Wine Bar 2.0

Cedar Springs restaurant teases Dallas diners with wine and small bites

Cedar Springs restaurant teases diners with wine and small bites

Tour de Vin
Wine will be flowing at the new Orno on Cedar Springs Road. Courtesy of the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas

An address on Cedar Springs Road that's experienced some turnover has a promising new restaurant set to open in late May. Called Orno, it'll go into the space at 3908 Cedar Springs Rd. most previously occupied by Winslow's Wine Cafe.

Orno comes from Nael Rodriguez, who has worked with a number of restaurant groups in Dallas, from Lombardi to DRG Concepts to eateries such as Mesa and Mesa Maya. This will be the first place he can call his own. The central conceit will be bocaditos, or small bites.

"In Spain and Mexico, a bocadito is a bite of something," he says. "The idea will be that, when you order a cocktail, you'll get a small bite. It's very European and it makes you want to order another cocktail or beer."

There is a full menu, which Rodriguez worked on with Shannon Ramirez, who has worked at such restaurants as the French Room and Stephan Pyles. It includes everything from flatbreads and sandwiches on house-baked bread to a "great salad" with honey-walnut vinaigrette.

"We'll be doing shared plates, where you order a 22-ounce bone-in rib-eye that you slice up and share with the table," he says. "And we have an amazing brick oven, so almost every dish that gets plated will go through that oven."

The menu will incorporate some of Rodriguez's favorite dishes and cuisines, including French, Mediterranean, and Mexican foods. "We're at the scale where we can do a new menu regularly, to rotate with seasons if something good comes along," he says.

There'll be cocktails, craft beer, and wine, with by-the-glass prices ranging from $9 to $14. "I've already gotten feedback from the neighborhood that they want a place to drink wine," Rodriguez says. To enhance what he hopes will be a social atmosphere, there'll be live music and strong customer service.

Winslow's opened in 2015 as the second branch of a popular wine bar concept from Fort Worth. But the owners had some family issues, and were never quite able to find the right team for the Dallas location. They closed in October 2016.

Previously, it was a juice bar, before that, the coffee shop Buli Cafe. That's some turnover, but Rodriguez feels optimistic that his experience and commitment will be the right fit.

"There's so much foot traffic here, and lots of development with townhomes and apartments sprouting up two blocks away," he says. "The owners had done so much work on the space, I feel lucky to have it.

"The point of doing this is to create a place where diners can focus not just on the dinner but on the people around them," he says.