Autumn is here. Actually, it feels more like winter is here. The change in season means restaurants have introduced new menus, from chef-driven spots in Oak Cliff to national chains with budget diners in mind.
Driftwood, the chichi seafood spot in Oak Cliff, has a new fall menu featuring smoked ocean trout with green apple gel, spaghetti alla chitarra with pesto and Parmesan. Salads such as romaine with Medjool dates and pine nuts sound sweet. Desserts include lemongrass pot de creme with white chocolate macaron and sweet potato ice cream.
Fogo de Chão has two new seasonal salads to highlight its 30-plus-item salad bar. Orange and kale salad has kale mixed with mild red onion, lightly laced with citrus dressing and topped with orange sections. Roasted beet and butternut squash salad has cubed roasted red beets and butternut squash, feta cheese crumbles and toasted pumpkin seeds tossed in a tangy garlic, lime and rosemary herb salad dressing.
Sundown at Granada has some new items such as a sushi roll, fish tacos and mole chicken tower. Sundown's strict, non-GMO stance has inspired a substitution of its only GMO item: French fries. From now on, the restaurant will offer fried falafel as an alternative to fries.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill has budget diners in mind with its new four-course, Italian trattoria-inspired tasting menu for only $15, served through January 5, 2014. It starts with ravioli and Caesar salad, followed by choice of spaghetti with tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil, or fettuccine Alfredo with creamy Parmesan sauce. The fourth course features any two of Macaroni Grill’s spiedini, grilled skewers of sausage, chicken, steak or shrimp topped with verde sauce. (Steak or shrimp costs a wee bit more.)
Mimi’s Cafe, which has branches in Arlington, Allen and Grapevine, has a new commitment to authentic French classic dishes. That includes croissants baked in-house daily, bouillabaisse, salmon Nicoise, coq au vin, mussels and brioche croque madame. Mimi's Cafe was recently acquired by Le Duff America Inc, a subsidiary of the Rennes, France-based Groupe Le Duff.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf brings back favorite holiday drinks including winter dream tea latte and red velvet hot cocoa. Tea lattes are made in much the same way as an espresso latte, but with rooibus and black tea leaves in place of the espresso.
Crisp Salad Company opens December 4 at 2020 Greenville Ave. At long last, you can build your own salad or go for a Cobb or kale. Crisp also offer soups, artisan bread, gluten-free bread, and mini cupcakes and yogurt parfaits.
The former Private Social space has a new restaurant coming called Barter. Consulting on the menu and restaurant is Fort Worth chef Tim Love. Already gone is the distinctive metal "curtain" that separated the dining room from the bar, to be replaced by a more rustic wooden divider and cork floors throughout. The restaurant is forecast to open around Thanksgiving.
Chef Tim Byres and his Smoke partners Christopher Jeffers and Christopher Zielke took over the Oak Cliff spot that was Outpost American Tavern and before that Campo Bistro. The new concept will debut in a couple of weeks.
Unrefined Bakery will open a third branch on Greenville Avenue, in the space that was previously Society Bakery, which is moving into a bigger space a few doors down. Unrefined has locations in Lakewood and Frisco and is known for gluten-free, soy-free and organic baked treats.
Speaking of Greenville Avenue, Dude, Sweet Chocolate opened a small storefront at 1925 Greenville Ave. It'll be open every day from 11 am to 6 pm, and on weekend nights until 11 pm.
Taking over the defunct Wicked Po' Boys spot in Preston Center is Miss Chi Vietnamese, a new restaurant from Wicked owners Joey and Chi Le, who also own Tanoshii Ramen in Deep Ellum. Wicked was only open a few months before it closed in August. Time waits for no one.
Speaking of new restaurants, these have opened in the past two weeks: