Restaurant News Roundup
Uncover new openings and hot dishes in this Dallas restaurant news roundup
Even with the holidays upon us, the bi-monthly roundups of Dallas restaurant news do not stop. There is always news to gather, whether from emails, press releases, or the worldwide web.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:
Bacari Tabu is the just-opened concept from Dallas chef Julian Barsotti (and Andrea Hagar, according to Bizapedia), at 4113 Lomo Alto, in the same center as his Italian restaurant Nonna. Bacari, which has been in the works for three years, is designed to summon Strictly Tabu, an old jazz spot from the '90s with a similar name in that same center that no one under 50 would have the first clue about. The menu has Venetian-style tapas, pasta, pizza (better than the pizza at Barsotti's now-closed Sprezza, one hopes), risotto, gnocchi, clams, oysters, and nice-sounding salads like a shaved hearts of palm.
Cassy’s Grill is a new restaurant in Eustace, 61 miles southeast of Dallas, from chef Cassy Jones, a State Fair of Texas regular known for her fried collard greens. The menu features the collard greens plus brisket, mac ‘n cheese, loaded baked potatoes, buffalo wings, and weekly specials. Jones, who also runs a catering business, has appeared on the A&E show Deep Fried Dynasty, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Guy’s Grocery Games, and the Cooking Channel’s Carnival Eats.
Golden Chick has opened another location at 910 E Malloy Bridge Rd in Seagoville, operated by first-time Golden Chick franchisee Tamer Kadah.
Lucky's Hot Chicken at 4505 Gaston Ave. is now under new management and with a new menu. This is the original Lucky's, which opened in 2020 in a treasured East Dallas building that was once home to Brink's Coffee Shop & Restaurant. The Lucky's chain was the object of a lawsuit in August 2023 against restaurateur Hunter Pond, his Vandelay Hospitality Group, and home builder Lou Olerio in which 14 investor entities sought to retrieve $1.8 million they'd invested after Pond et al claimed they would be opening a half-dozen locations across DFW. The restaurant is now under the wing of Olerio, who previously opened Shayna's Place at Sylvan Thirty.
I Heart Mac & Cheese in Highland Village at 2250 Justin Rd. is under new ownership and will mark the occasion with a grand re-opening on Monday, January 8. This is the second location owned by Dr. Pratik Soni, who opened his first I Heart Mac & Cheese in N. Richland Hills in August 2023. I Heart Mac & Cheese is the Florida-based chain specializing in mac & cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches, with dishes such as lobster & white truffle mac & cheese, buffalo blue mac & cheese, chicken parm mac & cheese, vegan grilled cheese, mac bites, cheesy broccoli, and tater tots.
El Carlos Elegante has a new menu that includes three agave flights that rotate on a monthly basis. Dishes include shrimp cocktail with avocado & Saltines, oysters, and crab claws - really, how very old-school Dallas. There's trout with ají amarillo, a vegan-ish garbanzo sope, a masa trio with squash & beans, a mushroom masa, bone-In pork chop with pineapple butter, broccolini with mole verde, cauliflower Bagna cauda & chorizo, and "apple pie-ish," featuring apples topped with crumble on a cinnamon tamal base.
Black Agave, the Mex-Tex restaurant that recently opened in Mercer Boardwalk in Farmers Branch, has daily specials by chef Omar Adame including $10 enchiladas and $4 margaritas on Monday, $10 taco plates on Tuesdays, $8 tablitas (cross-cut beef ribs) on Wednesdays, $12 appetizers and $4 canned beers on Thursdays, $10 margarita flights on Fridays, and $10 carafes of sangria on Saturday-Sunday.
Best Thai, a popular family-owned Thai restaurant with locations on Frankford and Belt Line, is hosting a vegan buffet at 4135 Belt Line Rd. #112, Dallas, for $19, featuring appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert. It takes place on the first Saturday of every month, from 11 am-2:30 pm, beginning January 6.
Pizzana on Knox Street has added gluten-free crusts and late-night hours.
Carrabba's Italian Grill is now permanently open for lunch and has added new Bistro Combos by Carrabba’s Sandwich Bistro – a menu of hearty sandwiches on toasted focaccia bread and choice of side which can be ordered for dine-in or to-go. Options include Italian with salami, prosciutto ham, mortadella, mozzarella tomato, Romaine, pepperoncini peppers, roasted garlic aioli and Italian dressing; Bruschette chicken with tomato, burrata, and pesto; sirloin & mozzarella cheese with Marsala Sauce and mushrooms; chicken Parmesan; Caprese; and meatball. Get them in boxed lunches with sides like chips or pasta salad and a cookie; or in sandwich trays for five or more.
Bonefish Grill has winter specials including crispy artichoke hearts in Bang Bang sauce, mussels in a white wine butter sauce over scallop & shrimp linguine, cedar plank salmon, tomato grouper with Parmesan risotto, bone-In pork chop, and tomato butter bistro filet. Parmesan risotto is now available with any entrée and there's a new molten chocolate lava cake.
Dairy Queen has new Chicken & Dumplings in a creamy gravy; and is currently featuring their Candy Cane Chill Blizzard and Frosted Sugar Cookie Blizzard Treat.
Dunkin’ has brought back two cult favorites: Pink Velvet Macchiato which first debuted in January 2020, with espresso, red velvet cake flavor, and notes of cream cheese frosting, available hot or iced through late February; and the Pancake Wake-Up Wrap with a pancake wrapped around bacon or sausage, egg, and melted cheese; Sweet Black Pepper Seasoned Bacon available in a Sweet Black Pepper Seasoned Bacon Sandwich or as Snackin’ Bacon. They also have a new Frosty Red Velvet Specialty Donut with a red velvet cake, vanilla icing, and cream cheese-flavored sprinkles; White Hazelnut Bark Coffee, marrying the flavors of hazelnut and white chocolate.
Gas Monkey Garage, the northwest Dallas hangout of hot rod king Richard Rawlings, is dabbling in hot sauce, and of course their branding is automotive-themed. There are three flavors: Skidmark Sauce, with a blend of ghost and chipotle peppers; Burnout Sauce, with "farm-fresh peppers" delivering a smooth yet fiery kick; and Green Light, a verde sauce with jalapenos, lemongrass, and parsley. They're in a 6.7-ounce bottle and are $13 each.
McDonald's has debuted its highly anticipated Squishmallows Happy Meal, giving diners the opportunity to collect up to 12 Squishmallow characters with the purchase of a Happy Meal. The line-up will feature 10 Squishmallow characters like Cam and FiFi as well as McDonald’s icon, Grimace. There will also be a special mystery character.
Trinity Groves Restaurants has promoted Garrett Munck to Director of Operations and Jay Valley to Culinary Director. Munck, who helped open Holy Crust as well as the Art Park, began as an intern at Trinity Groves, and was mentored by Valley and founder Phil Romano. Valley is from Massachusetts and has worked at Dallas restaurants such as Le Panier in Snyder Plaza, Peggy Sue’s BBQ, Beau Nash at the Hotel Crescent Court, Eatzi’s, Saint Rocco’s New York Italian restaurant in Trinity Groves, Holy Crust and Sum Dang Good. They replace former CEO Julian Rodarte. Trinity Groves Restaurants is also now leasing space in development for the first time with the help commercial real estate company The Retail Connection.