Whole Foods Market

The fast-rising Pie Tap Pizza + Bar won this year's CultureMap Dallas Tastemaker Award for best new restaurant, and Chef John Hrinkevich is celebrating. And when a chef celebrates, our bellies win.

He's at Whole Foods Market to shop for lasagna bolognese ingredients, because in addition to incredible pizzas, Pie Tap also serves up fresh pasta. Join him as he cracks open a local brew, grabs a cart, and heads into the aisles, picking up everything from organic tomatoes to grass-fed beef. Then follow the recipe below to make an Italian meal the whole family will enjoy.

Lasagna Bolognese

Egg pasta dough ingredients
1 lb. 00 flour
12 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tsp. sea salt

Ricotta cheese ingredients
1 qt. whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. sea salt

Bolognese sauce ingredients
4 oz. olive oil
2.5 lb. ground beef
8 oz. white onion, diced into 1/8-inch pieces
4 oz. celery, diced into 1/8-inch pieces
4 oz. carrot, diced into 1/8-inch pieces
2 tbsp. garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine
1 cup beef broth
1 qt. tomato sauce
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Egg pasta dough directions
Combine flour and salt in the mixer or pasta machine and mix thoroughly for 3 minutes.

Add whole egg and egg yolks and mix until thoroughly combined, then form into a ball.

Let dough rest for 30 minutes before extruding through the pasta machine.

Bolognese sauce directions
Heat olive oil in a braising pan. Add ground beef and brown, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Remove ground beef from pan and add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Sweat vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring frequently (do not brown).

Add white wine and cook over medium heat until reduced by half.

Add the beef broth and tomato sauce, and return the cooked ground beef to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, add milk, and continue to simmer on medium-low for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Skim grease from the top while cooking.

Ricotta cheese directions
Combine ingredients in a large pot and heat slowly, stirring often. Important: do not scorch!

When curd has fully formed on top of the liquid, turn off heat and let rest for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, skim curd off the surface and place into a cheese cloth-lined colander.

Place colander on a sheet pan to continue draining off remaining liquid.

Chef John Hrinkevich goes shopping at Whole Foods Market.

Chef John Hrinkevich of Pie Tap Pizza shopping at Whole Foods
Courtesy photo
Chef John Hrinkevich goes shopping at Whole Foods Market.
Photo by Melody Fury

These are the best restaurants and bars in Texas for 2017

Texas Tastemakers

Each year, we hold a Texas-sized celebration of two of the things we love most: food and drink. The annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awardshonorsthe top restaurant and bar talent in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

The program started in Austin in 2012 and has expanded to include every city we cover. Our mission is to shine a spotlight on the people making the restaurant scene special and honor their innovation, energy, and creativity. Here's how it works. First, we collaborated with industry experts to determine a list of nominees in each city. Our local panels then selected winners in every category, except Best New Restaurant, which was determined by you, our savvy readers.

The winners were revealed at our swanky tasting events and awards ceremonies, held April 18-20 in Houston, Austin, and Dallas. (See highlights from the Dallas party here.)

Meet the winners below, and join us in toasting the best of Texas dining right now.


  • Restaurant of the Year: Emmer & Rye
  • Chef of the Year: Todd Duplechan, Lenoir
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: James Dumapit and David Baek, Old Thousand
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Abby Love, Dai Due
  • Bar of the Year: King Bee Lounge
  • Bartender of the Year: Josh Loving, Small Victory
  • Brewery of the Year: Hops & Grain
  • Wine Program of the Year: Bufalina
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: June's All Day
  • Best Burger: Contigo
  • Best New Restaurant: Sophia's


  • Restaurant of the Year: Lucia
  • Chef of the Year: Julian Barsotti, Nonna, Carbone's, Sprezza
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Josh Sutcliff, Mirador
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Sarah Green, The Joule
  • Bar of the Year: Armoury D.E.
  • Bartender of the Year: Charlie Papaceno, Industry Alley Bar
  • Wine Program of the Year: Gemma
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Bbbop Seoul Kitchen
  • Best Fried Chicken: The Slow Bone
  • Best New Restaurant: Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar

Fort Worth

  • Restaurant of the Year: Tokyo Cafe
  • Chef of the Year: Jesus Garcia, Oni Ramen
  • Best New Restaurant: Tortaco


  • Restaurant of the Year: Coltivare Pizza & Garden
  • Chef of the Year: Ryan Pera, Coltivare Pizza & Garden
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Martha de Leon, Pax Americana
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Victoria Dearmond, One Fifth/Underbelly
  • Bar of the Year: Eight Row Flint
  • Bartender of the Year: Leslie Ross Krockenberger, Reserve 101
  • Wine Program of the Year: Pappas Bros Steakhouse
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: State of Grace
  • Favorite Taco: Tacos Tierra Caliente
  • Best New Restaurant: State Fare

San Antonio

  • Restaurant of the Year: The Bin Tapas Bar
  • Chef of the Year: Stefan Bowers, Feast
  • Best New Restaurant: Sangria on the Burg

Emmer & Rye, Austin Restaurant of the Year.

