Esquire Praises Stampede 66 and Spoon Bar as Two of America's Best New Restaurants.
Welcome to The Spread, our weekly feature that aims to share all the area restaurant, food and beverage industry news that's fit to print. Except that this is the Internet, so space isn't a concern. Also: Good thing, because this is Dallas and this town always has breaking restaurant news going down like whoa.
We here in Dallas have the uniquely exquisite opportunity to sample some of the finest cuisines the world has to offer. Really, we do.
From things like Smores Calzones to a plethora of amazing burgers — not to mention the downright weird and borderline freaky — we most certainly have our fair share of amazing culinary masters here in North Texas.
Honestly, we're a bit spoiled. Dallas' food scene boasts an embarrassment of riches.
So it comes as no surprise that two area restaurants famous for their daring and creative dishes (read: Spoon Bar & Kitchen and Stampede 66) have respectively gained national acclaim by earning top spots in Esquire's just-released Best New Restaurants list.
In the issue, the magazine's John Mariani praises Stampede 66 for its “sublimation of down-home cooking into great cuisine,” and calls the restaurants' James Beard Award-winning chef, Stephan Pyle, a “pioneer of North Texas cuisine.” Mariani also highlights Spoon Bar chef John Tesar's culinary technique, citing the way his “restraint shines in dishes like raw yellow tail sweetened by chunks of Texas ruby-red grapefruit and roasted beets.”
Speaking of restaurant reviews: Things have been getting pretty heated between area food critics as of late. Seems some critics in this town thrive on mass quantities of negative feedback and spend a great deal of time comparing their own metaphorical culinary boners to the other's. Without throwing any more fuel into those fires, we'll just go on record again as saying that we really do think that the Truck Yard is pretty rad.
Moving on to other area culinary happenings: Food Network is currently in the process of casting for its increasingly popular competition-based reality series, Best Home Cooks in America. Those interested in their shot at 15 minutes of fame alongside celebrity chef Bobby Flay should apply here.
But if cooking at home doesn't sound appealing to you, at least there are a multitude of restaurant openings going down all around the DFW area in the coming months. While food fans should get excited that the folks behind Bowl and Barrel and Mutts Cantina are set to open their latest Uptown venture, The Rustic on October 16, music lovers will have something to look forward to at the Pat Green co-owned joint as well, as the space will also house a 2,000-person capacity venue.
Meanwhile, the booming foodie scene in Deep Ellum recently got a bit spicier with Alligator Cafe placing a new location in the neighborhood over in the old Rosemont spot on Elm Street next to Rudolphâ€™s Meat Market.
Also? Wolfgang Puck debuted a new cafe concept and menu called Cloud Nine just below his Five Sixty fine dining restaurant atop Reunion Tower. The cafe will be open for visitors to the recently renovated/re-branded Reunion Tower GeO-Deck. Aside from incomparable views of the city, visitors to Cloud 9 can also chow down on a chocolate dessert shaped like the tower itself. Oh, and for those wondering, the cafe will not rotate during the day as its upstairs neighbor does.
Worth too noting: Origin Natural Food, which closed briefly for renovation and expansion purposes, shall henceforth be known as Origin Kitchen + Bar and feature a fresh new focus on casual fine dining for the folks on McKinney Avenue.
Speaking of openings: It seems like Fort Worth is trying its hardest to distance themselves from its awkwardly award title as one of the “Worst Cities for Food Lovers” with a number of notable openings recently: Trevino's Comida Mexican opened the doors at its Montgomery Street location just last month; Max's Wine Dive expanded into the growing West 7th entertainment district; Juice Junkies, a one-stop organic juice shop on Foch Street, opens up later this month; and famous DFW restaurateur Shannon Wynne is nearing completion on his latest venture, Bird's Cafe, which is set to open in Sundance Square later this month.
Finally, in this week's brewery news: Rahr and Sons Brewing Company will soon be offering a very rare, specialty blonde lager called Crazy Blonde and featuring with a mineral rich Crazy Water. While local breweries seem to have cornered the market when it comes down to craft beer, area Thai-Vietnamese eatery Malai Kitchen has recently announced plans of brewing its own in-house Vietnamese-style lager in the coming months, too, assuming that its brewpub license comes through.