A crazy number of new restaurants opened this year in Dallas. There’s a restaurant turning on its open sign as you’re reading this. There goes another one! Because you may not have the time/money/digestive capacity to eat at ALL of them, here is some help in the form of the 11 best restaurants that opened in Dallas this year:
Dallas' 11 best new restaurants of 2014
Whether or not you’re a John Tesar fan, you have to respect the magic he makes in the kitchen, as evidenced by the quality coming out of his palace-of-protein, Knife. There was rightfully much commotion over the 240-day aged ribeye and its $80/in price tag, but there's amazingness up and down this menu. from the five-way bacon tasting to the oxtail ravioli with aged balsamic, to the sides of avocado fries & creamed spinach with roasted shallots... for those who feel better sneaking in some vegetable matter. Whether you're enjoying a slab of prime beef from 44 Farms in Cameron or a few bacon jam sloppy joes, your first thought after "mmmmm" is likely to be "when can I go back?".
Bowen House, while it does mix some of the best cocktails in the city, isn’t to be written off as a run-of the-mill bar. From pillowy soft pretzels and satisfying portabello frites, to duck wings and bacon-wrapped shrimp & grits, the food is every bit as impressive as the drinks operation, which eschews menus in favor of having the bar staff customize your boozy experience to suit your taste.
Fifty percent smokehouse, fifty percent bar, one hundred percent amazing; it's no surprise Blind Butcher is steadily packed with hungry carnivores. The focal point of the menu is their hand-cranked sausages that they're constantly rotating (in more ways than one!). And for an extra buck they will throw it in a bun! Of course, there's also that duck fat poutine layered with cheese curds, gravy, and other indulgences (pork belly!). Pro tip: If you go off the menu, there's even a dessert poutine of churro fries topped with brown butter caramel sauce and bacon-infused marshmallows. So yeah, they have some good ideas here.
From the food quality to the service to... well, basically everything, the one word that best sums up the experience of dining at Gemma is "perfection". Whether you're going light (like a kampachi crudo bathed in yuzu with finger lime, sea beans, and kiwi berry) or reaching for richer flavor like braised veal cheeks with bacon, roasted cipollini, and black pepper spaetzle, everything will be thoughtful, well-balanced, and most importantly, delicious. Even the cocktails are on point -- like a Chartreuse-kissed fennel rickey. They'll treat you like royalty here, so if you haven't had the experience yet, make it happen.
One of the best vegan places to open in Dallas since... haha, fooled you! Okay, probably not, and thankfully Scotch & Sausage's name isn't some kind of clever misdirection. The lineup of house-made encased meats is both robust and affordable (and in all seriousness this time, they do have some solid choices for any vega- types you're bringing along). The German Biergarten atmosphere is decidedly vibrant, and the whiskey, as you might imagine, is beyond plentiful. Basically, you have everything you need.
Barter's made a serious splash in Uptown with a lineup of semi-upscale twists on familiar flavors. Think appetizers like buffalo style quail eggs and short rib spring rolls. Entrees are hearty and comforting, like a roasted half-chicken with carrots & pan jus, and a sweet tea-smoked double bone-in pork chop with goat yogurt grits & fermented chili oil. Their cocktail game is also strong -- if you're the trusting type, go bartender's-choice and let them whip something up to suit your tastes.
Bishop Arts District
How does one stand out in one of the most vibrant food neighborhoods in all of Dallas? Here are some suggestions: Wagyu meatloaf with smoked bacon and melted onion hash, or goat cheese dumplings with hen of the woods 'shrooms and braised greens that'll make you ignore anything happening around you. Hip and upscale, yet rustic and unpretentious, the atmosphere's as balanced as the menu, which you'll likely want to explore in full over multiple trips -- otherwise, the decision between toffee croissant bread pudding and warm chocolate s'mores cake for dessert might cripple you.
One Arts Plaza
Another spot trading equally strongly on culinary and cocktail cred, Proof & Pantry has an interestingly constructed menu, with a "Bulk" section composed of items designed for a few hungry people (like ribeye with confit potatoes, long beans, and heirloom carrots). You might also reach for smaller bites by "Land" (bone marrow topped with onion marshmallow, tomato jam, and hazelnut gremolata has a devoted following), or "Sea" (binchotan spot prawns with freshwater eel). "Soil" is veg-focused (though baked burrata with candied tomatoes is plenty indulgent), and "Sweets & Cheeses" brings it home with pavlova with dark chocolate & passion fruit gel. Leave no section unexplored.
Having settled in seamlessly to Oak Cliff this fall, VH has sated the masses with hearty plates like red wine pot roast with cheddar grits and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with sweet potato puree, green chile succotash, and a maple sherry reduction. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, but the food is executed with impressive precision. It makes for a fine date spot, provided the two of you aren't in a food coma by the time you're digging into your chocolate chip pretzel cookies with vanilla bean ice cream.
