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Joyce And Gigi's Is Off to a Great Start in East Dallas

Joyce And Gigi's opened quietly four weeks ago with four pyramid-shaped heaters casting towering flames to call to cars as they drive down Ross Avenue. Without the heaters you'd zip right past the restaurant. It's tucked into a recently renovated space on Hall Street.

Joyce Stenvall and Gigliola Aguilera have created a cozy, intimate space in their new mother-daughter homage to Bolivia, and from what I've seen so far, the food is very good.

Skip expensive fixe prix menus at stuffy restaurants this Valentine's Day and sit down to this romantic churrasco plate for two instead. The flap steak is grilled and seasoned perfectly and paired with a rich bowl of rice that reminds me of a South American version of macaroni and cheese. The chorizo that shares the plate is a little dry, but the yucca are fried perfectly. I wish there had been a few more of the crunchy golden batons on my plate.

Billed as a modern South American restaurant, the cooking here shows subtlety and restraint while offering a style of cuisine that's hard to find in Dallas. Everything is made from scratch, including those hand formed empanadas I've promised myself I'd try when I return. Could delicious salteñas be far off? I've not seen the stew-filled pastries anywhere in Dallas.

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