Dallas gets a fine new restaurant with the imminent opening of Rye, a seasonal, small-plates restaurant and cocktail bar founded in McKinney that will spin off a second location on Greenville Avenue this week.
The restaurant will go into the former Laurel Tavern space at 1920 Greenville Ave. According to a release, it'll open on Wednesday August 25.
Rye is from a young team headed by Tanner Agar, a TCU grad and whizkid who scored success on the first try when he opened Rye in McKinney in 2017. He and his equally youthful partners, including tech guy Nic Cain and chef Taylor Rause, set the stage in Dallas mere weeks ago in July when they opened a companion cocktail lounge called Apothecary next door in the former Wah Wah Room space at 1922 Greenville Ave.
Rause previously worked at Empire Eats in North Carolina, and before that, the Fleming's steakhouse chain.
Rye eschews large entreés in favor of small plates, perhaps inspired by Agar's short stint working at a restaurant in Spain. They plan to change food and drink menus throughout the year.
Opening highlights include:
- Nopales, made with molasses glazed nopales, bocoles masa cake, verde sauce, chili crème fraiche, panko fried artichoke hearts, cotija cheese and micro rainbows
- Cornucopia with cabrito, green corn tamale, huitlacoche, Bloody Butcher red corn grits, sweet yellow corn ice cream and blue corn tortilla strips
- Churrotes, which are corn churros made with elote spice, tequila-lime burre blanc, jalapeño aioli, cotija cheese, salted popcorn and micro cilantro
Desserts include Mexican chili chocolate cake, a flourless chocolate cake with chili, cucumber-aloe diplomat cream, prickly pear sorbet, and cilantro; and Chicago Style, a popcorn crème brulee made with cheddar fritters, caramel popcorn, cheddar sponge cake, and caramel sauce.
Cocktails by bar manager Heather Cox include:
- All Tai’d Up made with bourbon, orange, lime, curacao and house maple-pecan falernum
- N₂OLA Espresso Martini, Rye’s take on an Espresso Martini made with St. George NOLA style nitro cold brew, chicory coffee liqueur, and vodka and cinnamon demerara
- Welcome to the Jungle, with housemade butterscotch rum and pyrolyzed banana
Guests can purchase a bottle of the housemade butterscotch rum to go.
"We've always wanted to expand to Dallas as we believe our food fits well there while also being unique," Agar says. "We only cook what excites us, and that means none of the traditional restaurant dishes — no salad, no soup, no chicken breast, no steaks."
"We also design our dishes for sharing so that you can try several at a time even if you aren’t doing a tasting menu," he says. "This expansion allows us to share our food and vision with more people while also better connecting us to our peers, who can help us reach even greater heights."
Rye seats 60 guests in their indoor dining room and 40 guests on the patio, which also features an intricate plant wall.
Another notable decorative element is the preponderance of mirrors: The interior 22 overlapping antique mirrors, with custom woodwork throughout.
They're open for walk-ins and reservations from 5-10 pm weeknights and 5-11 pm weekends; they're closed on Mondays.