Masons have a reputation as a secret, underground society, even though their lodges are clearly visible to everyone but a sh***ing Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes. Using an old Uptown lodge as the launching point for a less-secretive career: the Underground Chef, opening Mason Bar tomorrow.
Housed in a 1920s former godly bricklayer hangout, this high-ceiling, wood-floored collab between Chef DAT and Brandt Wood channels both the Bayou and OG Dallas, with arched windows flooding light over a U-shaped marble bar and out onto gig posters from Wood's former spots, like Steve Earle, Hank III, and Jurassic 5 (tagline: "Now even Sam Neill's a dinosaur!"). David Buehler your feasting with couscous- & creole mustard-assisted hot budin, simply prepped grilled gulf oysters, duck confit tostadas, and a dish beloved by incarcerated Frenchmen everywhere: the quail egg, toast, and Hollandaise "Frog in the Hole". Intended to please "everyone from foodies to cousin Jim-Bob", mains are casually gastronomic (the chicken, pork, brisket & burger patties are all sous vide), and count po' boys (from "messy" roast beef to shrimp & oyster), seared Hawaiian walu (w/ leek fried rice, absinthe butter & candied orange zest), and Creole Chicken & Biscuits, which besides Maker's butter and Giannis honey claims tiger's blood amongst its ingredients, so don't order it if you're a Cryer.
Blackboard specials will feature the likes of blackened redfish, fried chicken, foie gras, and caviar. The man/woman behind the bar is still TBD, but expect originals, plus "a damn good Sazerac, and great, classic New Orleans-style cocktails" -- hopefully not, like, Hand Grenades, or you'll be knocked to the floor even if you're an Iron Lady.