunday.

The Yard, the farmhouse chic eatery in McKinney serving backyard grub in one of McKinney’s most historic homes, is open. The restaurant is from 33 Restaurant Group, which owns Union Beer Brewing Co. in Plano, Cadillac Pizza Pub in McKinney, Taverna Rossa Craft Pizza and Beer in Plano and Southlake, and Heritage Pizza and Taproom in The Colony. The menu has chicken wings, beer cheese dip, a club, a signature burger, nachos, beer, cocktails, frozen, and tapped signature spirits such as the Perl Frosé. The historic home at 107 S. Church St. dates back to 1878 and for many years was home to Cafe Milagro.

Shell Shack, the seafood chain, has opened a restaurant in Denton at I-35 near the Golden Triangle Mall, inside the former Dani Rae’s Gulf Coast Kitchen. The completely remodeled interior features the same vibrant design as other Shell Shack locations, with chalkboard walls, white tables, and pops of color. The full bar is stocked with beer, wine, and cocktails to wash down the food. The Denton menu has boiled crab, shrimp, or crawfish, with potatoes, corn, and sausage, served in a giant bag for spilling onto the table. This is the sixth DFW location for Shell Shack, which started in Uptown Dallas in 2013.

Gather Kitchen, the fast-casual concept that opened in downtown Dallas in 2017, is opening a second location in Preston Center, at 6135 Luther Ln. It maintains its focus on all-natural meats and proteins and fresh ingredients, with tailored meal programs for vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, and Whole 30. New dishes include wild-caught marinated salmon; "everything but bagel" tofu nuggets; and black bean patties. Preston Center will also introduce new breakfast items including smoothie bowls and sweet potato toasts.

Popbar, famous for its gelato, sorbetto, and yogurt on a stick, has opened a location in Victory Park at 2420 Victory Park Ln. They make small batches, 26 popbars at a time, in 40 rotating flavors, with dippings and toppings, plus unique treats like the newly launched gelatoshake. There are also vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free options. Popbar currently has 19 stores in the U.S., and 11 stores internationally. Popbar Victory Park is the fifth new location to open in 2018.

Rush Bowls, the fast-casual chain known for meals-in-a-bowl, has opened a second location in Flower Mound, following the first Dallas-area location that opened in August in Mockingbird Station. Founded in 2004, Rush offers meals crafted from fruit, granola, and honey, blended with protein, vitamins, and other ingredients. Choose from more than 40 bowls or smoothies including acai, kale, and avocado. The Flower Mound store is at 2400 Lakeside Pkwy., and is from husband-and-wife Michael and April Fuchs, who also plan to open a location in their hometown Keller.

Bowen House, the cocktail bar in Uptown Dallas, has a new private Bar Within A Bar. Located in the back of the historical home of Ahab Bowen, the private room plays host with booth seating, bar area, mixologist, and server for 15-20 guests. General manager Joe Shirghio says they're excited to offer a private area to mix, mingle, enjoy our cocktails and food menu and relax.

Captain D's, the Nashville-based fast-food seafood chain, has opened a location in Plano, east of US-75 at 603 E. 15th St., in a former Wendy's. It's the 15th Captain D's in Texas, and the first for Collin County. It's owned and operated by first-time franchisees Mohammed and Amira Alalimiy, a husband-and-wife team with more than 20 years with Golden Chick. The signature at Captain D's, which has more than 530 restaurants in 22 states, is hand-battered fish, plus grilled shrimp, surf and turf, hushpuppies, desserts, and Southern-style sweet tea.

Jamba Now is a new concept from Jamba Juice, the national smoothie chain, and a location has opened in McKinney. It features drive-thru and walk-up ordering options, making it easy for guests to grab a healthful option on-the-go. It's located at 1658 W. University Dr., also known as "in the Sam’s Club parking lot."

Olive Garden, the Italian chain, is is releasing its first dessert named by guests: Chunkin' Pumpkin Cheesecake. A release says that fans named it via a July poll on various social media channels. That'll teach ya, Olive Garden. It's a pumpkin cheesecake on a chocolate cookie crust, studded and topped with brownie bites and drizzled with fudge. It'll show up on the menu on September 24, but you can also get it before then by asking for it.

Vidorra, the new restaurant and rooftop bar in Deep Ellum, has introduced weekend brunch Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-3 pm. Menu highlights include a Mexican egg casserole with chorizo, tortillas, black beans, corn, and fried avocado; and green chile eggs benedict with sweet potato hash, veggies, chorizo, poached eggs, green chili hollandaise, red onions, and micro greens. Churro toast is like a cinnamon sugar-dusted French toast with golden agave syrup and fried banana slices. Cocktails include the Muy Mimosa with pineapple, cilantro, coconut, jalapeño, St. Germaine, Cantarino, and bubbles.

