There's been no official notice that we're back to normal after the pandemic. Dallas County still sees at least 100 cases every day, and new strains keep emerging, so it's not over.
But if openings are your yardstick, then we're definitely on our way to a major comeback. There are restaurants opening everywhere, from independently-owned places to corporate concepts from out of town, finally ready to hatch after a year of incubation, with many more in the pipeline.
This dozen barely scratches the surface, but you have to start somewhere. Here are 12 restaurants, newly opened for June:
Ultra-buzzy Greenville restaurant and bakery is from husband-and-wife Casey and Amy LaRue, who've worked in some serious restaurants across the U.S., including Michelin-starred Daniel, Per Se, and Joel Robuchon. It's a two-pronged concept: Mornings, it's an upscale bakery with croissants and pastries by Amy; evenings, there's a tasting menu with a hyper focus on wine. One cool angle: They skip beef, favoring smaller animals like duck, pork, or quail — "better for the environment, and you can get beef anywhere," Casey says.
Clink Wine Bar + Bites
Wine bars keep surging and this one at 2601 Lakeside Pkwy. in Flower Mound serves it by the glass or bottle, with 16 wines on tap, four beers on tap, other wines by the glass or bottle. They have a menu of tapas-style plates that include Tuscan white bean dip with warm bread and veggies for dipping, plus charcuterie, flatbreads, paninis, salads, and desserts.
E-Bar Tex Mex
Tex-Mex restaurant from congenial host Eddie Cervantes has opened on Greenville Ave., where it's plying margaritas and reliable Tex-Mex with late hours. Cervantes, who previously owned Primo's in Uptown, opened the first E-Bar in 2013 in an unlikely spot on Haskell Avenue near Munger, where he packs them in. The menu features your quintessential enchiladas, nachos, and tacos, with queso good enough that it won the Best Queso category in CultureMap's 2020 Tastemaker Awards.
Colorado-based chain known for excessive sandwiches, cheesesteaks, wings, and late-night hours has opened its third DFW location in Plano, at 6205 Coit Rd. (the other locations are in Fort Worth and Denton). They do extreme sandwiches on crusty rolls; one sandwich, for example, is filled with mac & cheese, bacon, French fries, and mozzarella sticks. There are also burgers and extreme desserts such as deep-fried Oreos.
Junbi Matcha & Tea
California-based concept specializes in matcha and loose-leaf tea drinks, with a menu of 15 varieties of matcha tea such as vanilla, strawberry, and rose water. They also have espresso, rice balls, and matcha-flavored soft-serve. They're super into sourcing; the founders say they spend time vetting tea farms in Japan. They have three shops in California and one in New Jersey. This location in Richardson at 326 W. Campbell Rd. is their first in Texas.
Chain of Japanese barbecue (yakiniku) restaurants from Tokyo opened its first restaurant in Texas in Dallas, on Greenville Ave. The yakiniku experience focuses on bites of raw protein and vegetables cooked tableside over small grills and eaten fresh and hot. In addition to a la carte items such as beef tongue, guests can order omakase-style for two or four and receive a selection of meats, plus sides, salads, and soft serve, for a fixed price of $40-$100 per person.
N'Awlins Seafood Sports Bar
The goal at this New Orleans/French Quarter-inspired restaurant and sports bar is to deliver Cajun flair to game days via food and Bourbon Street décor. The menu includes oysters, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and beignets. It's in the Design District at 1400 Hi Line Dr. #116, in the space previously occupied by Primo's where it boasts a dog-friendly patio and seating for guests to dine outdoors.
Roots Southern Table
Dallas celebrity chef Tiffany Derry has opened a new restaurant at Mustang Station in Farmers Branch, with a menu and theme inspired by her upbringing on her family's Southern farm. The centerpiece is Duck Fat Fried Chicken served family-style with drop biscuits, watermelon rind preserves, and house-made sauces.
Salad and Go
Arizona-based chin specializing in drive-thru salads has opened three DFW locations, in Plano, Richardson, and Dallas at 5101 Ross Ave. (next to the Waffle House), and been a smash at all three. The menu includes salads, wraps, soups, and drinks, with generous portions and cheap prices, all part of their mission to make healthy food convenient and affordable. The restaurant also offers breakfast items, such as organic cold brew and breakfast burritos.
Buzzy Greenville Avenue spot is an immersive omakase (chef's choice) restaurant from chefs Jimmy Park and Shin Kondo with only two dinner seatings, at 5:45 and 8:15 pm, $175 per person, in a room with only 12 seats, where your dinner is left entirely up to the chef, no special requests por favor. There's sushi but also cooked dishes. Foodies crave that which is hard-to-get, making reservations prized — so prized, Shoyo was forced to change its reservation system to make it more manageable. The new drill: July reservations will go live on the 1st at midnight.
Sicilian-style pizzeria founded by a former capo of the Colombo mafia family serves pizza by the slice, with ingredients imported from Italy and a slice configuration that's square. The Dallas location is at 2025 Cedar Springs Rd. with take-out and delivery only. Varieties include classics such as cheese, pepperoni, sausage & broccolini, veggie, and Hawaiian. In addition to a slice, you can get whole pizzas, serving 4 to 6 people, for $25 to $29 per pie.
Wicked Bold Vegan Kitchen
Vegan eatery in Flower Mound is from husband-and-wife Deric and Brooklynn Cahill, a spinoff of Wicked Bold Chocolates, a vegan chocolate company they founded in 2019. The menu features charcuterie, snacks, and fancy non-alcoholic drinks such as a Blood Orange Sour with Ritual zero proof whiskey, blood orange, ginger syrup, and lime juice. Food options include a Fondue Board with fruit and pretzels you can dip in chocolate; and the S'Mores Board, with ingredients for s'mores and a tabletop fire pit.