We get it! David Uygur, Teiichi Sakurai, Matt McCallister and other highly lauded chefs are worthy of infinite praise. They've opened restaurants that have defined the Dallas dining scene and offer cooking that demonstrates unparalleled refinement. They were also the chefs we celebrated last year, and in some cases the year(s) before that, while consistently giving our bank accounts a big punch in the calf fries.
But other chefs are doing just as much, if not more, to shape the way we eat. They're opening restaurants that offer styles of dining and dishes that were previously unavailable, and many of them are providing great value as well. Others pay homage to Texas roots in new and innovative ways.
These Dallas chefs could use a bit more fanfare. Grab your air horn, jump up on their bars and let them know how much they're loved.
Omar Flores Dallas had tapas restaurants before Casa Rubia opened, but they've always served menus from the Stone Age. Horrible bread, less-than-savory boquerones and dated wine lists gave Spanish cuisine a bad name. Omar Flores, on the other hand, gives Spanish cooking a whole new spin by offering new takes on common Spanish dishes. Bring friends and go for the paella, or come alone, grab a seat at the bar and order tapas till you pop.
Stephan Pyles If it weren't for Stephan Pyles, Dallas would be a boring place to eat. Tim Byres, Matt McCallister, Katherine Clapner and other noteworthy Dallas chefs all grew up in Pyles' kitchen, and went on to start their own delicious enterprises. Sure, he's been in the limelight for decades here in Dallas, but when he opened San Salvaje earlier this year, he really set himself apart. Because of Pyles' hard work, downtown Dallas has another destination restaurant, and diners can explore nearly every country in South and Central America from one seat.
Jon Stevens Stock and Barrel was a welcomed addition to the Bishop Arts District and the source of a meatloaf dish that transcends childhood dinner tables. Pay Jon Stevens a visit for an updated take on the American cuisine we all grew up on.
Tim Byres Smoke gets plenty of attention, but too much of it is focused on brisket and brunch. There's so much more to Tim Byres' cooking than a massive bloody mary, biscuits and smoked meats. Look to his more delicate dishes like grilled shrimp and seafood to see a whole new side of Smoke, and then relish the fact that such subtlety is achieved with such a primal heat source: wood-burning flames. Why else would we name him Best Chef in Dallas.
Stephen Rogers Dallas has plenty of meat-and-potatoes restaurants, which is why when Stephen Rogers brought West Coast sensibility to Henderson Avenue with Gemma it made such an impact. Who knew vegetables could be such a star for dinner, in light, artistically composed salads and sides? Order some oysters at the bar and expect a glass of expertly paired wine served from a keg. Don't judge -- it's just as good as the bottled stuff. It's even cheaper.
Oliver Sitrin Welcome to dude food 2.0, where sausages are stuffed in house and even the flaky pie crusts are filled with meat and gelatin. With a great beer selection and rustic masculine menu, Blind Butcher shines bar food in a whole new light, and it's helped shape Lower Greenville. When the weather is nice, grab a seat on the back patio and start with the bangers and mash. Don't stop there.