In early 2018, celebrity chef and restaurateur José Andrés opened a second location of his popular Washington, D.C., restaurant, Zaytinya, at the Star in Frisco. The Star serves as the official headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, with an indoor field, practice space for the team and retail and entertainment spaces as well. Zaytinya, Andrés’ Turkish concept, joined the ranks of popular Dallas outposts such as Cane Rosso, crushcraft Thai Eats, East Hampton Sandwich Co., Mi Cocina and Neighborhood Services.
Andrés has been expanding his restaurant empire for years now, with locations of his restaurant brands in California, Vegas, Florida and Mexico. The Frisco location of Zaytinya was his first foray into Texas.
“The Star in Frisco is an area in Dallas that’s showing big growth," Andrés says. "When opening a new restaurant, you’re trying to find this perfect balance of growth in a new part of town. The Star in Frisco has many of these characteristics."
Andrés is strategic in where he opens new locations.
“It’s good to be thinking about the present and the future, as well," he says. "For me, this is the long term. I think this is going to become a great part of suburban Dallas.
"It’s the right brand in the right place. We have a good team at this location, and the locals are welcoming us with open arms. I’m excited that football season started. We keep growing, week to week.”
At Zaytinya, diners find elegant Mediterranean vegetable presentations and dishes like $18 octopus meze. Andrés has deliberately not changed the menu or concept of Zaytinya to appeal to the crowd who frequent the Star in Frisco, a crowd of football fans who may be more interested in burgers, pizza and Texas-centric fare.
“If you become like everyone else, in the end, we’ll all have the same type of restaurant," Andrés says. "I didn’t come to Dallas to do what every other person has done.
“My successes and failures in life come from me sticking to my guts and my guns. I only know what I know,” he says.
For those who might not be familiar with Turkish food, Andrés recommends starting with the spreads.
“Try any of the spreads ... hummus, labneh, baba ghanouj. Everybody loves spreads," he says. "Hummus has become so mainstream America.”
He also suggests the flat breads for less adventurous diners, "because everybody recognizes a flat bread, it’s like pizza.”
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Andrés believes that his food stands for itself. “At the end of the day, if you do good work and offer good food and good service, people keep showing up.”
He's also open to the possibility of opening further restaurants in the DFW area.
“If I feel like some of the concepts can find a home here, will others come? Maybe, yes," he says. "But first, I’m going to make sure Zaytinya is strong and doing well. But it’s a definite possibility. I like Texas. I like Dallas.”
Zaytinya, 6655 Winning Dr., Frisco (The Star)