Downtown Restaurant News

Big opening balances a sad closing on downtown Dallas restaurant front

Big opening balances a sad closing on downtown Dallas restaurant front

Stephan Pyles at San Salvaje
One of chef Stephan Pyles' restaurants in downtown Dallas has closed for good. Photo by Jonathan Zizzo

If you're considering eating in downtown Dallas this weekend, there are changes underfoot. There's one big, though not unexpected, restaurant closure, and a restaurant opening in The Joule hotel. Bad news first:

Pyles' restaurant closes
The other shoe drops, as San Salvaje, the Latin-Peruvian restaurant from chef Stephan Pyles, has now officially closed. It doesn't come as much of a surprise, following as it does the restaurant's odd decision, made barely a month ago, to be open for lunch hours only. When a restaurant that prominent shuts down dinner service, it's like a white surrender flag.

A lock-out notice was posted on the front door, stating that the restaurant was in default for failing to pay rent. Pyles told Nancy Nichols that the space at 2100 Ross Ave. was "a horrible location for dinner and the numbers didn't work for just lunch," and that the restaurant would be closed permanently.

San Salvaje opened in May 2014, in what was previously Samar, a global-cuisine restaurant with interesting food and good specials.

Joule restaurant opens
Americano, the new restaurant at The Joule, had a soft opening on October 8. Blogger Oh So Cynthia summed it up with, "All the cool kids are here." Huh, Cynthia, really? Because we weren't there.

Americano is a vibrant, casual Italian restaurant with an atmosphere inspired by 1950s and 1960s Italian cinema and a menu comprising contemporary takes on nostalgic comfort classics.

Eater has the menu by chef Matt Ford, which includes pastas, charcuterie, pizza, and Italian drinks including Negronis on tap. Small plates run from $5 to $12 and include fried chickpeas; fried olives stuffed with Calabrian sausage; house-made meatballs; tuna crudo; "Jewish-style" artichoke with garlic and lemon aioli; and wedding soup with white beans, escarole, and tiny meatballs.

Salads include an unusual shaved cauliflower salad with pistachios and raisins. Pizza toppings range from pepperoni to guanciale to broccoli rabe, as well as a Margherita and a four-mushroom.

Pastas are $11 to $16 and include pappardelle Bolognese, butternut squash tortellini, kale and mushroom lasagna, and spaghetti with meatballs. Entrees include quail, chicken, swordfish, osso bucco, a whole branzino, and a $75 32-ounce porterhouse steak with white-bean ragu.

The shocker is what they've done to the space: The previously luxe atmosphere — patterned carpet, plush seating, handsome wood paneling — has been replaced by a minimalist decor. It's now plywood-looking tables, a marble-topped bar, pale green walls, and a neon sign that reads, "It's all in your head."