One of Dallas' most highly rated restaurants is moving: Petra and the Beast, which has earned countless accolades since it opened in 2018, is leaving its location at 601 N. Haskell Ave. and moving to the center of Lakewood.
The restaurant will go into the space at 1901 Abrams Rd., previously occupied by Lakewood Smokehouse, which closed in July 2021.
Petra owner and chef Misti Norris, who's currently on Martha's Vineyard island in Massachusetts cooking a prestigious dinner hosted by the Farm Institute, confirmed that the restaurant would be relocating, with a hoped-for opening by fall.
Note: Petra will remain in business at the Haskell Avenue location until the Lakewood move is complete. The move is anticipated to occur gradually, as the restaurant very slowly eases out of its current space and gravitates to the new location, which will require a renovation.
The relocation accommodates the growing trajectory of the restaurant, which started out as a pop-up, before officially opening in East Dallas with limited hours and seating.
Petra nonetheless immediately began earning nods such as Esquire's 2018 list of Best New Restaurants, followed by an award from Texas Monthly in 2019. Petra also made a list of top 50 restaurants in the U.S. by Food & Wine, as well as CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards' top 10 restaurants in Dallas in 2022.
One of Dallas' most renowned chefs, Norris began racking up her own awards, including Best New Chef from Food & Wine in 2019, and a nomination for top chef in Dallas in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards, a category she won handily. In 2022, she was one of five chefs nominated for "Best Chef Texas" by James Beard.
In 2022, she was recruited to join the lineup at AT&T Discovery District in a rotating chef restaurant called Attalie. Her concept, called Stepchild, came first: It opened in June. It's an Acadian/French-inspired restaurant serving dishes such as Koji fried chicken, brined for 5 days.
This relocation is a significant big step up in terms of size: At 5,400 square feet, the Lakewood Smokehouse space is more than triple Petra's original location of 1,540 square feet. But the new space will accommodate Norris' various projects, such as, for example, the roving pop-up concept she just launched.
Called Rainbow Cat, it recently hosted an installation at Cosmo's Bar in East Dallas, with a menu of tempting dishes including a "McMuffin" on a house-made English muffin topped with fennel-cured porchetta; a "Unicorn Dog" with a smoked pepper sausage on a garlic sticky rice "bun"; and a chocolate peanut butter chunk cookie sammie enclosing a filling of toasted potato cream.
Lakewood is a notoriously tough market to win over, with many casualties. But Petra seems certain to be a destination no matter where it settles.
"Petra has many customers from Lakewood, and I love the area," Norris says.