October means summer's over and new menu items are showing up at restaurants all around town. It used to be that only a select group of restaurants considered things like seasonality or special dishes for the fall. But these days, everyone's doing it, from the hotel restaurant in Plano to the bar in Uptown.
If you're looking for what's new right now, you'll find it here.
Front Room Tavern
Hotel Lumen's revised Front Room now sports a "Tavern" at the end, as well as an updated menu that balances between familiar and new, classic with a twist, not cheap but not expensive. Dishes like pork schnitzel and croque Madame are pretty stick-to-your-ribs, but check out the Texas pea fritters served with charred onion yogurt.
New seasonal kitchen concept in McKinney with chef Andrea Shackelford strives to feature items from regional farmers and ranchers. The menu has a mild Southern twang, with dishes such as deviled eggs, pimiento and cheddar cheese with chips, catfish and hushpuppies, and an appetizer of fried green tomatoes served with arugula and pickled peppers.
After a few months as executive chef, Graham Dodds is Dodding up the menu, with charcuterie, hearty dishes and seasonal flair. Dishes include Wagyu oxtail with gnocchi, and a bison combo with bison flank and sausage, plus carrot puree and shaved carrot salad. He's folding in new items regularly, such as squash from Comeback Creek Farm with pumpkin seeds and squash purée.
Chef Blythe Beck may have been away from Dallas for a while, but she still has loyal fans and a repertoire of "naughty" Southern dishes, from fried oyster Rockefeller to bacon-cheddar meatloaf. But don't overlook the lighter offerings such as garlic soup and salads, including one with maple-roasted root vegetables and Beck's spin on a wedge with iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomatoes and crispy shallots.
Locl at NYLO Plano
The name of this hotel restaurant may be missing an "A" – but that's not stopping its chef-with-an-A Anthony Knight from his aspirations-with-an-A to offer new menu items for the fall. A bowl of cool noodles comes with avocado, mango and sliced beef, while shrimp summer rolls with a refreshing cashew-cucumber sauce are good for sharing.
Chef Eric Spigner is giving this Oak Cliff favorite a new lease on life, with creative dishes that give the house-favorite pizza a run for its money. He practices an especially elevated version of Southern cuisine that's homey yet upscale, and he does impressive vegetarian dishes too. New must-gets include a Brussels sprout salad with Serrano ham, figs and pistachios, and seared turbot over corn, black-eyed peas, butternut squash and okra.
Responding to customer requests, this veteran Uptown bar is now open for lunch. The casual menu is prepared by next-door neighbor (and sibling) Bread Winners, and it includes voodoo fries topped with queso, jalapeño gravy, pork belly, Sriracha and scallions. New cocktails observe a New Orleans theme, such as the classic Hurricane and the "saintly Sazerac" with rye whiskey and absinthe.
Pan Asian restaurant from Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing has unveiled a few new dishes for fall. There's a new ceviche pairing yellowtail with grapefruit, as well as a seared scallops dish with King trumpet mushrooms, corn, edamame and Chinese five spice popcorn. But it's the drunken shrimp that requires a special trip, with shrimp over Korean stir-fried noodles and fermented chili butter.
New chef de cuisine Mark Gordy is doing a special tasting menu Tuesdays through Thursdays, including a five-course for $65, eight-course for $100 and an even pricier chef's tasting menu. Items will change daily and seasonally, but keep an eye out for the pasta with truffles.
VH Oak Cliff
New restaurant in the old Campo spot features two Lombardi alumni, including chef Eric Brandt. Skip past the macho pork tenderloin and pot roast with cheddar grits, and consider the pastas: chicken and linguine with spinach or the diavolo-sounding spaghetti nero with smoked ham, calamari, artichoke hearts, bread crumbs and spicy marinara sauce.
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