Emmer and Rye 2015 Austin restaurant grain salad
Photo by Melody Fury
Emmer & Rye, Austin Restaurant of the Year.

Dallas-Fort Worth foodies toast best of the best at annual Tastemaker Awards

Tasting Notes

Last night was an evening of feasting and toasting, as hundreds of hungry fans streamed into Sixty Five Hundred for the fourth annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, the grand finale of our annual program celebrating the best in local food and drink. We honored nominees in all categories of food and beverage, from best chefs to the best restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth.

This year’s event featured tasty bites from 30(!) area restaurants, showcasing the best in local dining right now. Sample bites included Kung Pao Lobster Rolls from Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse; Love Me Tenders (peanut butter and jelly fried chicken on a bed of cheesy grits) from Dot’s Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard; sriracha-spiked deviled eggs and smoked and fried Chicken Lollipop drumsticks from Street’s Fine Chicken; and confit quail over strawberry-rhubarb jam and goat cheese grit cake from Grayson Social. Is your mouth watering yet?

On the cocktail front, guests had their choice of beer (courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing, 11 Below Brewing, and Alaskan Brewing Company); wine from Sonoma Cutrer; or five signature cocktails, including a Woodford Rye Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve rye, vanilla syrup, and Woodford Reserve barrel-aged spiced cherry bitters, and the Texas Mule with Finlandia vodka, Topo Chico, lemon juice, and Liber & Co.’s fiery ginger syrup and Texas grapefruit shrub.

Meanwhile, Bartender of the Year nominees Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, Kyle Hilla, and Michael Martenson mixed up original cocktail samples in the Bartender Showcase, where attendees showed their love by voting for their favorite libations with golden coins.

Between mixing, mingling, and noshing, guests were pampered with manicures by MiniLuxe before heading over to strike a pose at the zany SmileBooth. Those with a sweet tooth satisfied their cravings with freshly made (or should we say spun?) cotton candy by Cottonsmith, as well as treats by Sprinkles and Sugarfina. Ice cream lovers couldn’t help but rave about the The Joule’s dark chocolate hazelnut soft-serve ice cream with olive oil and a candied baguette.

Nominees received the star treatment at the Korbel Lounge, where celebratory glasses of champagne and swag bags filled with everything from Jack Black skincare to Krave jewelry and gift cards from Uchi, Top Knot, Soul Cycle, and more were on offer.

But this party wasn't just about the eating and drinking — we had some awards to present. Celebrity chef emcee Tim Love revealed this year's winners to an enthusiastic crowd, who cheered on both Fort Worth and Dallas entrants alike. Special thanks to judges Alison Morse, Amyand Andrew Savoie, Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, Lindsey and Jacob Sloan, Jeffrey Gregory, John Tesar, Kirstyn Brewer, Kyle Hilla, Ladd Biro, Malcolm Mayhew, Marlene Duke, Nick Rallo, and Tim Love, who helped us determine who would take home the titles.

Spotted in the crowd were Daniel Forsythe, Martin Arista, Lauren Clapper, Nick Fragnito, Marcus Eerndt, Nicole Sanderson, Vodi Cook, Christina Thompson, Trinda Wood, Linda Snorina, Rosa Williams, Todd Howard, Melissa Becker, Travis Lyon, and Hailey Finucane.

Ten percent of ticket sales from the event are being donated to Trigger's Toys, which is dedicated to reducing the financial and emotional stress on chronically ill children and their families.

Now go read about all the winners, and we'll see you next year.

Robyn Gilliam, Rachel Collins

Robyn Gilliam, Rachel Collins
Robyn Gilliam, Rachel Collins
Justin Holt/Ralph Smith Studios

Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants and chefs win big at Tastemaker Awards

Tastemakers Awards

Now in its fourth year, the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards is here to pay tribute to the people and places doing exceptional work in the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurant and bar community. For the past few weeks, we've celebrated the nominees in a special editorial series. And on April 20, we revealed the winners at a swanky tasting event and awards ceremony at Sixty Five Hundred, emceed by celebrity chef Tim Love.

Every year, a panel of expert judges helps us compile the contenders, and the panel selects all of the winners except for Best New Restaurant. That is determined by you, our readers, in a bracket-style tournament — and this one was close, in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet the 2016 Tastemaker Award winners:


Restaurant of the Year: Lucia
CultureMap is not the first to give an award to this Bishop Arts District restaurant, and it certainly won't be the last. Chef David Uygur executes his vision of upscale Italian comfort food, making everything on-site, including the popular salumi plate, pasta, and house-baked bread. Doting service includes wine tips from co-owner Jennifer Uygur, and the small vintage atmosphere is darling.

