Dallas Summer Restaurant Preview

By Farah Fleurima  |  May 20, 2014
Credit: Farah Fleurima

Even though Dallas tends to clear out somewhat in the summer, that doesn’t stop restaurant owners from unveiling new dining options. Here’s a round-up of brand-spanking-new and coming-soon restaurants that are sure to sizzle these next few months.

Stay on top of all the seasonal fun now through Labor Day on our Dallas Best Summer Ever page

Just Opened

Top Chef alum and Spoon master John Tesar’s steakhouse in the Hotel Palomar opened on Friday to much excitement. Though meat will be the centerpiece of the restaurant in the former Central 214 space, you can find fish and fowl on offer as well. Michael Martensen’s cocktail creations liven up the bar.

San Salvaje 
Also open for mere days, Stephan Pyles’ new spot right across from his namesake restaurant is a showcase of Latin American cuisines. Ceviches, tacos, tamales, arepas and dishes like escabeche of sea bass and ropa vieja ensure that the region’s most delectable styles of cookery are well represented.

Method Caffeination & Fare
Boasting an ever-changing list of roasters, this new coffeehouse opened just a few days ago but is already winning raves. Terrific cups of joe include cappuccinos, cortados and Chemex pour-overs, plus an assortment of baked goods - even a sweetened condensed milk-soaked French toast. Night owls note: Method stays open till midnight on Sundays.

Stock & Barrel
Chef Jon Stevens’ new venture in the Bishop Arts District (above) is coming on strong with its menu of fresh, seasonal New American eats. Wood-grilled proteins and vegetables comprise the heart of the menu that aims to stick to local sources.

Opening Later This Summer

The Ivy Tavern
With an estimated opening of May 30, this bar and grill is aiming its focus on signature cocktails like the Cadillac Margarita and Poison Ivy while offering games and eats inside and on its patio/beer garden.

Top Pot Doughnuts
Sliding in right next to Pho Envy, one of our favorite spots for noodle soup, is Texas’ first branch of this Washington State-based pastry cafe chain. We can hardly wait to cap off a bowl of pho with a fritter and bacon-maple rings.

Pecan Lodge
Owners Justin and Diane Fourton shut down the original Dallas Farmers Market outpost of their barbecue empire on Friday, so we’re living in a Pecan Lodge-less world for a little bit. Fear not, for the modern-folksy new restaurant space in Deep Ellum (pictured at top) is a dream, equipped for beer and wine service as well as live music on the patio. It opens this Friday.

Proof + Pantry
Michael Martensen’s having a busy next few months. Not only did he craft the cocktail menu at Tesar’s steakhouse Knife and take over operations - along with Sal Jafar II - of Driftwood very recently, he and Jafar have an upcoming eatery in One Arts Plaza. Proof + Pantry is set to open in June (coincidentally in Tesar’s old burger-joint home) with globally influenced cuisine and, we expect, an impeccable cocktail program.

Houndstooth Coffee
With a stated mission of weaving “the pattern of coffee and people” and a devoted fan base in its hometown of Austin, it’s no wonder coffee fanatics are looking forward to the early July opening of this cafe in East Dallas. We’re sure we’re not the only ones who will just be happy to once again have a convenient place to crack open our laptop and work for spell.

Wild About Harry’s
Another popular dining brand opening in Deep Ellum is this frozen custard and hot dog joint presently located in the Knox-Henderson retail neighborhood. Originally set to open last fall, Harry’s will dole out icy treats and tube steaks hopefully by July.

The folks behind much-adored Mexican regional cuisine haven Mesa in Oak Cliff is planning a seafood-centric new eatery in the same enclave, set to open toward the end of the summer.

Kate Weiser Chocolates
The talented chocolate artisan, formerly at Chocolate Secrets, is opening her own storefront at Trinity Groves late this summer. We’ve run into the brand at food festivals and always lamented having to make a quick decision from among many gorgeous candies so as not to hold up the line, so we look forward to having a home base to take our own sweet time.

Rodeo Goat
Fort Worth’s hugely popular burger purveyor is opening a branch in Dallas’ Design District, which is the perfect spot for such a cheeky, creatively branded eatery. Look for a similar focus on wildly inventive hamburgers, as well as craft beer and cocktails.