There’s a new restaurant with a lot going on that popped up in Deep Ellum last week.
Ebb and Flow opened quietly in September at 2651 Commerce St. in the spot last occupied by The Parlor on Commerce.
It comes from Crafted Bar Concepts, whose portfolio includes Shell Shack and Sushi Marquee.
There are some recognizable Deep Ellum names involved in the new venture. Whitney Barlow owns Trees, The Bomb Factory and Canton Hall. Dallas Hale is a longtime restaurateur in Dallas. Eric Bradford has spent a decade managing Barlow’s music venues and Trees, and Bradford’s wife, Laura Bradford, joined the team to open Ebb and Flow.
The interior, with just 70 seats, has undergone a dramatic face-lift. There are flowers and vines, pretty new tile, velvet booths, snake decor, seven big-screen TVs and striking chandeliers.
Design director Katy Curtis describes the place as “your tattooed girlfriend going home to meet your parents,” in a press release.
“We wanted to create a comfortable place to hang out with friends, where you can enjoy a good drink, an approachable spin on classic dishes and a vibe you'll never want to leave,” Eric Bradford says.
In the kitchen, consulting chef Rodman Shields has created an eclectic menu featuring appetizers such as toasted ravioli ($8.99), crispy meatballs ($10.99), Cubano egg rolls ($8.99) and sausage queso ($9.99).
Salads and handhelds include a burger with two 3-ounce Akashi beef patties ($12.99), a patty melt ($10.99) and the baked turkey and Fiji apple wrap ($12.99) alongside larger plates like turkey Stroganoff ($12.99) and ratatouille ($9.99).
They shop local with two Deep Ellum vendors: Rudolph’s Market and Sausage Factory for cured meats and The Mozzarella Company for cheese.
The bar program didn’t impress on our first visit.
The garden margarita made with Herradura Silver tequila recommended by our server was just OK. It was a cucumber-jalapeño margarita that was light on jalapeño and didn’t taste too much like cucumber either.
The “elderflow” cocktail was a sweet, frozen concoction made with Prosecco, pear vodka, elderflower liqueur and lemon.
The chicken, salami and Swiss sandwich has grilled chicken breast, crispy fried salami pieces and gobs of melted Swiss squeezed between a croissant bun ($11.99). In the absence of vegetables, the crispy salami gave the sandwich a nice crunch, but overall it wasn’t a memorable meal.
There are vegetarian and vegan options, so meat-avoiders are welcome. The Southwest wrap was predictable, yet tasty ($12.99). It’s made with Beyond beef and packed with veggies: jicama, pico, black beans, roasted corn, avocado and salsa.
Service was attentive and non-intrusive, prompt yet distant. Everyone around, from the servers to other diners, seemed downright cheerful. There was a group doing happy hour and another having beers and watching a game. A couple of date nights filled some barstools and tables.
It was possibly a mistake to not order the Cubano egg rolls. Our mouths were watering as order after order passed us by to be delivered across the dining room. It’s made with salami and ham wrapped in rice paper then fried and served with spicy mustard and chipotle barbecue sauce. It may be ultimate-level bar food, and we’re totally on board.
The patio has a ceiling draped with vines and flowers, with marble tables below. Inside, a beautifully tiled floor leads to velvet booths and leather barstools. Above are seven big screens all set to macho.
Inexplicably, Chive TV glared from half the TVs lining the bar and the patio. The other sets showed the Dallas Stars and a random football game. Ebb and Flow bills itself as a sports bar, but in a room so glamorous, we’d hope for more mature viewing choices when we return.
Because, yes, we’re bound to return.
Their simple, straightforward menu is perfect pregame grub before a night of bar hopping or just hanging out and having dinner and drinks. It’s a few steps away from music venues and popular nightlife, so you’ll be close to the action.
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Ebb and Flow has a solid beer list, with Deep Ellum Brewing, Peticolas, Texas Ale Project and Four Corners represented. In all, there are 26 beers on tap and the standard domestics in bottles. Chardonnay and cabernet are available for wine drinkers.
Oh, then there’s that buzzword that will perk your ears right up. That’s right: brunch service begins this Saturday, Oct. 5.
Ebb and Flow may not have a complete sense of self, but that may be why it fits so well in the Deep Ellum scene.
Ebb and Flow, 2651 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum). 972-913-2322. 11 a.m –2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m –2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.