October is here, and you're wondering where to eat. What are the cool spots, the top chefs and — holy mother of Paula Deen — where are the foodies hanging out? We found them. They're all here: the 10 hot restaurants in Dallas right now.
The new restaurant from lawyer brothers Brooks and Bradley Anderson (of Veritas Wine Room fame) and chef Nathan Tate of Restaurant Ava, Boulevardier is the gourmand pick of the moment; in fact, it just made Texas Monthly's Pat's Picks. The menu is supercalifragalicious if you like meat. There is charcuterie, steak frites, cassoulet, marrow bones, burgers, lamb stew and — no surprise from these oenophiles — a big wine list.
East Hampton Sandwich Co.
Huh, a place that specializes in sandwiches. Potbelly? No, silly: East Hampton Sandwich Co., where sandwiches are fancy and, at $8 to $16, pricey too. The menu includes the new must-have, a lobster roll, plus turkey with avocado, three chicken sandwiches and the always-popular cheeseburger. Unlike Potbelly, EHSC has beer and wine.
If you weren't all over the old Harry Hines spot, now's your chance to try Mecca, the breakfast institution, which moved to this new location in East Dallas, in the old Tipperary Inn space, in September. Breakfast is the thing to get, and it's served all day: pancakes, migas and the signature big-as-a-house cinnamon roll.
For five years, Afghan Grill served excellent middle-Eastern dishes in a modest space in far North Dallas. Now its younger sister, Nora, gets the spotlight, bringing unique specialties like braised pumpkin to the gourmet-starved neighborhood of Greenville Avenue.
Ocho Kitchen + Cocktails
As you might surmise from the name, Ocho Kitchen + Cocktails is equal parts food and booze. Owners of this Preston Center spot include Benjamin Crosland and Brian Black (Il Sole, Mi Piaci), while Santa Fe chef Eric DiStefano devised the menu of Mexi-American dishes such as meatloaf and mashed potatoes and a Kobe burger. Mexi? Well, the meal does start with chips and salsa.
Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill
Many people insist that Sea Breeze does the best, most authentic lobster rolls in town; they were certainly the first. Many people like the lobster roll so much, they'll drive to Plano to get one. Here's another reason: Sea Breeze is doing whole-belly fried clams, another New England signature, in which the entire clam is fried, not just the chewy muscular "strip." Nobody else has them — not yet, anyway.
Park Cities mom Erin McKool couldn't find suitable fast food for her kids. So she opened her own place: Start, where the burgers are grass-fed, the eggs are cage-free and the fast-food chowing can go down with less remorse. Even the compostable to-go containers are guilt-free. Yay, Mom.
Before Bishop Arts became the white-hot center it is today, Tillman's Roadhouse was there first, doing funky down-home food with a fun, party vibe. The digs have gotten a lot nicer, but 20 years later, the spirit is the same. Owner Sara Tillman celebrates her anniversary October 5 with live music and a cake and a party all month long.
Tried and True
Hyperkinetic chef Nick Badovinus expands his empire with Tried and True, taking over the old Neighborhood Services Tavern space. It's different from NST. It's more like his other concept, Off Site Kitchen. And, yet, it's not exactly the same. Anyway, it's Nick. What more do you need to know?
If you like upscale Tex-Mex, then Urban Rio must be on your list. D Magazine's Nancy Nichols loved its complex sauces and salsas, and the cocktails aren't bad, either. For dwellers of the northern 'burbs, it's a snap. For everyone else, it's right off the DART Rail downtown Plano stop.