Another Game of Dallas Chef Roulette, This Time with Driftwood, Lucia and Casa Rubia

Sorry if this reads like One Hundred Years of Solitude. There are a lot of people and places involved. And even ice.

Stick with me.

Remember Chef Kyle McClelland? Our very own Lauren Drewes Daniels interviewed the chef when he took over the menu at Cedars Social back in 2011. Back then, he came to Dallas by way of New York City, and told Daniels multiple times about his love of fresh seafood, which turned out to be a nice bit of foreshadowing. McClelland left Cedars Social in 2012, heading back to New York, but now he's in Dallas again, this time for fish.

The company in charge of the Oak Cliff restaurant Driftwood says it's named McClelland chef, replacing Omar Flores. Flores, of course, has not been cooking at Driftwood for some time, having turned over those duties temporarily to Justin Holt, who left his job at Lucia to take the position. Holt recently moved back to Lucia.

The company that announced McClelland is Sal Jafar II and Michael Martensen's Misery Loves Company, LLC. If that team sounds familiar, that's because they just announced the One Arts bar and restaurant Proof + Pantry last week. Former Driftwood partner John Baudoin sold his share to Misery Loves Company, so now Martensen and Jafar control both of those restaurants outright.

What's that mean? Martensen said he's bringing his whole team to MLC, which means they'll likely be spread across both restaurants. And that means that when I predicted that the magic that was happening at Smyth would be short lived, and would likely never be seen again, I was right. It also means you'll probably see some awesome cocktails at Driftwood soon.

As for Baudoin, he's chasing Flores to Trinity Groves as reported by D. In addition to working at Casa Rubia, they're planning on opening something called Sugar Skull Cafe, but that's a ways off. So at least you can enjoy Casa Rubia with Flores' undivided attention on the pass for a while longer.

Wow. What ever happened to one chef, one restaurant?

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.