This roundup of Dallas dining news has an unprecedented number of restaurants offering special seasonal menus for summer, most starting on June 1. We're so seasonal right now.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:
Saaya Lounge, a Mediterranean oasis at 2511 Swiss Ave. from Milkshake Concepts (Vidorra, The Finch, Harper’s) will open on Friday, June 2. The menu will be in mezze form - small Mediterranean-style shared plates – such as Spicy Feta Dip, marinated Shawarma and Kebabs, and Lebanese-style pizzas, also known as Manakeesh. Plus Greek and Lebanese Caesar. Cocktails include the Ombra of Anubis with Sombra Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, and Ramazatti; and Not Your Habibi, with Ketel One vodka, St. Germain, and Dill Yogurt.
Leela's Pizza & Wine has introduced weekend brunch at its new Uptown location at McKinney & Olive, Saturday-Sunday from 11 am-3 pm. The menu features frittatas, breakfast pizzas, $2 mimosas, and cold pressed juices. Entrees include bacon & cheddar frittata with egg, bacon, white cheddar, tomato, arugula, & avocado crema; vegetable frittata with egg whites, manchego, spinach, red pepper, mushrooms, romesco; bacon & sausage breakfast pizza with an over easy egg; vegetable breakfast pizza with spinach, mushrooms, red onions, tomato, over easy egg; and an acai smoothie bowl with acai, strawberry, banana, blackberry, oats, and honey. Drinks include $2 mimosas and $5 cold-pressed juice mimosa.
Sister on Greenville Avenue has an unusual new item: Called the One Night Stand, it features a bottle of prosecco and a room key to one of the three boutique apartments above its sibling Cafe Duro next door. Guests have special access to the neighboring Duro concepts including private dining experiences and priority access to reservations at Sister and their other sibling, The Charles. The sparkling and overnight stay are $299.
Chef's Palette, the restaurant at the Canvas Hotel, has a summer new menu from Executive Chef Emerio Viramontes, featuring pepita-crusted salmon on poblano cream rice with a green bean and pepper medley and blood orange-mezcal glaze; NY strip with goat cheese polenta, broccolini, and blackberry demi; red snapper with black rice and charred baby bok choy; and pork chop with roasted parsnips, carrots, and whipped potatoes. Viramontes is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin who joined the Canvas last year. The new menu debuts on June 1.
Mendocino Farms has a new summer menu featuring: Strawberry Fields Salad with chicken, strawberries, watermelon radish, fennel, mint, red onions, goat gouda, and pistachios; Hot Honey Peach & Prosciutto Sandwich with mozzarella, honey-roasted almonds, Calabrian chili aioli, hot peach honey, and arugula on a toasted sesame roll; Turkey Avo Salsa Verde Sandwich; Italian Roast Beef Sandwich; and new sides: Watermelon Street Cart Salad, Southern Macaroni Salad, and Oaxacan Potato Salad.
Grimaldi's Pizzeria has a new Summer Selections menu with Smoked Brisket Pizza and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce; Spinach Salad with feta cheese, red onion, almonds, and strawberries; Cheesecake topped with blueberries or strawberries; a charcuterie board with prosciutto, salami, mozzarella, Spanish olives, and antipasto peppers; and the Bourbon & Blues cocktail with Tincup American whiskey, lemon juice, muddled blueberries, and thyme. It runs June 6 through September 11.
Salad and Go has a new summer menu with four new dishes: Antipasto Salad with romaine, salami, feta cheese, cucumbers, banana peppers, kalamata olives, red onions, and croutons in red wine vinaigrette (can also be ordered as a wrap); Mediterranean breakfast burrito with spinach, eggs, feta cheese, and avocado with green tomatillo salsa (can also be ordered as a bowl); Minestrone Soup, a vegetarian soup with kale, cannellini beans, and pasta in a tomato-based broth, which will become a permanent menu item; and the return of Blueberry Basil Lemonade. The dishes will debut on June 1.