Chef of the Year: Julian Barsotti
Barsotti is the current poster boy in Dallas for Italian food, with a growing Italian-restaurant empire that includes his original restaurant Nonna; his Italian-American restaurant Carbone's, which he opened in 2012; and Sprezza, a Roman-themed restaurant that opened in 2016. And the empire continues to expand, with Fachini, another Barsotti Italian creation opening in Highland Park Village this year.

Rising Star Chef: Josh Sutcliff, Mirador
Sutcliff came to Dallas from a San Francisco restaurant to join forces with chef Matt McCallister at his Design District restaurant, FT33, then at his Deep Ellum restaurant, Filament. Now he's at Mirador, the restaurant at the downtown Forty Five Ten boutique, where he works with Junior Borges on a modern American menu that includes lobster roll; deviled eggs; Cobb salad; and a farro bowl with cauliflower, cherries, and Marcona almonds.

Best New Restaurant: Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar
Pizzeria concept from Mooyah co-founder Rich Hicks has the makings of a chain, and there are already two branches, one on Henderson Avenue and one in the Design District. It serves excellent pizza, pasta, beer, and wine, in a brisk, cosmopolitan setting. Everything is available on-site or via delivery to your door — meaning you can get a complete meal with wine or beer included, even a six-pack if you like, a delivery option that's unique.

Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Bbbop Seoul Kitchen
Family-owned Asian-fusion restaurant chain has three branches, and true to this category, each has its own charm: from the bustling practicality of Upper Greenville to the foodie cachet of North Oak Cliff. They all share the same basic cuisine theme, with a focus on Korean dishes including bibimbap, the traditional rice bowl dish topped with veggies, egg, and meat if you want, that inspired their name.

Best Fried Chicken: The Slow Bone
You wouldn't expect fried chicken at a barbecue place, but Slow Bone is full of surprises, including having a 4-star chef — Jeffery Hobbs — behind the line. The chicken gets brined, but he gives it a barbecue twist by smoking the water first, to imbue it with an appropriately smoky taste.

Pastry Chef of the Year: Sarah Green, The Joule
Green was one of three nominees from the Joule hotel, but she's the one who won. Her career has taken many creative twists and turns in her career since acquiring a degree in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu. She earned her pastry chops at Oak Dallas restaurant, but has also dabbled on the savory side as well. She spent two years with Cafe Momentum in downtown Dallas, and she has also cooked at restaurants on the West Coast including Sycamore Kitchen in Los Angeles.

Bar of the Year: Armoury D.E.
Deep Ellum establishment is definitely one-of-a-kind: What other bar serves Hungarian food like chicken paprikash with brown butter spaetzle? It also has a big selection of whiskeys, rare liqueurs, and a serious list of distinctive cocktails such as the Jackie O, made with rye, sarsaparilla, maple syrup, and angostura and black walnut bitters.

Bartender of the Year: Charlie Papaceno, Industry Alley Bar
"Charlie Pap" has been a godfather of the Dallas bar scene, first at the Windmill Lounge, which he opened with his ex-wife, Louise Owens, in 2005, and now at Industry Alley, the comforting South Side retro dive that he opened in 2015. It's a favorite of the service industry and other savvy insiders, who appreciate its solid drinks, pool tables, pinball machines, arcade games, and neon beer signs.

Wine Program of the Year: Gemma
Gemma has won many "best restaurant" awards, and part of the credit goes to its expansive wine list, with bottles from just about every wine region in the world, including some rarities from Napa Valley. There's a large selection of half-bottles, and more than a dozen French white burgundys, which has become the favorite pick of the wine hipster set.


Restaurant of the Year: Tokyo Cafe
Did this venerated Japanese restaurant win because its sushi and bento boxes are so nicely put together by creative chef Kevin Martinez? Or was it the courageous endurance of husband and wife owners Mary Kah-Ho and Jarry Ho, who spent two long years rebuilding — and updating — the restaurant after a fire? How about a little of both.

Chef of the Year: Jesus Garcia, Oni Ramen
Garcia helped make Fort Worth a ramen destination after opening his fast-casual gourmet-caliber restaurant in 2016. Previously chef at Little Lilly Sushi, Garcia earned many a rave. He's also worked at Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck, Piranha Killer Sushi, and Shinjuku Station. To learn the ramen ropes, Garcia moved to Seattle to work at ramen restaurants there, including famed chain Kizuki Ramen. At Oni, they make stocks daily and incorporate sous vide cooking techniques.