Holy Grail Pub, the Plano gastropub, has a new menu by chef Shimond Bradley, who returns after a seven-year absence following stints at Casa Rubia and other eateries. He's elevated the menu with new dishes including a seasonal entree on Fridays, and improved signature items. Mushy peas have been reimagined as smashed pea toast, with farmer's cheese, pea tendrils, tomatoes, and pickled onion on sourdough bread. Caramelized cauliflower is tossed in green pepper Romano sauce with Craisins and candied pecans. Shrimp and grits has marinated peppers and Alabama white sauce. Mac and cheese has been promoted to entrée status with a larger portion that includes lardons and jalapeño jam. Half-chicken is cooked sous-vide then grilled and placed atop green garlic pistou sauce, with mashed potatoes. Two entrée sized salads are new: Wedge with everything dressing; and spicy kale, with serrano pepper vin and taco spiced pepitas.

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille, the Uptown steakhouse, is offering a red blend wine tasting flight featuring three 2-ounce pours of different Rodney Strong Red Blend wines: the 2014 Symmetry Meritage Red Wine, 2015 Rowen Red Wine, and 2015 Upshot Red Wine Blend. Perry’s corporate sommelier Susi Zivanovic says the the flight highlights the diversity of the flavor profiles available with red blends, providing an interesting contrast and encouraging guests to try the Rowan and the Upshot, which are new blends. The flight is $26 and is available through September.

The Rustic is hosting Taco & Tequila Tuesdays with a flight featuring three tacos and three samples of Cazadores Tequila: blanco, reposado, and añejo. The signature Joe Leo Tacos include carnitas pork shoulder, smoked brisket, and chicken tinga with tomatillo. It's $20 and will be offered through October 30.

Industry Alley Bar, in The Cedars neighborhood just south of downtown, has a new limited-edition cocktail menu with flavors inspired by the State Fair of Texas. It has a quartet of items such as the Lemon Chill, a vodka sweet and tart drink, and the Elotero, a buttery, salty, corn whiskey cocktail. It'll run the length of the fair.

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen has three new menu items including chicken tender parmesan: chicken tenders with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, over spaghetti. Two new desserts include the Painkiller Mini Cake, based on Cheddar's Painkiller cocktail; and the chocolate raspberry mini cake. The items are all prepared in the in-house scratch kitchen and all three can be tried for under $15.

Mimi's Café has two all-new menus: Pumpkin Everything, featuring the seasonal favorite pumpkin spice, is available now through November 11 and includes pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin griddlecakes, pumpkin crème muffin, and pumpkin pie cheesecake, paired with a salted caramel mimosa. Beginning September 26, Mimi’s will launch its Flavors of Fall menu featuring seasonal dishes made with Samuel Adams sauces, including pork chop with Samuel Adams glaze, brisket ciabatta sandwich, chicken ciabatta sandwich, and loaded brisket mac and cheese, paired with a cinnamon apple sangria.

Smoothie King has four seasonal pumpkin smoothies, made from organic pumpkin, although they don't say what else is in them. [Note: According to an email, they also have, depending on the smoothie, dates, milk, almond milk, frozen yogurt, and banana.] The Slim-N-Trim Pumpkin has 240 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 15 grams of protein. The Coffee High Protein Pumpkin, which sounds a lot like the protein smoothies Starbucks recently introduced, has 31 grams of protein. Who needs all that protein? There's also a vegan pumpkin, and a "pumpkin D-lite" made with fro-yo and no sugar. Sounds D-lish. Available until December 26.

Twin Peaks has remodeled its location in Lewisville at 2601 Stemmons Fwy. Cool, did they ditch the exploitation of their female servers? They don't say. They've added seating, including communal tables, updated bar seating, and dining room booths. The bar area has been expanded and is now double-sided with outside roll-down screens. AV packages have been enhanced, including the restaurant’s 55 TVs. The number of beers on tap has doubled from 12 to 24. The bourbon and whiskey offerings have also been expanded to a more comprehensive list, including Texas-made bourbons. Nothing about the servers.

Dixon's Pale Ale is a new beer launched by Hop and Sting at Grapevine Craft Brewery in partnership with local rescue group Dallas Pets Alive. A portion of the proceeds from every beer sold will go directly to Dallas Pets Alive. Dixon’s Pale Ale is an American pale ale with intense hop flavor and aroma, balanced with a light caramel malt finish. It's available in the taproom at Grapevine Craft Brewery and through off-site sales. This is the first beer in North Texas to be created in honor of a rescue dog and the first brew where sales directly benefit a rescue organization.

Truluck's celebrates its 20-year anniversary in Uptown Dallas and with chef Manuel "Manny" Vera, who's worked there for 20 years. He's at the helm of all things culinary, and is a partner in the organization.