There's a new restaurant opening in Frisco from a chef familiar to Dallas diners: Called WB's Table, it's from Wade Burch, most recently chef at Perle on Maple, and it will open at 279 Main St. #132, in a former Subway, in mid-October.

The restaurant is an offshoot of WB’s Kitchen + Catering, a takeout/to-go operation Burch founded during the pandemic when he saw a market for chef-prepared high-quality meals that people could take home.

The new restaurant will open in the suite next door, providing diners with two Wade Burch options: a sit-down dinner at WB's Table or a grab-and-go at WB's Kitchen.

Prior to Perle on Maple at Le Méridien Dallas/The Stoneleigh, Burch worked at The Plaza Hotel in New York, The Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco, and The Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas. He also appeared on and won on Season 11 of Food Network’s Chopped.

Spokesperson Sherry Woodard says that the Table will be a completely different menu from what Burch is serving at the Kitchen, where the menu was crafted with the idea of meals at home featuring comfort food dishes such as beef stroganoff and spaghetti & meatballs.

"WB's Table will have a more upscale menu, with a full bar including craft cocktails and a curated wine list," she says.

Wine will occupy a big role. Burch trained at the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, and as well as Windows on the World Wine School in New York. He's into wine.

"He'll be able to offer advice on pairing with meals and to tell you the story of the food," Woodard says.

The space seats about 45 and they've completely redone the interior to mirror the comfortable style at WB's Kitchen.

"The idea with WB's Table is that it’s upscale dining but in a casual atmosphere," she says. "It'll definitely have a chef menu but with a come-as-you-are atmosphere, mimicking exactly how it would be if Wade were cooking for you at home."

Photo courtesy of the Adolphus

French Room at Adolphus in downtown Dallas revives dinner with big-name chefs

Chef News

A downtown Dallas hotel eatery is easing back to life: After a two-year hiatus, The French Room, the legendary restaurant at the Adolphus hotel, is taking the first steps towards reopening for dinner with a limited dinner series featuring guest chefs.

According to a release, the series will take place on select days in October, November, and January, and represents a return to dinner hours for the restaurant, whose dinner service has been closed since the pandemic.

The restaurant did bring back its High Tea service in 2021, served Wednesday-Sunday from 11 am-3 pm. The hotel also has two other dining options on-site: City Hall Bistro and Rodeo Bar.

But as Nik Katz, their general manager of food & beverage, observes, there is nothing quite like dinner at the French Room.

"An evening at The French Room has historically been a coveted experience, with countless special dinners and milestone moments taking place within the ornate dining room," Katz says in a statement. "The amount of guest requests we continually receive for dinner service at The French Room is overwhelming, so we are thrilled to offer an opportunity for guests to join us for a one-of-a-kind experience."

The series will launch in October when the French Room welcomes Chef Laurent Quenoix for six nights: October 13-15 and October 19-21.

Originally from Sologne, France, Chef Laurent is the owner and Executive Chef of Bistro LQ in downtown L.A., where he's hailed as one of the city's best French chefs.

Beyond the accolades, Quenoix previously worked with Chef Charles Olalia, Culinary Director for Makeready, the management company for The Adolphus.

His menu will comprise four courses plus dessert — so really, it's five courses — with optional wine pairings for an extra fee, and is $125. The menu includes:

  • First Course Chanterelles foie torchon, roasted quince pomegranate, pecan praline
  • Second Course Spiny lobster watercress, kaffir, spicy Chinese relish
  • Third Course Dover sole chestnut and sweet potato mousse, parmesan viennoise, “Alex Humbert”, scallop “salpicon”
  • Fourth Course Devil gulch ranch pigeon scented cumin date pure, almond and mint pesto, salmis reduction, confit legs and liver spread
  • Dessert Tcho chocolate “marjolaine”, Texas pecans, sweet corn mousse, corn glace

Reservations for the ‘Be Our Guest Chef Series’ are limited and can be made on Resy.

Additional chef collaborations and dates for the series will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Zero Gradi

Italian gelato dessert shop in downtown Dallas whips up 2 new locations

Pizza News

Award-winning Italian restaurant 400 Gradi, founded in Melbourne, Australia by famed chef Johnny Di Francesco, is expanding its DFW presence with a second location, plus two new locations of its acclaimed dessert shop/gelateria Zero Gradi.

The restaurant will open in McKinney, at District 121, a $250 million mixed-use development at the northeast corner of State Highway 121 and Alma Road, adjacent to Craig Ranch.

