Oak Lawn stands by for Dallas’ newest chef-driven Mexican restaurant
Just a few months after the closure of his Cedar Springs eatery Cedar Grove (formerly Dish), restaurateur Tim McEneny is back with a new concept that will feature an acclaimed chef from Mexico City. The new restaurant is called Jalisco Norte, and it will open in October at 3858 Oak Lawn Ave., in the newly renovated center at the corner of Blackburn Street.
The supervising chef is Jose Meza Arroyave, a young rising star who was most recently at the famed Restaurant Carolina, at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, northwest of Puerto Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico.
Arroyave is no stranger to Dallas. In 2016, he did a stint as guest chef at Fearing's Restaurant on May 5, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, where he showcased his contemporary rendition of Mexico's traditional culinary origins. His menu included a quesadilla made of crunchy blue maize filled with Oaxaca cheese; ceviche de pozole verde; carne asada; and arroz con leche, aka rice pudding.
A native of Mexico City, Arroyave earned a degree in gastronomy and worked with such Michelin-starred chefs as Martin Berasategui, Bart de Pooyer, and Rene Redzepi at Noma in Denmark. Prior to Carolina, he worked at Moxi, a highly regarded restaurant in San Miguel de Allende.
Carolina Restaurant has had a AAA Five Diamond rating since its opening in 2008 and continues to be only gourmet Mexican restaurant holding this prestigious award.
Jalisco is known for its tequila, but Jalisco-style Mexican food has also become a bit of a buzzword in Dallas, with restaurants such as the recently opened Jose in the Park Cities claiming it as a theme. The most frequently cited Jalisco specialties include seafood, pozole stew, and birria, stewed meat — it can be goat, pork, lamb, or beef — served in a thick broth.
McEneny says that the menu is still being finalized, but promises that the restaurant will bring an authentic rendition of Mexico City-style food that Dallas has yet to see.
"Jose Meza is on the same level as Dean Fearing, Stephan Pyles, and Kent Rathbun," McEneny says. "We have restaurants that dabble in authentic Mexican food, but most are more Tex-Mex. With this restaurant, Mexico City is going to fall into our laps."