Fresh, inexpensive, and unspeakably delicious, Crushcraft's tight menu takes well-known Thai style dishes and does them exceptionally well. None of the eight entrees top $10 (well, unless you add a fried egg, so... some of them will probably top $10, but still). Also, you'd be remiss to leave without some of the incredibly fresh, spicy, and vibrant papaya salad or the satisfying (even for carnivorous types) tofu fries.
Sometimes you want a fancy joint that feels like a big event, and sometimes you want to be able to walk in with a five spot and come out satisfied. Come Taco is there for you in these moments. The question isn't "will you get al pastor tacos", the question is how many will you devour, doused in their house-made salsas. Maybe you'll mix it up with a chorizo taco or a torta pambazo? No matter what you decide, you're likely landing on a cost-to-deliciousness ratio that's just about unbeatable in Dallas.
Sign up here for our daily Dallas email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun DFW has to offer.
1. Knife Modern Steak5300 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas
2. Bowen House2614 Boll St, Dallas
3. The Blind Butcher1919 Greenville Ave, Dallas
4. Gemma2323 N Henderson Ave, Dallas
5. Scotch & Sausage2808 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas
6. Stock & Barrel316 W Davis St, Dallas
7. Proof and Pantry1722 Routh St, Dallas
8. VH1115 N Beckley Ave, Dallas
9. Crushcraft Thai Street Eats2800 Routh St Ste 150, Dallas
10. El Come Taco2513 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas
11. Barter3232 McKinney Ave, Dallas
Knife Modern Steakhouse by James Beard-nominated chef John Tesar is a sleek and elegant update on the classic steakhouse. Dedicated to using the finest, high-quality ingredients with Texas roots, Knife sources its meats from nearby 44 Farms in Carmen, Texas. Classic cuts like bone-in rib eye and filet mignon are what you can expect to see on "Old School" menu, whereas more adventurous selections, like Waygu, Akaushi and Tri-Tip, wood-fired over an open flame, are decidedly "New School."
Bowen House in Uptown is an upscale neighborhood (it's literally set inside a refurbished Victorian home) watering hole bound to satisfy all your cocktail cravings. Go for a custom drink-- just tell the bartenders what sort of drinks you like and they'll mix up something specially for you-- or a classic cocktail (the Old Fashioned is top notch). A highly impressive food menu will help you settle in.
It’s hard to focus on a single menu item because The Blind Butcher makes their own pickles, hand cranks their own sausages, fries pig ears, makes a mean charcuterie board, and is beloved for their sinfully good poutine. The Butcher features an obscenely large beer list with craft drafts from some of America’s favorite breweries (think Ommegang and Lagunitas), local Texas breweries, and their own house brew. This restaurant has a distinctly industrial, relaxed feel in it’s home in an old warehouse, yet it brings a stylish urban atmosphere that has been described as “New York comes to Dallas.”
It's worth planning ahead and getting a reservation before you go to Gemma, as it's no surprise that there's usually a line for the N Henderson Ave spot with craft cocktails made from super-fresh ingredients and menu hits like veal cheeks served over black pepper spaetzle.
Though the name pretty much lays bare what you can expect from this Oak Lawn eat-and-drinkery, you can expect to enjoy sandwiches, whiskey with an 'e', and cold beer as well.
Stock and Barrel is a hip American-cuisine destination with a neighborly feel, and an entire section of its menu dedicated to French fries. Order offerings such as crushed Yukons with Parmesan and smoked paprika mayo, or try out the meats, seafood, and sides coming out of the wood-fired grill.
Upscale cocktails and food mix with a casual and refined space at Proof and Pantry, brought to you by mix-master Michael Martensen of Cedar's Social and Smyth fame.
VH serves American cuisine, with a slight Tex-Mex twist, at its casual venue in Oak Cliff. The full bar offers a good variety of wine, beer, and cocktails. If you decide to come for brunch-- which you should-- the carnitas hash is a fan favorite.
This stylish thai restaurant is exactly what it needs to be: authentic street food gone gourmet meets Texas grit. Both bohemian and industrial, diners sit under a corrugated metal roof and colorful streamers, Bangkok license plates, subway tiles, and exposed wood. With such an extensive menu you might have trouble picking between the Gaang (coconut milk-based curries), Phat (wok-fried noodles and rice), and Kap Khao (rice dishes), but we crave the OG Phat Thai (chicken and tofu served over rice noodles and bean sprouts with veggies and a toasted peanut topping). Sip on imported Thai beer or a rotating local craft brew while you anxiously wait for your flavor-packed bowl goodies.
El Come Taco focuses on simply prepared street tacos made with corn tortillas and filled with brisket, sirloin, or if you're craving a crunch, crispy grasshopper. The add-ons are minimal (most tacos are topped with nothing more than cilantro and chopped onion), letting the juiciness of the meat and the grainy texture of the tortillas speak for themselves.
Paying homage to Dallas's culinary history, Barter makes as good of a date spot as it does an after-work hangout with friends. Everything from fajitas, to lamb chops, to poutine will line your stomach for their delicious cocktails.