A second branch of Dish restaurant, called Dish Preston Hollow, will resurrect a location that didn't turn out so well for its last tenant. The restaurant is going into the space at Hillcrest Avenue and Northwest Highway previously occupied by Soleo Mexican. It will open at the end of the year, says owner Tim McEneny.
McEneny opened the original Dish five years ago on the ground floor of the Ilume building on Cedar Springs Road. Chef Garreth Dickey joined in 2011 and has given the place a reputation for interesting and reliable food, from grilled salmon with vegetables to braised short ribs with barbecue sauce.
McEneny says the Preston Hollow location will be very similar, though not identical, to the one at Ilume.
"Will it have the same characteristics of the other one? Maybe a few," McEneny says. "Will the menu be the same? It'll be 90 percent the same. We believe that what we've put together at the other Dish, and guests are telling us, that it's 4-star food. We believe it's good enough that we can take it on the road. This will be the first test."
That location, although it has a spacious and easily accessible parking garage, has a limited number of drive-up spots. "I think it's a B-plus location," he says. "But we're offering free valet."
Meanwhile, he's ripped out the stone and other decorative items Soleo installed, saying that he's investing "a pretty strong chunk of change – I bet easily three quarters of a million dollars." He's not cowed by Soleo's failure to make a go of it.
"I think a big part of their problem is that they were right next to El Fenix," he says. "Who would open a Mexican restaurant next to El Fenix?
"I built Dish to be like a Houston's but with different food, and I think we've accomplished that," he says. "Garreth does a great job, and he will have first say over both kitchens, although we'll hire a chef for Preston Hollow. We plan to serve both lunch and dinner at that location, because the neighborhood supports it."