Colorful chef finds cool East Dallas niche for personal new restaurant
A talented Dallas chef has found a new place to weave his culinary magic. The chef is Ross Demers and his new restaurant is called Cry Wolf, located at 4422 Gaston Ave., in a former Subway.
Construction is underway with an opening slated for late 2020.
Demers has worked at a number of high-profile restaurants including Oak Dallas and Mi Piaci. Most recently, he helped open Local Traveler, the bike-friendly restaurant at the high-profile intersection of Gaston and Grand, which closed in June. Before that, he had a brasserie in Deep Ellum called On The Lamb known for its intense charcuterie.
"This has been in the making since I closed the Deep Ellum restaurant," Demers says. "I think it's hard, after you own a business, to work for someone else again. The spot I've leased is something I've been looking at it since 2017. I used to live off Junius, and I would drive by it all the time."
Cry Wolf will be a warm, personal place with about 28 seats, a limited menu, open kitchen, and an open bar, managed by bartender Jason Hanshew (Local Traveler, Libertine Bar). "It'll be a real small operation, and I'll be cooking with a couple of old friends," Demers says.
He describes his cuisine as "1960s Paul Bocuse meets California French."
"I just always try to stay on technique," he says. "Something that's simple on the plate but with serious work that went into making it look that simple."
On the Lamb was his dalliance with charcuterie which was abuzz at the time (and maybe still sort of is), but that won't be a thing at Cry Wolf.
"I enjoyed that process but I don't think I'll get too crazy with cuts of meat," he says. "I think this is going to be a little more approachable - not to play it safe but keeping it chill, composing cool dishes. I don't want to call it small plates but we're planning on having about nine items on the menu, so you can hang out and have a couple dishes, or turn it into a 4-course meal. That's how we're going to roll."
Opening day is a ways off so there's no telling how COVID-19 will factor in, nor how many restaurants will close before then. Demers says he hopes that in the aftermath, Dallas restaurants will emerge as something new.
"There was a time when everything that opened had exposed ceilings and Edison bulbs, it was the model for Dallas restaurants, and I think as we hopefully near the end of the COVID era that you can open up and do whatever the hell you want," he says.
"I've been hesitant to even talk about this in these times, it feels like every story that comes up is almost irrelevant," he says. "But I hope this can be a cool hangout for East Dallas. Just a bar that Ross Demers is cooking at. Like a Ross zombie movie."