For the May edition of our monthly Where to Eat feature, there is really no choice about what the theme should be: newly opened restaurants. That's because Dallas is saturated right now with new openings, so many that they beg for a list. It seems like only days ago that we were throwing down another list of new openings — but it just shows what a high volume of newbies are opening.
Here's where to eat in Dallas right now:
Eponymous restaurant from award-winning chef and restaurateur Akira Back, a jetsetter who snowboards in Aspen and hangs out with the likes of Paris Hilton, opens on May 6 at The Boardwalk in The Colony, the first in the U.S. for this global chain. Akira Back serves authentic Japanese cuisine with a Korean accent, including sushi rolls and Kagoshima A5 Wagyu, the highest grade of Japanese Wagyu beef. The trademark dish is a tuna "pizza," a fusion feat with paper-thin slices of tuna "glued" onto a tortilla with mayonnaise. Beverages include sakes, including Akira Back's own brand, along with wine and cocktails.
Big Yummy Venezuelan Restaurant
Former food truck just opened in a former Subway at 16246 Midway Rd. in Addison, where founder Genesys Añez, a native of Venezuela, entrepreneur, and caterer, is serving amazing renditions of the food she grew up with, a perfect combination of homey-ness and polish. The menu includes sandwiches, arepas, empanadas, and sweet breads, and some dishes you don't find too often such as tequeños, cheese-filled breads, and cachapas, little corn pancakes.
After being dormant for more than a decade, venerable Dallas Tex-Mex that once ruled the Park Cities from its Inwood Village location, has been revived by Gilbert Cuellar Jr., at an address with its own storied past: the former El Fenix at 5622 Lemmon Ave. built in 1961. To properly evoke the spirit of the original Casa Rosa, Cuellar has brought back key elements people reminisce about, including the large murals. But also, the classic Tex-Mex — fajitas, enchiladas, tamales, quesadillas — for which Cuellar and his family (of El Chico fame) are known.
Northern California concept makes its Texas premiere on May 6 at the Village on the Parkway in Addison, in the former Mercy Wine Bar space, under the guidance of acclaimed Dallas chef and operating partner Aaron Staudenmaier. Menu focuses on seasonal and sharable dishes such as crispy squash blossoms filled with goat cheese; sweet potato pakoras; fontina & spinach arancini; and Moroccan-spiced lamb meatballs. The bar program is all about wine and whiskey, and the atmosphere is rustic yet refined.
This is not so much new as a rebranding: The former Up on Knox is now Knox Bistro, to properly acknowledge the input and vision of chef Bruno Davaillon, formerly of the Mansion and Bullion, who came on board last year. A release describes Knox Bistro as the full conceptualization of a French brasserie, a neighborhood destination for all occasions, with menu inspiration derived from Davaillon's native Loire Valley in France featuring dishes such as grilled salmon and bone marrow steak tartare.
Fast-casual restaurant in Oak Cliff from the owners of Yellow Rosa summons the Mexican Pacific coast with mariscos, micheladas, and a seafood market to come. The menu is influenced by different cities in Mexico including Sinaloa, Michoacan, and Veracruz, with dishes such as aguachiles, caldo de camarón, tostadas de pescado, and ceviche. They have eight varieties of Michelitros, beer on tap, wine, and margaritas. Service includes a BellaBot robotic server to deliver dishes, and they also have a pet-friendly patio.
Maple Street Food Hall
New concept in Dallas' Medical District features a collection of chef-driven food concepts including Asian, Mexican, healthy/organic, coffee, and a full bar. Located at 4711 Maple St., the enterprise was founded with a goal of serving hospital workers as well as diners seeking foodie adventures. Well-regarded restaurants that have already opened include Mai Eats Lao Kitchen & Tropical Juice Bar, famous for their red curry; and La Calle, specializing in tacos with handmade tortillas. There's also a full bar and a pretty patio.
Just-opened restaurant in Oak Cliff from Zen Sushi chef Michelle Carpenter (and named for her grandmother), Beatrice features contemporary Cajun cuisine, paying homage to Cajun family traditions, rooted in Louisiana's culture and cuisine. Led by executive chef and New Orleans native Terance Jenkins, the menu includes duck & Andouille gumbo, fried chicken with pepper jelly, and a vegan gumbo made with an assortment of leafy greens. The restaurant is also selling "Aunt Bea's Pantry Staples" such as house-made pickles, jams, and rubs.
This drive-through chain from Utah debuting at Fairview Town Center on May 6, is here mostly as a curiosity. The chain serves fountain drinks with a twist, including their trademark-branded Dirty Soda, a combination of soft drinks with mix-ins that include cream and shaved-ice syrups such as tiger's blood. Dirty sodas have become huge in Utah because they're allowed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but more recently have emerged as a social media phenomenon, particularly on TikTok.
Cult favorite ice cream from Brooklyn is making its Dallas debut at the West Village on May 7. Van Leeuwen's New York ice cream shops have earned a dedicated following for their artisanal approach to everything including using ingredients from like-minded acclaimed vendors such as Intelligentsia Coffee. They offer more than 40 flavors, some common like chocolate and cookies & cream, and some extra-gourmet like Earl Grey Tea. They're also known for their nondairy flavors, with a super creamy texture that makes them among the best vegan/nondairy ice creams on the market.