The new restaurant going into the old Bolsa space in north Oak Cliff is ready to roll: Encina, which will be a warm neighborhood restaurant offering New American cuisine, will open on Friday, October 9 for happy hour and dinner Monday-Saturday, with Saturday/Sunday brunch service in coming weeks.
Encina is from chef and co-owner Matt Balke, formerly of Bolsa, partnered with co-owner Corey McCombs, formerly front of house at Stephan Pyles, FT33, Flora Street, and Smoke.
Located at 614 W. Davis St., the restaurant will serve what a release calls an uncomplicated yet adventurous menu with influences from Texas, California, and the South, with a focus on seasonality and fresh ingredients.
The name Encina is Spanish for "Holm Oak," both a type of tree and also the original name of Balke’s hometown of Uvalde, Texas. Who knew.
Balke says in the release that the menu will be focused on simplistic, familiar dishes that offer value; are well executed; consistent; and made with quality ingredients.
- A Bar N Beef Cheek Pastrami with Granbury pimento cheese and sweet tea gastrique
- Devils on Horseback with dates, blue cheese, bacon and apple butter
- Black Eyed Fritters with spicy carrot slaw and giardiniera aioli
- Calamari Sugo with salami, sofrito, tomato and greens
- Skillet Cornbread with Brazos Valley Feta and sorghum butter
Entrees will evolve but for the opening menu will include:
- Reuben Flatbread with pastrami, swiss, sauerkraut, and pickle dressing
- Zucchini and Squash Salad with lemon, garlic, mint, pine nuts and feta
- Ricotta Gnocchi with mushroom broth, braised leeks, roasted mushrooms, pecan gremolata and pecorino
- Lamb and Pork Bratwurst served with green chili hominy grits and apple mustard
- The Cliff Flatbread with goat cheese, provolone, confit tomatoes and arugula
- Turkey Leg Confit with roasted carrot, celery root, brussels leaves, pomegranate and black pepper gastrique
- 44 Farms NY Strip served with mascarpone grits and broccoli rabe
McCombs' beverage program features cocktails that also use fresh, seasonal ingredients such as herbs and flowers from local farmers, with only four to five ingredients max. Intriguing.
- The Kincaid – Bombay Sapphire, Suze, St. Germain, tarragon and lemon
- Mokonuts – El Silencio Mezcal, Velvet Falernum, coconut, lime and agave
- The Flower Patch – strawberry and rosemary Grey Goose, grand poppy, lemon, and sparkling wine
- Reading Wood Black – Woodford Rye, coffee infused martini and rossi bitter, and sweet vermouth
- Cactus Jack – Cazadores Reposado, Aperol, sweet peppers, dill, lime, and Tajin salt
Wines will be available by the glass or bottle with familiar labels as well as some unique finds. Bottles range from $60 to $150 but are very well priced and affordable.
Design-wise, they've kept Bolsa's layout and structure but made down-to-earth updates that are supposed to feel like an extension of their home.
Updates include improvements to the patio with expanded table and bar space as well as a raised roof, added walls, casement windows, and dining year-round.
Balke is a 2007 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated as salutatorian, who apprenticed with Sharon Hage of York Street in Dallas, and worked at Bolsa, Bolsa Mercado, The Rustic, and Smoke.