Despite the coronavirus, restaurants have been opening and reopening in Dallas with increasing frequency. But this first week of November stands out as a banner week for high-profile newcomers.
These are not your fried chicken joints nor your safe-bet ghost kitchen pop-ups. These are full-blown deals with big dining rooms, cocktail menus, wine lists, and more.
Most have been in the works long before COVID-19 came along. May they all be there for us after COVID-19 is gone.
Chimichurri Bishop Arts
Argentinian-themed bistro opened on November 6 in Bishop Arts in the former Tillman's Roadhouse space with a menu featuring grilled meats served in the asado style, empanadas, Argentinian pizzas, choripáns (chorizo sandwiches), and dulce de leche, with a vibrant bar program, as well. Named for the tasty green sauce made of parsley, garlic, and olive oil that is served with grilled meats in Argentina, Chimichurri is from Jesus Carmona, founder of Tacos Mariachi, and Ramiro Fernandez Pazos, a native of Argentina.
Northern Italian steakhouse from the Northeast opened on November 5 in The Colony with a bountiful menu featuring pasta, steak, seafood, cocktails and 300-plus bottles of wine. Handmade pasta such as potato gnocchi and tagliatelle Bolognese plays an integral role. They also have a quirky trademark dish: spring rolls in a variety of options that include their signature Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls.
Barbecue restaurant opened on November 6 in the Old Town Shopping Center at 5500 Greenville Ave., from a group of owners that includes radio power couple Allen and Kellie Rasberry-Evans and founder Clint Norton, whose brother co-owns County Line BBQ in Austin. The menu features meats by the pound such as brisket, pork spare ribs, and burnt ends; sandwiches, salads, and sides; and a bakery operation with pies, ice cream, cornbread, and biscuits.
Husband-and-wife Marty Reyes and Jen Ann Tonic built a buzz via a series of Polynesian-style pop-ups before opening the doors on November 4 to this adorable tiki bar at 1802 Greenville Ave. In a space rich with tiki decor, they're serving rum classics like mai tais, plus fun drinks for two served in the hollowed-out shell of a fresh pineapple. To survive in the COVID world, they've added a restaurant operation serving Polynesian/Hawaiian food such as pork, Spam, and chicken katsu, but also edamame dip with taro chips and, best for last, Dole Whip, the frozen pineapple dessert.
Tom Thumb Live Oak
The Tom Thumb chain doubles down on downtown with this November 6 opening in the Gabriella apartment building, just outside the Central Business District at 2727 Live Oak St., at the corner of Texas Street. In the past few years, oodles of apartments have sprung up in this neighborhood, and the store also represents the first big chain to open a store so close to Deep Ellum. Tom Thumb is killing it on downtown stores, having previously opened a store by Victory Park on 2380 N. Field St., on the ground floor of the Union building in spring 2019.
Fort Worth BBQ fave opened its Dallas sibling on October 22 at 3130 West Mockingbird Ln. in the former Mockingbird Diner space. The menu is pretty much the same as Fort Worth: brisket and other smoked meats by the pound, sandwiches, bacon burnt ends, green chile mac & cheese, potato salad, and baked beans, plus BBQ alternatives that include sandwiches, burgers, breakfast tacos, and corn dogs.
Dallas loves its lobster rolls and chef Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services, Town Hearth, Montlake Cut) knows what Dallas likes. Which brings us to Yo! Lobster, a new restaurant he opened on November 3 in Highland Park Village, in the former Perfect Union Pizza spot (sniff). The menu features five lobster roll spins from the original Maine version to a California roll with avocado, plus oysters, crab claws, tacos, burgers, mussels, and steamed clams.