Heartfelt American bistro opens on rising Dallas restaurant row
A Dallas hospitality veteran has opened a new restaurant that, for the first time, bears his own name: Called McRae's American Bistro & Cocktails, it opened in July in East Dallas, at 9913 Garland Rd., near the intersection of Peavy, next door to the Royal Pour.
McRae's is from Mike McRae, who owned Dick's Last Resort in the West End until 2021, and who currently owns Table 13 in Addison, the legendary Stan's Blue Note in Lower Greenville which he took over in 2016, as well as two Dodie’s Cajun food restaurants in Rockwall and Allen.
It comes at a time when the neighborhood has transitioned from having little in the way of cool places to eat, to enjoying an influx of places like Lounge Here, Hello Dumpling, and more recently Lubbies Bagels.
"People are excited about having this type of restaurant in the area," McRae says. "Customers need this in the neighborhood."
He describes McRae's menu as "all over the place, with things people like to eat."
There are bacon-wrapped jalapeños with gluten-free rice flour breading, stuffed with jalapeno pimiento cheese, gouda, and brisket, served with comeback sauce; pork chop with garlic mashed potatoes and mango chutney; and grilled quail or pan-seared salmon, both with smoked gouda grits.
There is also pizza, a bacon burger, and a muffuletta, plus cocktails such as Blackberry76 with Tito’s vodka, muddled blackberries, and champagne.
McRae's aspires to be both high-end and yet comfortable and casual, which McRae says they're able to achieve with a great staff.
"We got so lucky — we have people with amazing backgrounds, mostly from high-end white cloth restaurants, which elevates the level of service," he says.
They're currently open for dinner every night but will add weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday in September, with a bloody Mary bar and mimosas, plus an outdoor patio that seats 40.
Decor consists of a cozy take on a classic steakhouse, with wide-ranging art, chandeliers, and flocked wallpaper selected by McRae's wife Chrissy, and a bar with a high rectangular mirror that provides a Parisienne vibe, similar to one the couple have at their home.
McRae came by the space after another operator had built it halfway into a place called Inventors Lounge before abandoning it during the pandemic.
Most relevantly, the location is a few blocks away from where McRae grew up, and close to his paper route as a kid.
"This is a culmination of his dream," a spokesperson says. "It was half finished, and he saw the chance to take over the location and take advantage of a space that was right in the neighborhood he grew up."
"If you look at the McRae's logo, it says 'established in 1957,' even though it just opened — it's really 'this is me'," the spokesperson says.