If you thought celebrated Dallas chef Stephan Pyles was losing his touch after over two decades of success, he blew your mind with the opening of his popular and critically praised South American restaurant San Salvaje. Now, Pyles looks to the other hemisphere of the planet for inspiration for his next restaurant.
Last week, SideDish reported something we heard awhile back: that Pyles was planning his new restaurant in the Dallas Arts District's Crow Collection of Asian Art. According to SideDish, the yet-unnamed spot, Pyles' fourth Downtown, will open in the museum's Snuff Bottle Court.
This isn't Pyles' first tango with Asian cuisine. In the early 2000s, the chef developed FishBowl, a Knox-Henderson sushi restaurant, for Carlson Restaurant Concepts in the lounge of his struggling "global water cuisine" restaurant, AquaKnox. If you never dined at FishBowl, an old Gayot.com review praised the spot's "groovy cocktails" and noted that "singles, soccer moms, those fresh from the gym or at least in gym outfits, very mobile couples in their 70s and teens from the neighborhood all converge at Fishbowl."
FishBowl shuttered in 2003 to make room for an expanding Pottery Barn, which is quite possibly the most early 2000s thing that could have happened to a fine-dining restaurant. Pyles would later open three restaurants -- Samar, Stampede 66, and San Salvaje -- Downtown. Perhaps for Pyles, the most important component of the restaurant success equation is location, location, location.
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For a chef that has opened 19 restaurants in the last 30 years, Pyles has a pretty impressive track record. Dallas diners still pine after dishes from the chef's long-shuttered Routh Street Cafe, some of which are seen in updated presentations on the menu at Pyles' eponymous Downtown restaurant. The cowboy ribeye and "Heaven and Hell" cake have been a part of Pyles' oeuvre since at least 1994, and are still among his most well-known dishes.
But in San Salvaje, Pyles has proven that his cuisine isn't stuck in the early '90s, when he was one of the James Beard Foundations' Best Chefs in America. Sushi restaurants in Dallas aren't all that imaginative (with the notable exception of Tei-An), but if anyone can bring a spark to Dallas' Asian cuisine scene, it's Stephan Pyles.
As soon as we know more about the details of the restaurant's opening, we'll keep you posted.