Best New Restaurant: Tortaco
Latest concept from restaurateur Mike Karns (El Fenix, Meso Maya) won out over seven other new restaurants in Fort Worth. Tortaco combines tacos, tortas, and bowls filled with ingredients such as tamarind pork and diablo shrimp. There's lots of mezcal, crafted into cocktails like the one with orange peel, bitters, and simple syrup. Chains propped over the bar and a motorcycle parked inside adds a cool, gritty rock-and-roll atmosphere.


It's tastemaker time for the 10 best restaurants in Dallas

Top Awards

We're mere days away from the 2017 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual event celebrating the best in local food and drink. We're honoring nominees in all categories of food and beverage, from best chefs to the best restaurant in Dallas-Fort Worth.

We'll toast them at a party on April 20 from 7-10 pm at Sixty Five Hundred, with tastings and awards, emceed by Texas celebrity chef Tim Love. Tickets are on sale now.

We've profiled the candidates for Rising Star Chef, Best Neighborhood Restaurant, Best Bars, Best Bartenders, Best Wine Program, the top pastry chefs, the best fried chicken, and the Best Chefs.

Now we take a look at the contenders in the biggest category of all: Best Restaurant in Dallas. Here are the nominees:

The casual sibling to CBD Provisions at The Joule hotel specializes in Italian-American classics. That includes house-made pastas, such as tortellini stuffed with ricotta and butternut squash, or and hand-cut pappardelle with Bolognese. There are Neapolitan-style pizzas, small plates, larger composed plates, as well as house-cured meats and cheeses. Pastries and desserts include house-made gelato.

Casa Rubia
Casa Rubia is one of the shining stars of Trinity Groves, with lots of critical raves for its modern tapas and dark, trendy atmosphere. Menu includes charcuterie, as well as many seafood options such as mussels and octopus. Paella is the signature dish and it changes daily. Drinks are unique: There's a long Spanish wine list, plus sherries and beers from Spain and South America.

Chef Matt McCallister's second restaurant is designed for the "everyday crowd," i.e., more casual than FT33. The machinist shop theme with exposed brick walls and wooden ceiling beams makes handy use of a vintage Deep Ellum building. Menu items include onion dip with warm potato chips, trout fritters, and pork chop with braised collards. There's also a "secret" burger available at the bar that's not really that secret.

Flora Street Cafe
Chef Stephan Pyles' latest concept, Flora Street Cafe represents a surprising pivot away from fast-casual burger joints and into fine dining, filtered through Pyles' Southwestern POV. Flora Street also dabbles in molecular gastronomy, with amusing tricks such as the seafood carpaccio starter that emits dry-ice smoke when it comes to the table. This is special-occasion dining; it's expensive. Restaurant has a central location in the middle of the Dallas Arts District, with a floor-to-ceiling glass front.

Award-winning restaurant in the Bishop Arts District is where you'll find chef David Uygur, executing his vision of upscale Italian comfort food. Everything is made on-site, beginning with the salumi plate, with options such as spicy sopressata, salame, duck pate with pistachio, and lardo on crostini. Pasta is a must, whether it’s Meyer lemon risotto with crab, spaghetti with bottarga, or lamb brain ravioli; you can get it in half-portions. Doting service includes wine tips from co-owner Jennifer Uygur, and the complimentary house bread has its own following. The restaurant is generally booked a month out, but there are four seats at the bar that are first-come, first-served.

Montlake Cut
Seafood restaurant from chef Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services) picks up the former Spoon spot in Preston Center, with oysters, mussels, chowder, Dungeness crab, and a burger. You can't not have a burger. Atmosphere is casual-chic, with an emphasis on chic; the steak frites are $39. Seafood theme pervades the decor as well, with pole-mounted seats at the bar reminiscent of a bass boat, and Seattle-themed graphics on the wall.

Italian restaurant at the foothills of the Parks Cities from chef Julian Barsotti (who also owns Carbone's and Sprezza) does house-made pasta, thin-crust pizza, salads, and salumi, in a cozy but cool setting. Menu items rotate, but favorites include gnocchi, lobster ravioli, and white pizza with clams. The wine list is loaded with Italian labels, although prices are high, starting at $12 per glass. One nice convention is the complementary "bomba" bread, a puffy round full of hot air, accompanied by a small dish of olives.

TNT Tacos and Tequila
Hip, more casual sibling of Blue Mesa has tacos, in the Quadrangle. Owners Liz and Jim Baron devised TNT as a place where their Southwestern food would reach a younger audience. It's a synthesis of Blue Mesa food but with a mix-and-match menu. Best-selling tacos include the corn-crusted chicken street taco with pickled onions, and the Buffalo chicken street taco, featuring grilled chicken brushed with spicy-hot wings-style sauce.

Life changed for this taqueria in West Dallas when it made the Bon Appetit list of best new restaurants for 2016. But owners Luis Olvera and Juan Carlos Overa were making great tacos before the magazine came along, including al pastor, beef, and a surprisingly good vegetarian paneer-poblano, all served on house-made corn tortillas and sprinkled with onions and cilantro. As impressive as the tacos are, the quesadilla is a must-get, too.

