For the June edition of Where to Eat, CultureMap's monthly feature on best restaurants to try, we've assembled an intriguing assortment that includes newcomers, brand-newcomers, and one much anticipated returning favorite.
Here's where to eat in Dallas right now:
New restaurant in Preston Center is from Bobby Pollette, a caterer and private chef who has cooked everywhere from Hawaii to Aspen to Palm Beach. The menu uses classical French techniques, but with influences from all over, with a worldly sense of style. Dishes include halibut wrapped in mustard greens, then grilled, served on a corn sauce with baby turnips, and an innovative risotto starring cauliflower and smoked tomato. They're starting out gently, just lunch for now, featuring clever sandwiches such as a Reuben with kim chi, and a "Hawaiian Cuban," containing smoked pork, ham cured in-house, and house-made pickles, with dinner coming in the next few weeks.
Downtown Dallas gets a sweet new spot in the cute Mid-Elm Lofts building, also home to its sibling restaurant Sky Blossom, both owned by veteran restaurateur Salina Le. The menu is New American, but with lots of international touches. Tempting starters include fritto misto, tofu lettuce bowls, grilled pork bites, steak bites with Korean BBQ sauce, lobster bites in tempura batter with yuzu sauce, tuna bowls, and chicken karaage. Entrees include garlic pasta, rack of lamb, scallops, salmon buerre Meuniere, and filet mignon, and there's a serious commitment to dessert including banana tart, lava cake, creme brulee, and a dessert flight with chocolate mousse, matcha cheesecake, and pavlova.
New brunch spot in Plano strives to provide an authentic Korean cafe experience. They source their coffee beans from Onyx Coffee Labs and ceremonial-grade matcha imported from Japan. The menu features brunch and Korean-inspired dishes. including tacos, a bulgogi rice bowl, K-Town fried chicken tenders, udon noodles, pork dumplings, avocado toast, and eight burgers including one topped with kimchi. A favorite dish so far is the fab fusion fest chicken croffle and kimchi fries.
Darna Mediterranean Market
Worldly market and eatery just opened in the former Barnes & Noble space at Legacy West in Plano. Darna is from veteran restaurateur Yaser Khalaf (Mondo Pizza, Baboush in Dallas, Shawarma Bar in Fort Worth), and represents his celebration of the shops, cafés, street vendors and bazaars found in the Mediterranean. You can dine in, on dishes such as Greek feta fondue, pastrami hummus, and chicken kabobs; or else grab and go from a deli featuring ready-to-eat offerings as well as salad and sandwich stations where you can build your own, A coffee bar boasts pastries, desserts, and Turkish coffee, and a full-service alcohol bar offers craft cocktails, beer, and wine.
Douglas Bar and Grill
New BBQ restaurant in Snider Plaza is from Doug Pickering, former chef at Ferris Wheelers Backyard, along with partners Michael Sharp and Zach Warner, marrying traditional BBQ staples with Southern cooking and the occasional twist such as a brisket grilled cheese sandwich. It's a pretty simple menu. There are smoked meats, meat combo plates, meat sandwiches such as the Meat Sweats with brisket and turkey, and side dishes with meat such as beans with brisket and slaw with bacon. There's also a full bar with cocktails, beer, and even wine by the glass. No meat in the wine, sorry.
Florida-based concept is a burger-and-craft-beer concept inspired by Henry Ford himself, which just opened its first Texas location in Plano, at 3904 Dallas Pkwy. Ford's is a licensee of the Ford Motor Company, enabling them to use the company's iconic blue oval logo and other brand imagery. The Plano location is sculpted to look like a 1920s service station and is filled to the brim with Ford memorabilia, including vintage vehicles, fixtures, and gas pumps, as well as a Model T or Model A car suspended above the center bar. The menu is all-American with meatloaf, wings, onion rings, mac & cheese, and salads; burgers include a vegetarian option, served on buns branded with the Ford logo. A full bar includes craft beer with over 20 local and domestic options.
Dallas' West Village gets its Mexican back with the early June opening of Hugo's Invitados, taking over the space at 3699 McKinney Ave. formerly occupied by Mi Cocina. This is the second location; the first debuted in Las Colinas in 2018. The menu mirrors the Las Colinas location with dishes such as Mexican avocado toast, the "toast" being a corn masa patty topped with salsa roja botanera, avocado, and queso fresco, although they discontinued the hummus trio which was a great veg dish. Seek solace in innovative cocktails such as their cucumber serrano margarita.
Praise Krishna, Dallas' longest running vegetarian restaurant located at a temple in East Dallas has reopened its beloved self-serve buffet, following a grueling closure due to the pandemic. Founded in 1982, Kalachandji's serves vegetarian dishes from India, with a menu they quite diligently post daily, featuring items such as bok choy stir-fry, pakora with tamarind chutney, kidney bean curry, and kofta balls in tomato gravy. They're also skilled bakers with bread made in-house and always a nice dessert like rice pudding or vegan brownies. Service is sweet, and so is the famous courtyard patio in the center of the restaurant.