While everyone prepares to take in another season of Top Chef this month, a different sort of battle will unfold in Dallas' dining season this fall. Three high-profile openings are scheduled in the coming weeks and each will compete for Dallas' discretionary dining dollars.
John Tesar's Spoon, Stephen Pyles' Stampede 66 and his protege Matt McCallister's FT-33 have received a lot of press though they've yet to serve a single dish. All three restaurants promised late summer and early fall openings.
FT-33 has received, perhaps, the most attention, as the young tattooed chef McCallister teased the city with his aggressive use of offal, lamb's neck and other exotic cuts at Campo. His stay there was short as investors quickly courted the chef with a new concept in the Design District.
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Stampede 66 has been drumming up coverage as well. Pyles took a recent trip to Mexico, tweeting pictures of ingredients that inspired recipe ideas and photos coveted pieces of kitchen equipment. He has also started a blog to document his progress as he opens the Southwestern-themed restaurant in Uptown.
Meanwhile in Preston Hollow, Spoon seems to have gotten off to the slowest start, possibly because of chef John Tesar's appearance on the aforementioned Bravo television show. A spokesperson for the restaurant sent out a release last week with a rendering of the restaurant's exterior, and a Facebook post announced the restaurant was looking for waitstaff and other employees.
All three restaurants should open in a few weeks of each other, and all three will court Dallas' most discerning diners. Who will emerge with the most refined menu and polished staff? Will any of these restaurants receive a coveted fifth star from The Dallas Morning News? Stay tuned...