January usually is a quiet month for restaurant openings. But Dallas-Fort worth is booming these days, and we're having a banner month on the food front. If your idea of good times is to scramble to get into the places that everyone else is going, then this is your list.
Here are 10 opportunities for you to finagle a reservation or possibly even wait in line:
BB Bop Seoul Kitchen R&D
Korean fusion restaurant specializing in the dish called bibimbap is the third branch from Steve Shin, Sandra Bussey, and chef Greg Bussey, but with a twist for Oak Cliff: Specific to this location in a former auto repair shop is the "R&D" in the name, which gives a hint to its experimental approach. That includes features such as a to-go window for fried chicken.
18th & Vine
This is no ordinary barbecue spot. For starters, it has Uptown decor, with nice booths and table service. Second, its stated focus is Kansas City-style barbecue, which mostly means that they do burnt ends. Third, its menu also includes creations from former Bijoux chef Scott Gottlich. Aside from the perennial appeal of barbecue, they do an excellent rendition of fried okra with whole battered pods.
Chef Matt McCallister's second restaurant is designed for the "everyday crowd," i.e., more casual than FT33. The machinist shop theme with exposed brick walls and wooden ceiling beams makes handy use of a vintage Deep Ellum building. Chef Cody Sharp is overseeing a menu of onion dip with warm potato chips, trout fritters, and pork chop with braised collards. There's also a "secret" burger available at the bar that's not really that secret. Sshhh!
Half sandwich shop, half ice cream shop located in the former Maudee's Cafe on Lovers Lane, Howdy is the do-good project of restaurateur Tom Landis that employs individuals with special needs. It has a short menu of sandwiches, including a BLT, chicken panino, and roasted veggie, plus 12 flavors of ice cream, such as mint chocolate chip, coffee, cookies and cream, and the signature Dr Pepper chocolate chip.
Oak Cliff restaurant from Jonathan Kovens and his mother, Esther Gallegos, took over the short-lived Fish restaurant (a space that was previously home to Mexican restaurants such as Los Herrera Cafe). They're serving classic American dishes with a twist, such as meatballs, Tater tots with Shiner cheese sauce, and a battered chicken sandwich. They're hip to the popularity of brunch, with Bloody Marys and mimosas priced super-cheap.
After months in the works, new barbecue restaurant is finally open in the spot in the center of Lakewood that was previously Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill. A project from Jason Hall, who owns 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House in Frisco, it serves your prototypical barbecue fare, including brisket, smoked turkey, ribs, and sausage, as well as classic BBQ sides such as macaroni and cheese, fried okra, green beans, and potato salad.
Seafood restaurant from chef Nick Badovinus picks up the former Spoon spot in Preston Center, with oysters, mussels, chowder, Dungeness crab, and a burger. You can't not have a burger. Atmosphere is casual-chic, with an emphasis on chic, not cheap; the steak frites are $39. Seafood theme pervades the decor as well, with pole-mounted seats at the bar reminiscent of a bass boat, and Seattle-themed graphics on the wall.
Paul Martin's American Grill
New grill concept from owners of P.F. Chang's has food that's good in a predictable, nonthreatening sort of way. If you simply cannot get enough mac and cheese, short ribs, or spinach dip, you'll want to add this place to your list. Selection of wines by the glass is broad, but the big draw here is the chance to rub elbows with Park Cities' finest.
Things always taste better when they're from Austin, don't you agree? Dallas does agree, and the latest import is this popular taco spot, which made its local debut at Sylvan Thirty. It has more than three dozen taco options, with beef, chicken, fish, and more. The hugely essential breakfast-taco category includes one called the Freaking Vegan, with black beans and avocado.
One of the hottest openings right now is this new eatery from Brandon Hays and Phil Schanbaum (So & So’s, High Fives, Standard Pour, Whippersnapper), with partnering chef Graham Dodds. The menu includes Windy Meadows chicken and dumplings with parsnips and carrots, skate wing with fingerling potato salad, beef Bolognese lasagna, smoked lamb brisket, mushroom tamales, and parsley root gnocchi with mushrooms and artichokes.