When I dreamed up my ideas for the RedFork space (which are never going to happen), it jogged my memory about many restaurants that I'd love to see arrive and thrive in Dallas. Here are a few more; consider this my Christmas list. If you think a reputable version of one of these restaurants already exists, leave a line in the comments. It would be one hell of a Christmas present.
Nordic Restaurant: A cute little place with an aggressive menu of smoked and pickled fishes and lots of patés, but the real draw would be infused vodka. Not just pineapple but interesting, robust flavors: Cardamom, caraway, anise, horseradish, cucumber -- a selection of true aquavit that pushed diners to experiment with new flavors. Swedish meatballs, too, with lingonberry jam.
High-End Hot Dog Shop: Yeah, we got hot dog stands, but I'm looking for someone willing to hit it out of the park. Feature local links, and then borrow inspiration from around the country to offer almost endless variation. New York-style hot dogs with mustard and onions next to Chi-dogs dragged through the garden. Chili dogs, dogs wrapped in pretzel dough, dogs wrapped in bacon and deep fried -- the potential is endless.
A Great Jewish Deli:This one's from our Hanukkah list: Apparently nobody has the chutzpah (or the bagel supplier) to pull off a top-quality Jewish deli, either old school or contemporary. Despite a sizable (and notably hungry) local Jewish population, a Jewish deli of consequence has yet to appear. (Apologies to Cindy's; it's just not quite there). Ziggy's almost came, and then it didn't. We'll continue to pine and kvetch.
Nose to Tail: A restaurant that really gets nose-to-tail eating -- a whole sow in the walk-in every week and every part of it on the menu. Headcheese, pig ears, pig tails, pig liver and then charcuterie, hung and cured in house. Little plates of meat, perfect for snacking, and then a small but well thought-out beer menu, filled with delicious hard to finds.
Aside of that Jewish deli, which is a no-brainer, these would take a brazen proprietor, and then it would take support from the Dallas dining community. They'd have to reward a risky idea with repeated business and loyalty. In other words, you guys would have to want this for Christmas, too.