Famed chef Tyson Cole opens a third branch of his Austin-based sushi-eria Uchi, in a sleek wood-paneled building on Maple Avenue. Menu-wise, the Dallas branch includes items from both Uchi and sister concept Uchiko, with fish both hot and cold, plus sake and wacky desserts, such as the one with fried milk. Prices aren't cheap; you must pay for the opportunity to eat celebrity chef-conceived raw fish. You'll likely wait for a table, too, but there's a lobby designed for that. Seeing and being seen is all part of the Uchi plan.

Photo courtesy of Flora Street

Put your hands together for the 10 best chefs in Dallas

Chef's Choice

We're only a week away from the 2017 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual event honoring the best in local food and drink. As part of our run-up, we've elected nominees in all categories of food and beverage, from best chefs to the best restaurant in Dallas-Fort Worth.

We'll toast them at a party on April 20 from 7-10 pm at Sixty Five Hundred, with tastings and awards, emceed by Texas celebrity chef Tim Love. Tickets are on sale now.

We've profiled the candidates for Rising Star Chef, Best Neighborhood Restaurant, Best Bars, Best Bartenders, Best Wine Program, the top pastry chefs, and the restaurants with the best fried chicken.

Now we move on to one of the biggest categories of all: best chef.

Angela Hernandez, Top Knot
A native of Austin, Hernandez joined the Uchi family in 2014 to work at Uchiko in Austin before coming to Dallas in 2016 to open Top Knot, the whimsical spot atop Uchi Dallas. A graduate of the Texas Culinary Academy, she worked for six years in New York including at Allen & Delancey and Corton, and she also worked at Flores, and at The Bazaar by Chef Jose Andres, both in Los Angeles.

Bruno Davaillon, Bullion
A native of the Loire Valley in France, Bruno Davaillon came to Dallas in 2010 to take on the post of chef at the venerable Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Prior to Dallas, he was executive chef at Alain Ducasse's Mix at THE hotel at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Under his five-year leadership, Mix was awarded a Michelin star in both 2008 and 2009. Davaillon began cooking at age 16 and has cooked in some of the world's most legendary restaurants, such as Restaurant Lasserre, a temple of classic French gastronomy near the Champs-Élysées. He'll open a new restaurant, Bullion, in downtown Dallas in 2017.

Dean Fearing, Fearing's Restaurant
Charismatic Dean Fearing is one of the founders of Southwestern cuisine and one of Dallas' most beloved chefs. He helped make the Mansion on Turtle Creek a culinary destination before leaving to found Fearing's Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. He also authored the 2014 cookbook The Texas Food Bible. He's had countless features in national and international press and numerous TV cooking shows. He was recognized as a "Pioneer of American Cuisine" by his alma mater the Culinary Institute of America, and was presented with the Silver Spoon Award for sterling performance by Food Arts.

Julian Barsotti, Nonna, Carbone's, Sprezza
The current poster boy in Dallas for Italian food, Barsotti comes from a cooking family. His mother owns the catering operation Food Company, and his grandmother's family owns restaurants in New Jersey. He cooked at Oliveto in California before opening Nonna in Dallas in 2006. He's since followed that up with Italian-American restaurant Carbone's, which he opened in 2012, and Sprezza, a Roman-themed restaurant that opened in 2016.

Kirstyn Brewer, 80/20 Hospitality
Brewer is a returning nominee; in fact, she won in 2016 for Best Rising Star Chef. Her resume includes The Bazaar by Jose Andreas in Beverly Hills, where she worked with Top Chef Michael Voltaggio, and Consilient Restaurants' Westside Tavern in Los Angeles. Her employ with Consilient brought her to Dallas. She first worked at Hibiscus before moving to Victor Tangos, where she was executive chef for three years. She left in 2016 to open a still-to-come American/Chinese restaurant in the old Remedy space on Greenville Avenue.

Matt Balke, Bolsa
A native of Texas, Balke is an exceptionally well-rounded chef who graduated from Texas Tech with degrees in business marketing and hotel restaurant management before moving on to the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated as salutatorian in 2007. He worked at York Street, then two years at Bolsa and Bolsa Mercado, The Rustic in Dallas, and Smoke in Plano, before returning to rule the roost at Bolsa again.

Matt Hoa, Ten Ramen
A native of California, Hoa comes from a restaurant family, and is part of the "Teach" family of restaurants, including his tenure at Tei An, the noodle restaurant at One Arts Plaza. He began to attract attention as executive chef at Ten Ramen, whose intimate confines provide a showcase for the creative labors and exciting action of the chef team. Hoa is part of the opening team at the new offshoot at the Shacks complex in The Colony.