The original 400 Gradi is in downtown Dallas. Di Francesco -- a regular on Australian TV shows such as MasterChef Australia, The Mentor, and Everyday Gourmet -- opened the restaurant at the 2000 Ross Ave. building in 2019, also the first in the U.S.

Its authentic, Neapolitan-style ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, and flour imported from Italy, earned not only a loyal following but an award for best pizza in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards in 2022.

I mean, consider the Suprema pizza with fior di latte, pumpkin, arugula, pine nuts, and goat cheese. What is not to like.

Dessert expansion
In 2021, they opened a sweet spinoff next door to their downtown restaurant: Zero Gradi, with espresso, Italian-inspired pastries, and a gelateria with traditional gelato and sorbetto.

Now there will be two more Zero Gradis:

  • McKinney, also at District 121, at 6107 Alma Rd. in McKinney, adjoining 400 Gradi, just like the original in Dallas.
  • Frisco, at the Shops at Starwood, at 6975 Lebanon Rd. #307, in a former jewelry and perfume shop called Trends. This location will be a standalone shop.

400 Gradi principal Igor Stevovic says that the expansion north was prompted by demand from customers. That included David Craig, founder of District 121, who encouraged them to join the lineup at Craig Ranch, his mixed-use development at SH-121 and Alma Road.

"It was a natural expansion because we saw many customers coming from that area," Stevovic says. "These were people traveling 30 minutes to downtown Dallas."

However, their goal is not to have a 400 Gradi on every block.

"We care about producing high quality food from scratch, with hand made pasta and pizza dough that's as authentic as possible," Stevovic says. "That's what is important to us. We're the only restaurant in the U.S. that filtrates its water to achieve same degree of softness as in Napoli."

"But we do feel like there’s an audience for a second Zero Gradi," he says. "Our gelato, pastries, and bakery products are magnificent and people downtown have shown they appreciate that tremendously."

Zero Gradi made CultureMap's list of Best Desserts for Valentine's Day 2022, where it was praised for its ice cream cakes and luscious almond croissant filled with almond custard and blueberry preserves, as well as its propensity for using pistachio nuts (instead of bottled paste) and hazelnuts from Piedmont, Italy, hailed by experts as the best hazelnuts in the world.

The shop also earned a nomination in CultureMap's 2022 Tastemaker Awards for Best Pastry Chef Lizbeth "Lizzie" Ramirez.

Construction on the Frisco shop is just beginning, with a hoped-for opening by the end of the year; McKinney opens in early 2023.

"The population in Dallas is growing exponentially, with an increasingly sophisticated palate awareness," Stevovic says. "For us, that's good, since our food has an imcomparable authenticity."

Photo courtesy of Legacy Hall

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Pairing dinners run wild this week with more than a half-dozen on the list, including beer, wine, and whiskey. Pricing ranges from $65 to $185 per person, the latter of which includes tax, gratuity, and even valet parking. It’s also Oktoberfest season, and there are two notable German-inspired fetes happening this weekend.

Wednesday, September 21

Love Runs Deep Beer Dinner at The Stoneleigh
Deep Ellum Brewing Company will welcome the flavors of fall with a four-course beer pairing dinner at Perle on Maple at The Stoneleigh Hotel. The menu includes coffee-crusted filet mignon, smoked paprika dusted scallops, and tangerine cake. Each course will be paired with a different Deep Ellum Brewing Company beer. Dinner is $89 per person and begins at 6 pm.

Commons Club Wine Dinner
This mid-week wine-pairing dinner will feature six courses by chef Christian Panepinto of Virgin Hotels Dallas Commons Club. Expect courses to be paired with wines by Kenwood Vineyards and G.H. Mumm Champagne. Menu highlights include burrata with charred peaches, hamachi, and bison with black garlic. Dinner is $125 per person and begins at 7 pm.

Thursday, September 22

Far Niente Wine Pairing Dinner at The Ranch at Las Colinas
The Texas-inspired steakhouse in Las Colinas will host a five-course wine pairing dinner with a mystery menu. Dishes will be revealed only as they come. But the wines are not secret – all will come from Napa’s Far Niente winery. Dinner is $165 per person and begins at 6 pm.

Nonna Night 3 at Saint Rocco’s New York Italian
The Trinity Groves Italian destination will host its third installment of Nonna Night, a four-course wine pairing dinner with comfort classics. Menu highlights include chicken saltimbocca, scallop and smoked mozzarella ravioli, and lemon blueberry cake. Tickets are $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and the event begins at 6:30 pm.

