With COVID-19 still a major factor in our lives, these remain confusing times — and yet Dallas restaurateurs are a brave and optimistic bunch who keep pushing forward and looking ahead.
And that is how we are here celebrating the simultaneous, near-miraculous opening and reopening of six significant restaurants around DFW. They include: an authentic upscale taqueria, a bar-turned-restaurant, an east Dallas coffee shop, a brewery-turned-restaurant, a steakhouse from a famous chef, and a pizzeria that makes some of the best pizza in town.
Here are six big-deal restaurant openings happening this week:
Mexico City-style taco concept opened its second location at Legacy Hall, the Plano food hall at 7800 Windrose Ave. The menu features tacos and quesadillas with choice of protein from carne asada, pastor, pollo, barbacoa, or caramelized mushrooms. Tacos and quesadillas are prepared in the traditional Mexico City style with simple toppings of onions, cilantro, and choice of salsa. A signature item is the Las Costras Taco, prepared with griddled Monterey Jack cheese, melted directly on the grill until it forms a crust, then gets folded around a protein and inside a tortilla. They also do trendy birria tacos, with a recipe comes from one of the owners' grandfathers.
El Porton Coffee
Indie coffee shop from husband-and-wife Bruno Bianchi and Isabel Amaya has opened at Casa Linda Plaza in East Dallas, where they're carving out their own space for neighbors, conversations, and coffee. They have espresso-based drinks as well as drip coffee, snacks, and pastries. Their special twist: pairings featuring coffee and companion bites.
The Harwood District bar has re-opened as a food-forward restaurant vs bar. They've retained executive chef Molly Winkler (Sixty Vines) to create a new menu with 90 percent of the ingredients made in-house. It's open for dinner, drinks, and weekend brunch. They still have a beverage program, with all kinds of seating: indoor, outdoor patio, lawn, and rooftop. Winkler is one of a new generation of chefs assembled by Harwood Hospitality to create more food-forward menus at all of their concepts.
The new menu has a robust salad program that includes chicken Caesar flatbread salad, avocado crab salad, and ginger kale salad; hearty sandwiches including a short rib and brisket burger with jalapeño and a grilled cheese with cheddar and gouda cheese and tomato soup; and a separate brunch menu with breakfast tacos, pecan pie pancakes, and benedicts such as crab cake and avocado bacon.
The Plano location of chef John Tesar’s renowned steakhouse has reopened at The District at Willow Bend, along with Knife Burger. In addition to dine-in, curbside takeout and delivery from both Knife Steakhouse and Knife Burger will also be available. Knife Steakhouse, which will be open for dinner, features a newly remodeled dining room and patio, with limited seating capacity inside for social distancing. Knife Burger will open for lunch and dinner with signature burgers such as The Ozersky and The Pimento, plus two new additions: 44 Farms Meatball Sub and 44 Farms Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich. The original Knife Dallas, located at the Highland Dallas hotel, closed following the lockdown but reopened in late summer.
Brewery reopened its taproom to the public partnered with two concepts to supply food for purchase: Oddbird Chicken Kitchen which serves wings, ribs, and fried chicken, and Meatball Kitchen which serves meatball subs. Since the Taproom is now considered a restaurant in the eyes of TABC, half of their sales need to come from a combination of food and merchandise, so owner Wim Bens is encouraging customers to come hungry. They'll be open Wednesday-Thursday from 3-9 pm, and weekends all day, with capacity at 50 percent.
Award-winning pizzeria chain has a new location at The Village on the Parkway in Addison at 5100 Belt Line Rd., #796. That space was most recently Mexican restaurant La Comida, but has been a number of concepts over the years including, cosmically, a location of Tin Star, the upscale taqueria chain created by Rich Hicks, who has since founded Pie Tap as well as Taco Lingo. Pie Tap debuted in mid-2016 in Dallas' Design District, and has impeccable pizza, some of the best in town — in fact, they won CultureMap's Tastemaker Award in 2017 for Best New Restaurant — as well as pastas, rotisserie chicken, beer, and wine, available for dining-in or via delivery to your door. There are two other locations, at 2708 Henderson Ave. in Dallas, and in Plano at Park & Preston.