Matt McCallister, FT33, Filament
After cooking in kitchens across the country, Arizona native Matt McCallister found his home in Dallas at FT33, his first solo venture, which made waves on a national scale, including a spot on the 2013 Top 50 New Restaurant list from Bon Appétit, and a 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef nod. He's since opened Filament, a more casual restaurant in Deep Ellum. He favors the rubble-on-the-plate look and is famous for his foraging expeditions.

Michael Ehlert, The French Room
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Ehlert began his cooking career at Colorado restaurants such as Boulder Cafe and Jax Fish House, the restaurant of Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg, and in New York at the Brasserie and chef Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen & Bar. In Dallas, he's worked at The Chesterfield, Campo, Hibiscus, and the Front Room at Hotel Lumen.

Stephan Pyles, Stampede 66, Flora Street Cafe
A fifth-generation West Texan born into a restaurant family, Stephan Pyles has led an amazing life of restaurants, travel, education, and charity. Prolific and creative, he's launched more than a dozen restaurants, from his ground-breaking Routh Street Cafe to the iconic Star Canyon to his eponymous restaurant on Ross Avenue to his latest stunner, Flora Street Cafe. He's produced and starred on TV cooking shows, published cookbooks, and won a James Beard Award, an accomplishment few Dallasites have achieved.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Famous doner kebab restaurant tops 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 listhere. Heading to the State Fair? Find a full list of discounts here.

1. Famous doner kebab restaurant makes Dallas debut with location in Frisco. A big name in doner kebabs has come to Dallas-Fort Worth: German Doner Kebab, famous for pioneering gourmet doner kebabs in the UK and worldwide, opened its first location in Frisco, at 12025 E. University Dr. #100, on September 25.

2. Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 best new happy hours. Maybe because it's fall or maybe because we're just lucky, but it's an especially rich time right now for happy hour offerings, with five spots that have either just debuted new happy hours (or are about to debut).

3. Art Institutes college chain shuts down all campuses, including Dallas. In tragic news for higher education, the Art Institutes, a network of colleges in eight cities around the U.S. including Dallas, is shutting down all campuses as of September 30.

4. A Bennigan's-inspired list of all the Monte Cristo sandwiches in Dallas. In the world of sandwiches, the name Bennigan's brings to mind one thing: their world-famous Monte Cristo. Here’s a comprehensive list of other places to get a Monte Cristo in DFW.

5. American doll store relocates flagship from one Dallas mall to another. The American Girl store is departing its current location at Galleria Dallas and relocating to The Shops at Park Lane where it will establish a new flagship in a two-story space between Nordstrom Rack and opposite HomeGoods. It will open in early 2024.

New brunches and fall dishes put some yum in this Dallas restaurant news

News You Can Eat

Fall weather may not be here yet but Dallas restaurants are happily paying no mind, gifting us with ramen, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin souffles, and beer cheese fondues. It'll be cold soon enough. There are also some restaurant openings here, some new brunches, and a meal deal for seniors.

Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news.

Fish City Grill has opened a location in Prosper at 1150 S. Preston Rd., just north of U.S. Highway 380 in The Gates of Prosper. It features seafood and cocktails, with specials on the restaurant’s trademark Chalkboard which are unique to each location and change twice each day. (Visit fishcitygrill.com/locations to view the Chalkboard cameras.) This is the chain's 23rd location.

White Rhino Coffee has opened a location in Frisco at 8075 FM 423 #100. This is the 10th location for the chain first founded in 2007 by Chris Parvin in Cedar Hill.

Captain D’s has opened a new location at 522 E. Belt Line Rd. in Cedar Hill, owned and operated by Golden Chick franchisee Joseph Omobogie. It's the 21st Captain D’s in Texas and a momentous step for Omobogie, who has 14 Golden Chick locations, as he ventures into new culinary territory. Captain D's serves fried catfish, fried shrimp, and chicken tenders.

True Food Kitchen has unveiled what a release calls "its biggest menu innovation of 15 years" with a reimagined brunch and cocktail program in addition to new seasonal dishes. Brunch highlights include Cinnamon Toastini, Berry Cerealtini, huevos rancheros, Hawaiian Fried Rice, and a tasting tower. New cocktails include Dazzling Eyes with Don Q rum, coconut, carrot juice, and Thai basil; and True Story with gin, chareau aloe, cucumber, snap pea, pineapple, and lemon.

Stirr recently launched a new autumn menu, with brunch, lunch, main and cocktail offerings including Pumpkin Spice pancakes, Chicken & Waffles, Wagyu Italian Beef Sandwich, Fried Chicken Cobb, Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Parm, Cajun Chicken Frites, Steakhouse Salad, Blackened Redfish, Lobster Ravioli, Beer Cheese Fondue, and a Count of Monte Cristo sandwich, which is so trendy right now.