White Rock Beer Dinner
Located near picturesque White Rock Lake, White Rock Alehouse & Brewery will host a beer pairing dinner to benefit Friends of the Santa Fe Trail. The fun five-course menu includes fried poblano mac and cheese bites, potato pancake and schnitzel tostada, an heirloom beet salad, steak and shrimp with cheesy grits, and house-made spiced doughnut holes. Dinner is $65 per person and starts at 6:30 pm.

Friday, September 23

Pegasus City Brewery’s 2nd Annual Downtown Oktoberfest
The three-day German-inspired fete will the downtown Dallas brewery’s special Oktoberfest brew, Big D Jamboree. There’ll be daily live music, food vendors, beer hoisting and games, and a Saturday and Sunday artisan market. The party starts Friday at 5 pm and admission is free.

Whiskey Dinner at CBD Provisions
The folks from Texas-based Garrison Brothers Distillery are back in town for another whiskey pairing dinner, this time at CBD Provisions inside The Joule hotel. Go for cured salmon, braised lamb, gorgonzola fennel salad, and spiced pear galette, all paired with four different straight bourbon whiskeys. Dinner is $185 per person and includes tax, gratuity, and complimentary hotel valet. Arrive by 6 pm.

Wine Dinner at The Oceanaire Seafood Room
The Galleria Dallas outlet of this popular high-end seafood chain will host a four-course wine dinner featuring wines by Sonoma-Cutrer. Menu includes jumbo lump crab cakes, lobster bisque, smoked salmon mousse, grilled filet of beef, and more paired with Rose, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Save room for sticky toffee pudding. Dinner is $165 per person, including tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, September 24

5th Annual Oktoberfeast at Legacy Hall
The Plano food hall goes German with an all-day party. Doors open at noon and the live entertainment will run from 1 to 6 pm. General admission is free, or folks can purchase a $60 VIP ticket that includes a jalapeno-cheddar sausage on a stick, Bavarian pretzel, beer stein with a beer (refills will be $7), and access to a VIP-only seating area. Plan for stein-holding competitions and costume contests.

Courtesy photo

Audacious over-the-top brunch spot from the Northeast debuts in Dallas

Brunch News

A New England-based brunch restaurant with some crazy, over-the-top food and drink is headed for Dallas: Called The Place 2 Be, it's a small chain from Connecticut opening its first location outside of the Northeast in Dallas' Victory Park, at 2401 Victory Park Ln., the space that used to be Dibs on Victory, the massive short-lived sports bar.

According to a release, it's a ways off, with an opening sometime in 2023.

They describe "TP2B" as an audacious brand, that's a good word, popular on social media for its over-the-top plating and "content-friendly" decor, also a good word.

That includes over-the-top dishes and drinks, the most over-the-top probably being a cocktail called Drink My Bathwater with rose, sangria, and prosecco, served in a bathtub-shaped white glass, dressed up with sour gummies, colored sprinkles, and mini rubber duckies. Decor is often similarly whimsical, with neon signs, swing chairs, and a full-sized bathtub filled with plastic pearls, which many crawl into for photo ops.

There are currently four locations: three in Connecticut in West Hartford, Downtown Hartford, and the South End of Hartford, they've got all of the Hartfords covered, plus a fourth in Springfield, Massachusetts at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, plus two more in the works.

Dallas will be the seventh, and the largest yet with nearly 6,900 square feet. It'll also be their only location to date with a rooftop patio and view of American Airlines Center, how scenic.

Two Food Network Chopped alums run the culinary side: Chef Xavier Santiago, Culinary Director, and Chef Maurice "Mo" Major, Assistant Culinary Director.

The menu is different at each location, but all include breakfast foods plus burgers, salads, wraps, melts, and a big selection of coffee and espresso drinks.

For breakfast, there are omelets, benedicts, pancakes, waffles, chicken & waffles, and French toasts in varieties such as Churro French toast, featuring challah bread topped with a churro-buttercream-chocolate and dulce de leche drizzle.

Cookies 'N Cream Oreo Pancakes is an exercise in sweet excess, featuring five pancakes topped with crumble Oreos, vanilla sauce, chocolate sauce, powder sugar, Oreo cookie sandwiches, whipped cream, and maple syrup.

A Steak and Cheese Quesadilla has rib eye, onions, peppers, mushrooms, American cheese, spicy mayo, and a sunny side egg.

