Georgie by Curtis Stone is set to open in early November, with the former Villa-O space on Travis Street transforming into a new restaurant, one that has some promise as quite a beautiful space.
To get people amped up about the new spot, the soon-to-open restaurant hosted a dinner at Profound Microfarms in Lucas. Media dinners aren’t really my thing, but I’ve been a fan of Profound for a while, so I went for it while freshening up my knowledge of celebrity chefs.
We got a tour of the restaurant, which sits on the edge of Dallas, comfortably within range of Highland Park.
This is an area I used to come to as a kid, in fact: Before the Katy Trail was a city of Dallas trail, it was just a railroad, one my friends and I would walk down to reach Knox for chicken at Chili’s followed by the candy store at Weir’s.
Today that Chili’s is gone, of course, looking much trendier as the Up on Knox, operated by the same one who’s behind Georgie, Stephan Courseau. Courseau took over another childhood spot of mine, L'Ancestral, which is now Bilboquet.
He gave a small group of us a tour of the new restaurant, which has a massive kitchen and charming aesthetics throughout the front of house. Long, lounge-like chairs fill some of the room; they’re elegant and comfortable even if the orange hue relentlessly made me think of the chairs inside the Meyerson Symphony Center.
What particularly sounds nice is on the back side of the restaurant, where it’s opening a bit to have counter service from the interior to outside; this is also the area where there will be a butchery and some quick to-go meals. So even when the main restaurant is closed, people can find a bite to eat.
They took a small number of us — mostly writers — up to Lucas in a nice bus before we finally got to the farm. It’s an impressive operation, one founder Jeff Bednar could easily walk us through while impressing.
The crowd ended up being a number of farmers. This ended up being the best part: getting to know a bit more about the folks behind Chubby Dog Farms and Comeback Creek Farms.
Stone was friendly and charming as he walked us through the farm as we snacked on small bites. The second stop was a lovely beef tartare, where we also got up-close with Georgie’s executive chef, Toby Archibald.
The setting inside the main greenhouse was lovely. Anyone who’s seeking a unique, elegant and ideal place for a long table dinner, see if you can talk a greenhouse owner into letting you use some of their space.
The food was nice to look at, too. Throughout, I did seek more flavor — spice, salt, anything. Flavors were fresh, utilizing what was growing on that very farm, but using them in a rather safe way.
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The steak, however, was life changing. I told friends about this for days afterward, scrolling through the photos on my phone to show them this glorious slice of red beef. The grilled Blackmore Australian wagyu is something other than steak. It’s a different kind of meat. And I can’t get enough of it.
An exciting dish came from pastry chef Casey Mendoza, who prepared a grilled grit cake with whiskey-roasted figs and goat milk creme.
The space that opens in November will surely be beautiful and will bring us solid plates of food with fresh ingredients that will stay within the lanes of acceptance and general likability. But sometimes, that’s all we want, and it’s usually quite worth our money.
Georgie by Curtis Stone, 4514 Travis St., Dallas. Set to open in November.