For this edition of Where to Eat, CultureMap's monthly feature on where to eat in Dallas — one launched in 2013 that has since been copied by others far and wide — we're focused on what's newly opened this spring.
Not included on this list are five restaurants we deemed "over the top" including three $uper-$pendy restaurants — Carbone, Sadelle's, The Mexican. Other newly opened restaurants also not on this list include Fiatto, Darkoo's Chicken Shack, and Odelay Tex-Mex. To put forth a list of what's opened this spring and not mention them would be remiss. So mention them we have.
Here's what's hot and new in Dallas for April:
Bresnan Bread and Pastry
Mom-and-pop bakery known for European-style baked goods opened its storefront in McKinney, at 301B E. Louisiana St., where it's selling its trademark breads, pastries, cookies, and pies. They were previously available at farmers markets and by weekly pop-ups at Brown Bag Provisions. They're open Thursday-Friday-and-Saturday from 7 am-2 pm, but owners Matt and Jenna Bresnan plan to eventually expand the hours.
Chicago Avenue Hot Dogs
Authentic hot dog (and more) spot just opened in Frisco, where it's already wowing Chicago natives with hot dogs, fries, and Italian beef sandwiches. Their Chicago hot dog comes with mustard, relish, celery salt, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, kosher pickle, and sport peppers piled onto a steamed poppy-seed bun. They also have a chili cheese dog, and a Maxwell Street Polish sausage grilled and topped with mustard and sliced grilled onions. The location boasts touches of Chicago culture including checked tablecloths and iconic street signs.
New BBQ place from pitmaster Tim McLaughlin (Lockhart Barbecue) opened on April 4 in Farmers Branch at 4400 Spring Valley Rd. The menu features basics such as brisket, ribs, sausage, and turkey, as well as salmon and prime rib. An array of sides with neat French and Asian touches includes baked beans with soy-smoked onion and Anaheim chili; hominy with epazote and cotija; mac n' cheese with Vermont white cheddar cheese and smoked garlic; and miso honey slaw with miso, honey and pickled ginger.
Acclaimed Thai food place at the Quadrangle has relocated to another address at the Quadrangle, at 2688 Laclede St. #100, so that's kind of an opening. Originally opened in 2014, it's one of the only restaurants that survived an ongoing makeover at the Quadrangle, and that's surely good for the neighbors who can continue to enjoy Crushcraft's well-prepared dishes such as OG Phat Thai, drunken noodles, their prized khao soi, and lighter dishes such as yum gai chicken lettuce wraps — but in new festively-decorated environs.
New concept with tacos, bowls, and cocktails from Hospitality Inspirado, the group behind Hugo's Invitados, opened in mid-March in the West Village, in the former Taco Diner space. They're into accommodating all diners with a particular focus on gluten-free. The Camarón taco has garlic cilantro-lime marinated shrimp, jicama, red slaw, and chipotle aioli. The Honest Omelette, available all day, can be made with eggs or egg whites, plus spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions, and choice of cheese. The menu also includes avocado hummus, brie cheese bites, guacamole, queso, and elote.
East Coast-inspired chain from Vandelay Hospitality (East Hampton Sandwich, Drake's) just opened a new location at 5904 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving. It's a sophisticated place with oysters, cheeseburger, French chicken with chicken breast & skinny fries, and butterscotch sundaes. They do a brisk brunch with lemon poppyseed buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote, eggs Benedict with choice of ham, lobster, or smoked salmon, and Hudson sandwich with bacon, egg, American cheese, & avocado. This is their fourth location, following Highland Park, North Dallas, and Lakewood.
San Antonio-based vegan fast-food chain opened its first Dallas location after more than a year in the making. Fried "chicken-less" sandwiches are their trademark, such as the Spicy Project, featuring breaded fried chikn with spicy garlic Buffalo sauce and ranch. Other winners include mac & cheese, loaded fries (topped with onion, jalapeños, and vegan queso), and a trio of burgers including the decadent Mushroom Impossible, with caramelized onion, beer-marinated mushrooms, and smoked Provolone cheese.
In fantastic news for downtown Dallas and Italian food fans everywhere, former Design District Italian restaurant re-opened at the Joule hotel on April 8, for dinner only at first, with the addition of lunch to follow. Under the guidance of chef Jason Zygmont, it's serving creative interpretations of modern and regional Italian cuisine, including tomato-braised meatballs, tuna carpaccio, stuffed castelvetrano olives, ricotta agnolotti, black spaghetti, tagliatelle bolognese, black pepper bucatini, and thin crust pizzas, with three-day fermented dough.
Iconic '90s Italian restaurant was revived by This & That Hospitality (Ferris Wheelers, Tiny Victories, Alice) who re-opened it on Henderson Avenue with upscale food and cocktails including the signature frozen Bellini, for dinner and weekend brunch. The menu is both nostalgic and modern, with wonderfully familiar and elegant items such as prosciutto & melon, filet with garlic-rosemary mashed potatoes, portobello mushroom fries, and a breakfast pizza with prosciutto, bacon, and a sunny-side egg.
French-inspired restaurant and bar opened in February at the Renaissance Hotel Saint Elm Dallas Downtown at 1907 Elm St. Named for New Orleans writer, producer and performer Allen Toussaint, it observes hotel hours — breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily — with food that incorporates French and Asian flavors, plus NOLA-inspired cocktails. The menu features French staples such as steak tartare, steak frites with NY strip, roasted chicken, and an Asian-inspired lobster Thermidor.