Cuban Ruben is a blend of two sandwiches — a Cuban and a Rueben — stacked excessively tall with three slices of thick white bread topped with ham, American cheese, pickles, pastrami, pickled onions, Swiss cheese, and spicy mustard.

The Hangry Grilled Cheese is made with Italian bread, American cheese, mozzarella, ham, bacon, cheese sauce, and a sunny side egg, with choice of French fries or curly fries.

Beverages include humongous milkshakes in flavors such as Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake, which can be spiked with alcohol. A full bar includes cocktails such as the Booty Call, a $45 sharable drink containing tequila and blue raspberry that's served in a bum-shaped vessel; and the Big Ass Mimosa, a $60 drink served in an oversized tulip glass that's bigger than your arm.

Menu categories are sassy, such as the section of waffles and pancakes labeled "WAP," or the Day Drinking category that features a drink called Go Bottomless! (refilled cautiously with an eye towards over-imbibing).

Being picture-ready for social media is a priority, but they also strive to operate differently, from staff compensation to creating a cohesive atmosphere.

The Place 2 Be is part of The Statement Group, a female-only owned restaurant group, founded in Hartford by Gina Luari who opened the first location in 2016. She says in a statement that Dallas represents a big step.

"For the first time ever, we are taking The Place 2 Be outside of New England — the first of more national locations to come," Luari says. "We couldn't be more excited to share our brand's bold and cheeky brunch experience with such an iconic city and its amazing community; a community whose passion is a defining trait, as it is for TP2B."

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

3 unexpected — but delicious and fun — reasons to travel to Lubbock

1, 2, 3

Looking for a getaway that's full of music, wine, and good food? Look no further than Lubbock, a northwest Texas city that has all this and so much more.

Wine country
The Lubbock area is located within the Texas High Plains AVA, which accounts for 90 percent of all Texas wine grapes grown and produced.

With more than a dozen wineries, and six award-winning wineries in the Lubbock area, wine tastings are available for all palate preferences.

Drop in for a glass or two at Burklee Hill Vineyards and McPherson Cellars, the latter of which is owned by winemaker Kim McPherson, a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist.

Just outside of city limits, Reddy Vineyards, Llano Estacado, and English Newsom Cellars offer full tastings and tours of the vineyards on property.

Llano Estacado is the second oldest winery in the state and hosts multiple wine festivals per year, including Grape Day, an annual event in October that celebrates the end of harvest season.

High Plains cuisine
You'll find that the food here offers a distinct West Texas flare that pays tribute to the ingredients grown and raised in the area.

Not only does the locale have a large influence on the dishes served in local restaurants around town, but Lubbock’s diverse culture is also on display in each plate.

From La Diosa Cellars, a Spanish tapas restaurant, to Llano Cubano, a Cuban food truck, the offerings for dining in Lubbock are as extensive as they are rich.

Restaurants of note include The Nicolett — home to chef Finn Walter, a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas — Dirk’s, The West Table, Claraboya, Thai Pepper, Stella’s, Evie Mae’s BBQ, and Rave On at The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences.

Standing ovation
Music lovers and theatergoers will be thrilled with the diverse lineup of performances onstage in Lubbock nightly. From Broadway performances like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen to national headlining acts like Tim Allen and Lady A, the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences offers shows for all preferences.

As the birthplace of Buddy Holly, Lubbock is no stranger to good music and local talent. The legacy of Lubbock legends such as Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, Waylon Jennings, and Josh Abbott take center stage at one of the many music festivals, including JABFest in October.

Fun fact: Lubbock currently boasts the most live music venues per capita in the Lone Star State.

To start planning your itinerary of Lubbock's restaurants, wineries, and attractions, head over to VisitLubbock.org.

La Diosa Cellars serves a stellar Sunday brunch.

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock
La Diosa Cellars serves a stellar Sunday brunch.
Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Top-ranked high schools make the grade in this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. 2 distinguished Dallas high schools sit at head of the class as Texas' best in 2022. Two campuses in Dallas have earned extra credit as the best high schools in Texas. In the latest rankings from education review website Niche, Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented & Gifted tops the list of the state’s best public high schools, and St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas leads the list of the state’s best private high schools.

2. NFL legend Terry Bradshaw's ranch north of Dallas listed for $22.5 million. An Oklahoma ranch around 70 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth that’s owned by NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw is back on the market for $22.5 million. The 744-acre ranch was relisted after a deal with a would-be buyer fell through.