McRae’s American Bistro is introducing a new weekend brunch on Sunday October 1, with deviled eggs, jalapeno pimento cheese, frittata muffaletta, chicken & waffles, chipotle eggs benedict, Lakewood latke, croque madame, corned beef hash & eggs, and more. More being cocktails, including a bloody Mary bar, espresso martini, sangria, wines, and beer. It'll run Saturday-Sunday from 11 am-3 pm.

BarNone has launched a new Whiskey Club. Members get a monthly e-newsletter, access to distillery and brewery tours, access to BarNone's master distiller meet & greets, entry into year-end Pappy Van Winkle 10 year and BTAC (George Stagg, William Larue Weller, Sazerac 18, Thomas Handy and Eagle Rare 17 year) giveaway, free whiskey rating forms, access to allocated whiskeys, ryes, scotches, and world whiskeys, and BarNone Whiskey Club private barrels. BarNone has also expanded its whiskey offerings to 173 varieties with selections from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, UK, Japan, and Ireland. Entry is free, sign up online.

Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar has a new Miso-Chili Tonkotsu Ramen with charred bok choy, scallions, sun noodle, sesame, ajitama egg, and choice of brisket or prawns, for $18, served Tuesday-Wednesday starting at 4 pm.

Monarch has a new dessert for the fall: Pumpkin Spice Latte Souffle featuring pumpkin spice, coffee crème anglaise, and sweet cream ice cream, available through the end of October.

Tiff’s Treats has new filled cookies including PB&J (peanut butter cookie with raspberry jam) and decadent Double Chocolate Salted Caramel (Double Chocolate cookie filled with dulce de leche and sprinkled with sea salt). They're available in a combo package where you get a dozen filled and a dozen classic for $43.

Melting Pot, the fondue restaurant, has launched an Oktober FondueFest limited-time 3-course menu with Bavarian Beer Cheese Fondue paired with dippers like bratwurst, braised short rib, and pretzels, with choice of salad and decadent Black Forest Chocolate Fondue. German-inspired sips include the new Black Forest Fashioned and St-Germain Spritz cocktail along with seasonal Sam Adams Octoberfest. Served Monday-Thursday through October 26.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has a 3-course senior menu for 65+ before 6 pm, available daily for $39. First course offers choices from wedge, Caesar, field green, pear & candied pecan salad, French onion soup, or lobster bisque. Second course offers choices from pork chop, filet mignon, salmon, chicken oscar, vegan skillet chopped steak, or fried shrimp. Third course is side dish or dessert from a choice of cheesecake, chocolate crunch tower, crème brûlée, whipped potatoes, creamed spinach, or chargrilled vegetables.

Pappasito's celebrates its 40th anniversary through October at all four DFW locations including two at DFW Airport, plus locations in Arlington and Fort Worth with a $40 special on beef fajitas or beef & chicken fajita platters, with guacamole, rice, frijoles a la charra, and tortillas serving 2-3 people, available on Wednesdays starting at 4 pm.

Taco Bell has brought back its cult-favorite Nacho Fries, but with a new twist: a Vegan Nacho Sauce. Nacho Fries - fries with a spicy seasoning, which are "accidentally" vegan - were first introduced in January 2018, and have been retired and brought back several times. They ordinarily come with queso. The Vegan Nacho Sauce previously appeared in a Vegan Crunchwrap the chain tested in June 2023. The sauce got high marks, so Taco Bell decided to offer it on a national scale with their beloved Nacho Fries. The Nacho Fries on their. own are available now in two sizes: regular for $2.19 and a new large size for $2.99; Vegan Nacho Sauce will be available starting October 12.

McDonald’s of North Texas is adding two new limited-edition sauces to the menu starting October 9: McDonald’s Sweet & Spicy Jam, a jammy red pepper dipping sauce with apple cider vinegar, Szechuan peppercorn, and cayenne pepper; Mambo Sauce, a tomato-based sweet, spicy, and vinegary sauce inspired by the regional Washington, D.C. area sauce staple.

Luckys the Oak Lawn diner is celebrating the State Fair of Texas with two limited-edition menu items: two corn dogs with fries, for $11, and Cotton Candy Pilsner from Texas Ale Project for $5.50, served through October 22.

Target has a new free Drive Up service for Starbucks menu items where customers can place an order and have it delivered straight to their car. The service has been popular in other markets and now it's in Dallas. The three top-selling items for Drive Up with Starbucks are Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, Birthday Cake Pop, and Iced Caramel Macchiato. You place your order, park in the Drive Up area, and tap “I’m here” in the Target app. A Target staffer delivers the Starbucks order, along with whatever else in your Drive Up purchase. By October, all 1,700-plus Target stores that have a Starbucks Café and offer Drive Up will have the Drive Up with Starbucks service.

