News You Can Eat
Meaty new menus are the theme of this Dallas restaurant news roundup
This roundup of restaurant news around Dallas features an odd assortment of items, ranging from new seasonal menus to monthly specials to a sad closure in Deep Ellum. There's also sneakers, for a twist.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:
Thunderbird Station, the bar in Deep Ellum, has closed, which owner Kim Finch attributes to ongoing challenges in the service and restaurant industry. It opened in 2020 in the former Bowls and Tacos, but the space was previously Riegel's Gulf Service auto shop for 62 years. T-bird got loads of acclaim at CultureMap including Best Patio, again Best Patio, Best Bartender, Best Bar 2022, and Best Bar 2021.
Zero Gradi has opened a location in McKinney, in the District 121 complex at at 6651 Alma Rd #100, where it's bringing pastries, authentic Italian gelato, and premium coffee. Favorites include the Lemon Basilico sorbetto, made to order with fresh-squeezed lemon and crushed basil as well as the Ferrero Rocher round croissant. The original Zero Gradi opened in 2016 in Melbourne, Australia; the first Zero Gradi in the U.S. opened in downtown Dallas in 2021, next to its sibling restaurant 400 Gradi, the award-winning Italian restaurant founded in Melbourne, Australia by famed chef Johnny Di Francesco, which debuted in Dallas in 2019.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is opening its first location in Princeton on Monday, December 4. Located at 800 W. Princeton Dr., the restaurant will feature their signature Chipotlane, a drive-thru pickup lane that allows customers to pick up digital orders without leaving their cars; there are also Chipotlanes in Richardson and Plano. They'll be open 10:45 am-10 pm, and will have the limited-edition Carne Asada menu item. They don't say what number location this is, but there are at least 30 in the Dallas area.
Carte Blanche, the chef-driven restaurant on Greenville Avenue, has launched a new series on Sunday nights at 5 pm, featuring classic (and mostly traditional) Texas BBQ, featuring giant Wagyu beef rib pastrami, Wagyu brisket, chicken legs cooked over the coals Hill Country style, Berkshire pork "bacon steak," and whole smoked lamb shank. It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat. There are also sides like coconut creamed corn, and dessert such as whiskey pecan pie. You can pre-order via Toast, under the "BBQ" tab. Much of the menu for December 3 is already sold out, but there's still some cowboy beans, potato salad, cornbread, and braised cabbage with caraway.
Side Hustle Burgers is a burger pop-up from the owners of Cane Rosso, Zoli's, and Thunderbird Pies, located at their ghost kitchen inside Thunderbird Pies in East Dallas at 7328 Gaston Ave. #110, or for delivery on DoorDash and UberEATS. The menu has six burgers with toppings like American cheese, onions, and jalapenos, priced from $12 to $16, plus a chicken sandwich, plus fries, onion rings, and potato chips with dip. It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat.
Cava, the Mediterranean fast-casual chain, is testing Grilled Steak on its menu, as an option in their customized bowls or pitas, and in two new menu items: Steak Mezze Salad with feta, tzatziki, corn, pickled onions, red pepper hummus, arugula, spinach, and Greek vinaigrette; and Steak + Feta Pita, with the same basic ingredients, but in a pita. The steak is being tested in the Dallas area, one of only two markets where it's being tested (Boston is the other), beginning December 4. It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat.
XOXO Dining Room has a newly updated menu featuring Lobster Mac & Cheese with a 6-oz lobster tail, four-cheese blend, and truffle oil; Cupcake Wheel featuring six cupcakes displayed in a gold Ferris wheel; Social Dinner, a multi-course meal with a bottle of Cavatina Sparkling Rosé that serves 4-6 people; Tempura-fried Lobster Bites with XO sauce; Truffled Fried Chicken with Parmesan mashed potatoes; and Steak Frites with a 10-oz Prime NY Strip and truffle fries.
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches introduced a new menu featuring 50+ sandwich options and an array of 50+ toppings, offering customers the ability to create their own one-of-a-kind sandwich creation. The brand is going back to its "custom sandwich shop" roots with sandwiches ranging from top-quality deli meats to seafood, plant-based protein and vegetarian options.
Urban Rio in Plano has specials for December: Poblano Rojas tamales featuring two tamales filled with roasted poblanos and topped with jalapeno peppers, cilantro, queso fresco and tomatillo sauce; and the December taco of the month: Crab Cake Tacos, featuring a house-made crab cake with chipotle aioli, slaw, and pico.
Urban Crust in Plano has a pizza of the month for December: The Surf and Turf pizza with basil pesto, mozzarella, sirloin, Gulf shrimp, red onion, pepperoncini peppers, sun-dried tomato, and chili flakes.
Partenope has debuted a new Aperitivo Hour Monday-Friday from 4-6 pm with $5 draft Peroni, $8 glasses of red or white house wine, $9 spritzes and sangria, and $6 bar snacks including bruschetta with tomato & basil, prosciutto with olives, fried pizza dough with marinara, bread with olive oil, and fried Brussels sprouts, at both their downtown Dallas location and their recently opened second location in Richardson.
Federales in Deep Ellum has launched a Weekend Brunch Party every Saturday-Sunday from 10 am–4 pm with DJs, an All-You-Can-Eat brunch buffet featuring a carving station with brisket, turkey, Andouille sausage, omelet station, taco & nacho bar, seafood tower, crudités, salad, fruit, doughnuts, and desserts.
Thirsty Lion has launched a new seasonal holiday menu that includes Parmesan panko crusted halibut, seared scallops with cilantro jasmine rice, and filet mignon with white cheddar mashed potatoes. Seasonal cocktails include espresso martini, maple old fashioned with High West American Prairie Bourbon, and Tito’s winter white cosmopolitan.
Empire Baking Co. has a new seasonal baked good: Glazed Orange Olive Oil Cake with Candied Oranges, wrapped in a gift package, for $21.25, joining other seasonal treats including Nutella babka, gingerbread, iced apple-cinnamon walnut bread, and a pecan ring. Plus challah rolls, $4.15 for a half dozen.
Snooze A.M. Eatery has a new festive holiday menu served through January 3 that includes cranberry orange pancakes with orange custard, candied cranberries, and cranberry mascarpone; short rib and Gruyere polenta with roasted sweet potatoes & kale, savory sofrito, mushroom-beef gravy, and sunny-side egg; a vanilla cranberry cosmopolitan; and cranberry orange Snoozius with vanilla cranberry juice, OJ, and whipped cream — vodka optional.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar has a burger of the month for December: Three Wise Men, featuring three patties with Fontina cheese between each, plus garlic mayo on a toasted onion bun. They also have a limited-edition Caramel Pecan Cake Shake. Both are available December 6-January 2. Three patties: It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat.
True Food Kitchen has eliminated all seed oils from its cooking. The 45-location restaurant brand made the transition to cooking solely with avocado and olive oil last summer. This is the first step in evolving its ingredient standards, with plans for additional menu updates in early 2024.
Apothecary cocktail lounge has created custom-made sneakers designed by the Apothecary team, and are available for purchase online through December 24 at 11:59 pm, or until they sell out. They're green & gold high-tops and are $225. They come with perks that include reserved seats at the sneaker launch party in March 2024, early access to book 2024 Apothecary special dinners & events, and a free staff shot whenever sneaker owners drink or dine at Apothecary in 2024 (must be wearing shoes).