3. Dallas grilled cheese restaurant abruptly closes location in Oak Cliff. A Bishop Arts restaurant dedicated to making grilled cheese sandwiches has closed: The aptly named Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. closed its original location at 310 W. 7th St., after nearly eight years. According to co-owner Diana Ezzell, the closure was prompted by problems with the location.

4. Best vegan grocer in Denton relocates to market-deli space. An acclaimed market in Denton specializing in all things vegan is making a move: Mashup Market, the plant-based specialty grocer that debuted at 316 Oak St. in 2020, is closing that original location and making its new headquarters at 1302 W. Hickory St., its second location that opened in 2021.

5. Dallas man allegedly scammed $26M from Chinese real estate investors. A Dallas-area man has been charged for allegedly scamming Chinese investors out of more than $26 million in a real estate scheme. Timothy Lynch Barton, the 59-year-old president of real estate development firm JMJ and CEO of real estate investment firm Carnegie Development, has been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.

Beto to visit Dallas college campuses following debate on TV with Abbott

Campaign News

On November 8, Texas will vote for its next governor — choosing from either incumbent Republican Greg Abbott or Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

In anticipation, the two will participate in a debate on September 30, which takes place at 7 pm at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg. It's hosted by KXAN news anchor Britt Moreno and will feature questions from a panel of journalists.

The debate will air on Nexstar television stations which in Dallas is KDAF Channel 33; the Texas Tribune will also livestream.

It's their only scheduled debate and according to the Associated Press, Abbott conditioned his participation on the debate taking place without an audience.

"Sources tell me Abbott would only agree to face Beto with no audience in the room," said journalist Scott Braddock, in a tweet which is right here:

This will be first time Abbott and O'Rourke meet since the May 25 press conference where O’Rourke confronted Abbott after the shooting in Uvalde.

O'Rourke, who previously undertook a summer tour across Texas, holding 70 public events in more than 65 counties, is now launching a College Tour focused on young voters. It includes visits to two Dallas-area campuses, with only one open to the public, as follows:

  • Monday October 3, 10 am: Town Hall at University of North Texas, at the University of North Texas - Gateway Center Ballroom, 801 N. Texas Blvd., Denton. Open to UNT students only.
  • Monday October 3, 12:30 pm: College Tour Town Hall at Dallas College El Centro Campus, 801 Main St., Dallas. Open to the public.

During the College Tour, he'll hold more than a dozen public events at colleges and universities around the state, affording an opportunity not only for him to share his platform — reproductive freedom, reducing gun violence, raising minimum wage, legalizing marijuana — but also an opportunity to get students and young people registered before the October 11 deadline.

'Wide-awake' Dallas neighbor is 2nd best U.S city for families, says Fortune

No place like home

Fortune advises readers to not let Wylie’s “picturesque, historic downtown fool you.” And for good reason. The magazine hails the North Texas city as “a fast-growing, modern community that doesn’t skimp on the amenities.”

Thanks in large part to those amenities, Fortune puts Wylie at No. 2 on its list of the 25 best places in the U.S. for families to live. Ann Arbor, Michigan, takes the top spot.

In recognizing Wylie, the magazine cites the city’s well-above-average public schools, numerous facilities for older residents, and events such as the Bluegrass on Ballard festival and Wylie 500 Pedal Car Race.

"With its start as a stop on the Santa Fe Railway in the 1880s, Wylie has always been a gathering place," the magazine writes. "In fact, because shops stayed open late to accommodate the railway visitors and business, one of the town’s nicknames became 'Wide-Awake Wylie.' The historic downtown continues that tradition of community today..."

Fortune lists the median home price in Wylie as $399,838 and the median household income as $96,845. The booming suburb is home to nearly 60,000 residents. It now stretches across Dallas, Collin, and Rockwall counties.

To come up with its ranking, Fortune combed through mounds of data for almost 2,000 communities in the U.S.

The only other Texas city in the top 25 is the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, ranked 17th.

“Residents have a sweet spot for this Houston suburb that brings the community together through its lively downtown hub, local events, and even a ball game or two,” Fortune says.

Among other highlights, Fortune notes Sugar Land’s “outstanding schools,” the Sugar Land Space Cowboys minor-league baseball team, Sugar Land Town Square, and high-quality health care at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.

In Sugar Land, the median home price is $399,250 and the median household income is $121,665, according to Fortune. The suburb is home to around 110,000 people.