Dunkin’ has launched the Texas Dunkin’ Community Cruiser, a mobile coffee truck that delivers free samples of hot and iced coffee directly to local community events. The Texas Dunkin’ Community Cruiser follows in the footsteps of several successful Cruiser programs built throughout the country over the last 10 years.

Norma's Cafe will provide six meals to the North Texas Food Bank for every holiday dinner purchased from now until November 18. The original Oak Cliff location at 1123 W. Davis St. will be open on Thanksgiving Day, November 23 from 11 am-1 pm to feed the homeless.

Salata, the salad chain, has launched of bottled salad dressings in its five most popular flavors: Buttermilk Ranch, Chipotle Ranch, Herb Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Ginger Lime Vinaigrette. They come in 12.5-oz bottles and are available at select H-E-B locations for $6.48.

The ADD SOY Act has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cory Booker, (D-N.J.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), to give kids a plant-based milk option to cow’s milk in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and allows for the USDA to reimburse schools for those purchases, just as it does for cow’s milk. The new Senate bill number is S. 2943, and is a companion to the U.S. House of Representatives bill H.R. 1619, introduced by Reps. Troy Carter (D-LA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC).

Farrah Fawcett Foundation honors cancer-crusading 'angel' Katie Couric at 2023 Dallas benefit

Starry night

Hollywood icons and angels descended on Dallas for the second year, for the 2023 Farrah Fawcett Foundation Tex-Mex Fiesta.

Held at The Rustic on September 28, the star-studded benefit included a red carpet, Tex-Mex buffet dinner, award presentations, live auction, and margaritas that flowed all night long - all to raise money for the fight against cancer. Proceeds went to The American Cancer Society/Cattle Baron's Ball and Stand Up To Cancer.

Co-chairs Alana Stewart, Jaclyn Smith, and Linda Gray - the late Farrah Fawcett's bestie, Charlie's Angels co-star, and last year's Angel Award winner, respectively - welcomed guests. Then actor and famously tanned man George Hamilton took over to emcee the presentations with his signature charm, wit, and sweet banter with ex-wife Stewart.

Dr. Lawrence Piro, Fawcett’s former oncologist and Chief Medical Advisor for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, underscored the importance of the evening’s fundraising efforts. Fawcett passed away from rectal cancer in 2009, at the age of 62. The foundation that bears her name and raises money for cancer-related causes is her greatest legacy, her friends agreed on stage.

A live auction led by Samantha Robinson of Heritage Auctions raised thousands of dollars with one-of-a-kind items like lunch with George Hamilton the following day at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (sold for $10,000) and a "Hollywood Experience" including lunch with "The Fonz" Henry Winkler (sold for $14,000).

Country music star Brett Eldredge got the crowd on its feet with a quick set of his hits, and DJ 13lackbeard kept the party beats lively. Actress Dyan Cannon gave a heartfelt tribute, and Patrick Foley - Fawcett’s long time friend, make-up artist, and Neiman Marcus’ resident make-up artist - was recognized for his support of the Foundation.

But the emotional highlight of the evening was the presentation of the foundation's 2023 Angel Award to Katie Couric. The trailblazing journalist famously underwent a colonoscopy on air after her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer at age 42 in 1998. In September 2022, Couric revealed her own breast cancer diagnosis.

In her acceptance speech, Couric spoke poignantly about all the things the cancer took away from her two daughters, who were just 2 and 6 years old when their dad passed.

"I know what it's like to lose someone you love way before their time," she said. "In two words: It sucks ... devastating, life-shattering, horrific. No adjective sufficiently describes what that period of my life was like."

She encouraged people not to "get squeamish" about "cancers that occur below the belt" (referring specifically to rectal and colon cancers).

"I've always said, 'Don't die of embarrassment,'" she said. "You know, if we're lucky, we all have colons, we all have anuses, it's just part of our biology, so let's get real about that, people."

After Couric's colonoscopy on The Today Show, the number of people who got screened increased 20 percent, she said.

"But that statistic means so much more," she said. "It means that so many people got to watch their child score a goal at a soccer game, so many people got to watch their child graduate with honors, so many people got to watch their child walk down the aisle."

She said she often wonders what Farrah and Jay would be doing today.

"Honestly, I get so sad and so mad when I think about everything [her daughters] have missed," she said. "We couldn't save them, but we can use every ounce of our energy to spare others from a similar fate."

Among the patrons there to support the event were actress Donna Mills, designer Cynthia Rowley, John Tatum, Jim Foley, Christine Romeo, Jeffrey Lane, and hundreds of generous Dallasites.

Farrah Fawcett Foundation Tex-Mex Fiesta 2023

Photo courtesy of Farrah Fawcett Foundation

Jaclyn Smith, Alana Stewart, Katie Couric, Linda Gray