Modern Market has brought back its cult classic Street Corn Pizza, with corn, jalapeño, chile powder, cilantro, lime, smoked crema, cotija, mozzarella, and cheddar cream sauce. Their pizzas are really a deal. A whole Street Corn Pizza is $12.45, but they also thoughtfully offer their pizzas in a half-size for $7.45. They have locations at Preston Hollow/Dallas, Plano, Southlake, Las Colinas, and Richardson, and their website is one of the easiest and most sophisticated in the restaurant industry.
Smoothie King smoothie chain has brought back its X-Treme Watermelon smoothie and a new Watermelon Lemonade smoothie for the summer.
Chili’s has new Chicken Crisper Combos with Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Fries, and two dipping sauces: new Buffalo Ranch and Sweet Chili Zing. Their OldTimer burger can now be ordered with double patties because more meat is appealing to some people? New premium margaritas feature high-end tequila like Casamigos and Teremana Tequila.
Yardbird, the Miami Beach concept with locations in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Singapore, Chicago, and Denver (opening summer 2023), is doing two pride items during June: Key Lime Pie with toasted meringue, raspberry sauce, and fruit and a Berry Prideful cocktail with Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Lime, Strawberry, and Agave.
Naturli’ is a Danish brand launching its award-winning plant based butters in the U.S. The products will initially launch in H-E-B stores across Texas. Naturli’s vegan butters are among the best on the European market thanks to their exceptional taste and healthy ingredients. Made with cocoa butter, almond butter, coconut oil and canola oil, they are dairy-free and palm-oil free. The Butter Spread is for spreading on bread; Plant Butter Block is for baking. Both are made to taste and perform like traditional butter; Plant Butter Block is approved by professional bakers.
Orange Leaf, the Dallas-based self-serve, choose-your-own-toppings frozen yogurt chain with a location at 6076 Azle Ave. in Lake Worth, has brought back fan-favorite froyo flavor Watermelon.
Gong Cha the drink chain with 7 stores in the Greater Dallas area has a special Pride drink running June 1-30. It's a sweet and tart Lemon Ai Love Yu bubble tea with white pearls and edible glitter.
H-E-B is opening a new eCommerce Fulfillment Center in Plano later this summer to service its new stores in North Texas.
Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council is launching a contest to find The Biggest Fan in Texas. You have to write an essay, plus tell what your favorite DQ item is, your favorite location, and a photo with a DQ memory. The winner gets free Treats & Eats for a year, plus swag from Josh Abbott Band, DQ, and Dr Pepper. The contest is open only to legal residents of Texas, 13 or older. Entries must be received by August 6 at 8 am. The rules can be found on the dqtexas.com/biggestdqfan website. The winner will be announced on August 14.
José Andrés Group has partnered with Loliware, the world’s first seaweed-resin company, to launch Loliware straws at all restaurants. Loliware’s innovative seaweed-resin straws and utensils look and act like plastic but can compost completely within 50 days. They've already debuted at Chicago restaraunts Bar Mar, Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, and Jaleo, and will expand to José Andrés Group restaurants across the country.
Nueva Pescanova, a Spanish seafood company, is trying to open an industrial-scale octopus farm, and scientists and activists are calling for it to be quashed. Octopuses are intelligent and curious sentient beings, able to solve complex puzzles. They're also territorial and solitary animals who may resort to cannibalism if kept in tanks together, as Nueva Pescanova intends. The company also plans to subject breeding females to 24-hour periods of light, which would cause extreme discomfort, and their proposed method of slaughter — death by ice slurry —causes significant pain as animals can take hours to die. If you don't care about the cruelty aspect, consider the health threat: Octopuses are known to carry over 20 different pathologies, including vibrio cholerae which causes cholera in humans; octopus farming would increase the risk of spreading more zoonotic diseases like COVID among humans. IDA USA has a form you can fill out to log your protest.