The North Oak Cliff restaurant previously known as Campo Dallas has been reincarnated. Rising from Campo's charred ashes is Outpost American Tavern, which will open in the next two weeks.
Co-owners John Paul Valverde and Miguel Vicéns reconceived the space after closing Campo in September. The Campo concept, which opened with a temporary residence by FT33 chef Matt McCallister, got away from them a little bit, veering more deeply into the fine-dining realm than they anticipated. They realized that they needed to have a place that wasn't so formal.
"We thought about where we go often," Valverde says. "If you're in San Francisco or New York, you find these places that have tavern-like food, but it’s not just burgers and wings. Even simple things like flatbread or some sort of deviled eggs. That was our goal. How do we execute quality food and good cocktails and drinks and not break the bank?"
"We want it to be a good menu where people can come in two to three times a week," says co-owner John Paul Valverde.
Unlike its predecessor, Outpost will have no high-profile chef.
"But we do know the pedigree of our cooks, and we'll continue our goal of buying from local vendors, using fresh produce, making sure whatever we do is well-executed," Valverde says.
"We want it to be a good menu where people can come in two to three times a week," he says. "You'll find we have starters, a good amount of appetizers, although you won't find pork belly on the menu. I think of when I'm in New York and I always go back to the one place that has that amazing sandwich."
Sandwiches are on the menu, priced from $6 to $8, including one with short ribs. Entrées max out at $14 and include beef stroganoff and a healthy grilled fish dish.
"We have some good sides we came up with today," Valverde says. "We don't want people to think we're just serving burgers. We still have our strict standards."
Brunch is an important component in North Oak Cliff, and Outpost will serve it both weekend days. The restaurant will be open for lunch too.
"Our goal always is to do something people will embrace," Valverde says. "You learn lessons from different ventures. We hope people will find it approachable."
Given their roots as interior designers, it comes as no surprise that they've redone the space.
"We changed the whole interior," Valverde says. "It's a little darker now. It looks nothing like it was before. The bathrooms, hallways, ceilings are all different. It’s as if another owner took over."