Bishop Arts coffeehouse and restaurant Oddfellows has a new chef in the kitchen: Anastacia "AQ" Quinones, who joined the restaurant in late July. Quinones comes from her recent post at Kitchen LTO, which just shut down; her stint ended in February. Her previous tenures include Komali, Alma, and Cafe Momentum.
Quinones fills in a gap left by founding chef Matt Spillers, who left the group that owns the restaurant in the spring. Quinones' task at Oddfellows will be to extend its footprint beyond the coffee, breakfast, and brunch for which it is known.
"I'm not changing too much, but I am creating a dinner program," Quinones says. "They currently do brunch all day, with some entrées."
Amy Wallace Cowan, who owns Oddfellows with partners Jason Roberts and Amanda Pounds, says they were looking to grow in the kitchen.
"It just took one meeting with AQ to feel comfortable with her taking the helm," Cowan says. "She's creative and friendly. She's of the right ethos and understands the vision we have always had for Oddfellows, which is seasonal, approachable food done well. She understands the importance of keeping the classics that have made Oddfellows a success for five years, and we are confident in her ability to create new dishes that will quickly join the list of must-haves in the Dallas food scene."
Some of the new dishes she has introduced include warm spinach salad with Texas peaches, candied pepitas, poached egg, and a rosemary-bacon vin. She's also doing a lemon orzo soup with spinach.
"We've been playing around with a Texas watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with Pachi Pachi goat cheese and pecan pesto," she adds.
She's also expanding the dessert program. Recent offerings have included blueberry bread pudding with bourbon-chantilly cream and blueberry compote; and a strawberry-basil semifreddo with lemon shortbread that Quinones describes as an "upscale ice cream sammie."
Quinones' long-term plan is to open her own restaurant. After LTO, she wanted to take some time off to spend with family. But she also had the urge to get back into the kitchen and cook.
"When I first started talking with Oddfellows, I immediately remember the feeling I had the first time I sat in their dining room," she says. "It's also a nice break from what I've been doing for the past few years. It's helped me get creative in ways I haven't been in a while."
The restaurant is training the staff on the new menu and will debut it within the next few weeks. "Until then, I'm running some of the dishes as specials," she says.
She also hopes to start using locally sourced products and farms. "Those are changes I hope to make on the brunch menu too," she says. "But they have a great brunch, so there's no need to switch that up too much."