The Dallas dining scene famously is chaotic and hydra-like. Every week sees news of restaurants failing, but for every one that closes it seems two more spring up to take its place. In honor of new beginnings, we've put together a list of the 10 most noteworthy restaurants that opened in 2013.
Kitchen LTO The "limited time offer" kitchen is unique among all the other restaurants that opened this year. Kitchen LTO (snapper pictured above) opened this summer after a reality showy vetting process that pitted chef/designer teams against each other to see which pair would get to run the restaurant for its first four months. The idea is to be a perennial pop-up, with a chef and designer chosen three times a year by the Dallas public. The first iteration of Kitchen LTO features chef Norman Grimm, and the wheels are already turning to see who will take over after him.
CBD Provisions The Joule, the swanky boutique hotel, had been going through a lot of renovations by the time they announced in September that their anchor restaurant, Charlie Palmer, was on its way out. By October CBD Provisions had taken its place, with chef Michael Sindoni at the helm and with pig tails, kale salad and some killer Cuban sandwiches on the menu.
Tanoshii Ramen Bar After opening a po'boy restaurant, and before opening a Vietnamese place, husband and wife team Joey and Chi Le brought Dallas its first ramen joint. Tanoshii's ambitious menu covers street ramen, soupless ramen, hot pot, steam buns and more.
Smyth This secretive cocktail nook is noteworthy for its discreet entrance and lack of sign. It's a small, menu-less joint where you tell the bartenders what you like and they concoct a drink to suit your tastes. It's a fabulous place to feel 1 percent for a little while, or at least to bring a date.
Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern In August the masterminds behind Il Cane Rosso brought to Dallas New York-style pizza so good it shut down their computers on the first day. The glitch barely slowed them down though, and Zoli's is now the spot to go to for authentically Brooklyn pizza.
The Slow Bone Barbecue With killer sides, Miss Jessie the smoker and a name that combines meat and eroticism, Slow Bone hits all the right barbecue notes. Owner Jack Perkins, the man behind the burgers at Maple and Motor, opened Slow Bone in April and has been going steady since then.
LARK on the Park One of the craftier things Dallas has done as a city is turn an overpass into a park, and since March Klyde Warren has been the roost for LARK on the Park. On top of bringing some much needed greenery into the city's diet, LARK also promises that someday, maybe, Dallas will be a walkable city.
20 Feet Seafood Joint 20 Feet boasts po'boys, banh mi and every sea creature imaginable fried and served with chips. Old standards like clam chowder appear with fried clam rolls or other fare that's available as the season dictates. It's enough to make you forgive that they don't serve alcohol. One of the 50 Most Interesting Restaurants in Dallas.
Spoon Bar & Kitchen The newest restaurant from chef John Tesar, now known across the country (or at least to reality cooking show fans) because of Top Chef Seattle, opened in February, and promised the chef substantial creative control. It may be neighbors with a Chipotle, but the scallops and foie gras provide their own ambiance. And it's good enough to even get the attention of Esquire.
Stampede 66 Texas as a culture can be hard to pin down but Stampede 66 has done a hell of a good job in the attempt. Stephan Pyles labored to make the most Texas-y restaurant possible, and materialized is snakeskin booths and chicken-fried steak with injectable gravy. One of our 50 Most Interesting Restaurants and, like Spoon, Esquire named Stampede 66 one of the best new restaurants in the country.
Honorable Mentions: LUCK Souk Kozy Kitchen The Shell Shack Nickel and Rye Mexican Sugar Monkey King Noodle Co. The Truck Yard Taverna Rossa Rice and Wheat The Social House Mudsmith Coffee Dee Lincoln's Burger Bar